"I know you're just a reporter, but you used to be a person, right?" is a quote from the film Deep Impact and immediately came to mind after I read this article from the Associated Press. (It actually took two people to write it.) The "article" made me weep for my chosen profession. The absolutely disgraceful lead:
Is everything spinning out of control? Midwestern levees are bursting. Polar bears are adrift. Gas prices are skyrocketing. Home values are abysmal. Air fares, college tuition and health care border on unaffordable. Wars without end rage in Iraq, Afghanistan and against terrorism. Horatio Alger, twist in your grave. The can-do, bootstrap approach embedded in the American psyche is under assault. Eroding it is a dour powerlessness that is chipping away at the country's sturdy conviction that destiny can be commanded with sheer courage and perseverance.
I dunno, maybe contributing to our low national morale are media that 1) compare a weak economy—although one that has yet to suffer even a single negative quarter—to the disastrous economies of the 1930s and 1970s; 2) forget to mention that the average person buying a home in, say, January 2000, is still sitting on a 66 percent gain; 3) ignore the economy's sky-high productivity, which helps make it the most competitive in the world; 4) ignore a global economic boom that is pushing up gas prices but also raising hundreds of millions of people out of poverty; and 5) for the heck of it, perpetuate the myth that college is unaffordable. (Oh, and since the authors of the article brought it up, it sure looks to this Soviet politics major that Iraq is turning into a situation for al Qaeda that is exactly the reverse of Afghanistan in the 1980s: Militants take on superpower. Get annihilated along with their global brand.)
America's "can-do" attitude? We are coming off a record year for initial public offerings. I mean, I could go on and on here. I don't know anyone who is giving up, other than the AP.