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September 03, 2002 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2002-09-03

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A

4A - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, September 3, 2002

OP/ED

1

(The £kbijun *aiig

420 MAYNARD STREET
ANN ARBOR, MI 48109
letters@michigandaily.com

EDITED AND MANAGED BY
STUDENTS AT THE
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
SINCE 1890

JON SCHWARTZ
Editor in Chief
JOHANNA HANINK
Editorial Page Editor

Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the majority of the Daily's
editorial board. All other articles, letters and cartoons do not
necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.

NOTABLE
QUOTABLE
... The subtext is
all about the
government's right
to suspend certain
personal liberties
in the pursuit of
national security."
- Nancy G. Edmunds, U.S. District Judge, in
the US. District Court decision in Detroit
Free Press v. John Ashcroft, a case centered
around Ann Arbor resident Rabih Haddad.
The Court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs.

SAM BUTLER Tw SOAPOX
Ever . eel l Ke n 4 la+IOS reshvYan
-
--

I

French fries, grain of salt served a la carte
AUBREY HENRETTY NEUROTICA

ook, buddy, I
don't know you.
Maybe you've
worked hard to get where
you are today, overcom-
ing countless social and
personal obstacles and
routinely laughing in the
faces of danger and
tragedy. Maybe you're a
beacon of goodness: A pediatric neurosur-
geon/philanthropist/musician who lives in the
inner city, where you volunteer nights and week-
ends at the battered women's shelter. Maybe you
voted Nader in 2000. Like I said, I don't know
you. But in the 15 minutes since we've met,
you've been wholly unpleasant. And forgive me,
but my patience is wearing thin.
Don't look at me like that. You know what I
mean: Like I'm a walking botched order and
you'll have to spell everything out for me, using
tiny, tiny words lest I ruin your dinner and your
life. Don't talk to me like I'm your mentally
retarded stepchild or your pet. I'm a student at a
top-tier public university. I can string thoughts and
sentences together without breaking a sweat.
I will get you some more iced tea as soon as I
have a second. I swear. You won't dehydrate;
you've had four glasses since you sat down.
Take a deep breath. This is not biological war-
fare; it's dinner. You've got nothing to be anxious
about. In fact, if either of us has a right to be
stressed right now, it's definitely not you. You,
you'll notice, are sitting down, waiting for some-
one you can't see to cook your dinner so that I, in
turn, can carry it out to you and you can eat it. I, in

stark contrast, am standing (running, actually), try-
ing to keep up with five other tables full of people
who, like you, are unduly concerned about my
competence. And I am perfectly calm. Not to
mention dazzlingly witty, cute and cheerful. See?
Inhale.
You know what I was doing before my shift
tonight? Not sleeping off a hangover, thank
you. No, I was working. Here. I've been here
since 10 a.m. Yes, 12 hours ago. (I'm
impressed. I wouldn't have pegged you as a
mental math whiz, as you and your friend there
ordered exactly the same thing, right down to
the iced tea with no ice, two straws and extra
lemons on the side, yet insisted on separate
checks. I stand corrected.)
Well, to be fair, I haven't been running myself
ragged the entire time; it was really slow this
morning. I spent the first 90 minutes second-hand
smoking at the break table. I would have been
reading the now grease-speckled Detroit Free
Press I bought at the gas station on my way in, but
the House Topics (i.e. "Rules") sheet they passed
out with our "pay"checks last week says we can't
read or do crossword puzzles on the clock. Basi-
cally bans all down-time activities except staring
at the grimy, nicotine-yellow walls for $2.65 an
hour before taxes.
Maybe they're afraid all that book-learnin'
will make us want to quit and find better jobs,
someone quipped. We laughed nervously and
changed the subject, pointing out the most
embarrassing spelling and grammatical errors
on the lunch menu and objecting to manage-
ment's use of the word "Guest" in place of
"customer." They must have learned that in a

how-to book about boosting morale and pro-
ductivity amongst low-wage workers. Anybody
can be a customer, but it takes somebody spe-
cial to be a Guest: Warm, welcome and capital-
ized. Where customers are just idiots, Guests
are idiosyncratic. Lovable. Worth the extra
time and effort. Just like your friends.
In that case, my friend, you've worn out your
welcome. You have been supremely disrespect-
ful and I am not so dependent on your compan-
ionship or your three dollars that I'm willing to
put up with you any longer. So scram.
Go ahead, complain to the manager. See if I
care. I'll be back at school soon, working at
writing and playing at making a difference in
the world.
That freedom might make me wish I'd said
some of this out loud, that I hadn't instead fur-
rowed my brow remorsefully and insisted I was
very, very sorry you had to wait so long for that
refill. Because that's all I'm going to do. If I
give you the sound verbal thrashing you so
deserve, you'll conclude that the problem is all
mine (i.e. I suck at my job and my violent
mood swing smacks of PMS). And like a child
prone to tantrums, I'll have to explain why I
wasn't on my best behavior with our Guest.
Maybe I'll regret that apology when I'm back
at school, wishing I'd had the gumption to tell
you where you really stood and how ugly your
tie was, thinking I took the easy way out; shame
on me for enabling your pomposity. But for now
it's all I can do to bite my tongue and walk away.

I
I

A

4

Aubrey Henre can be reached at
ahenrett@umich.edu.

Media inaccurately depicts itself as objective
NATHAN CARLETON FROM THE UNIVERSITY WIRE.
R onald Reagan made the poor poorer. It is next to impossible for Dan Rather, ed to be accurate.
There are two things wrong with this who has spoken at a Democratic fundraiser, Likewise, the media's main concern is
statement. First, it is blatantly false, to objectively tell us about the impact affir- profit - and that's not a criticism. Viewers.
and second, it is widely believed to be true. mative action has had on our society. When should recognize that, except in rare cases such
Why? Rather said that Bill Clinton was "an honest as Sept. 11, the stories they see are designed to
As Bernard Goldberg illustrates in his man," he meant it. When he told Goldberg garner ratings. If this goal conflicts with accu-
bestselling book "Bias," the main culprit in that The New York Times was "middle of racy, then it often supercedes it.
the dissemination of outright falsehoods we the road," he meant it. Take the 2000 presidential primaries. The
hold as truths is the biased mainstream media. A good example of the media's bias media could have accurately reported that
Now, there is definitely not a conspiracy involves its identification of racists. It seem Bush and Al Gore were virtual locks for their
here. The media does not plot to get Democ- to have an unwritten rule that if an individual parties' nominations. But would this have
rats elected. But it certainly cannot be trusted shows him or herself to be racist, then he or made a sensational story? No. So the media
for two different and important she will never again be inaccurately hyped up Bill Bradley and John
reasons: It is liberal and its prima- THE CHRONICLE taken seriously. I have no McCain as major threats.
ry objective is profit. DUKE UN[ VERSI'y problem with this. People And why do we view HIV as a legitimite
The mainstream media - net- and institutions such as John danger to most Americans when nearly all
work news stations, magazines such as Time Rocker, Fuzzy Zoeller, David Duke and Bob American victims contracted it through very
and Newsweek and newspapers like The New Jones University will never again be paid lip high-risk behavior? For the same reason that
York Times - are liberal. This accusation is service because they have shown themselves the homeless are depicted as regular Amen-
so self-evident it's not worth discussion. What to be racists. cans who were just victims of our brutal cap-
is perhaps debatable is that this makes the I only wish the media would apply this italist system: Because viewers are more
media untrustworthy. standard to all racists - conservative and likely to watch stories about the problems of
As the ballots were being recounted after liberal alike. Regrettably, the media takes people like themselves. These examples
the 2000 election, I was amazed at how com- seriously people like Spike Lee, who affirm what common sense tells us. A busi-
pletely nonpartisan issues having to do with bragged about giving dirty looks to interra- ness whose goal is to make money is not the
vote counting divided people right down cial couples and lied about watching Liz most objective source for information.
party lines. In this instance and others, poli- Claiborne make racist comments on Oprah. The media's biggest problem lies not
tics is so personal and important that it is We hear from Jesse Jackson, who called with how it reports the news, but with how it
impossible for one to objectively analyze a Jews "hymies" and New York City "Hymi- claims to be reporting it. Even though it con-
conflict while so emotionally tied to one of etown." Robert Byrd, a former Ku Klux Klan sists of liberals driven by ratings, it claims to
its sides. member who used the n-word on television be an unbiased truthteller.
This principle applies to the media, which last year, also gets respect. That racists are Remember this the next time you hear a
is so outrageously liberal that it usually can- demonized unless they are liberal activists story about why the minimum wage helps
not be trusted to objectively report the news. shows that the liberal media cannot be trust- people.
Saddam as nefarious as a stingig bee
JASON WINSI(Y nI uiw HEUNIVERSITY WIR

I
4

I

Y ou'll never believe what happened to had for so long been led to believe. How
me Wednesday. There I was, riding could Time magazine lie to me so? In fact,
my bicycle home from class when I he's nothing like Mickey. He's more like a
saw it. A huge bee was flying straight towards tyrannical warlord monster. And I'm not the
me. I didn't pay much attention to the bee until only one who thinks so.
it flew directly into my mouth and stung me. The U.S. government has effectively
Yeah, some people have all the luck. declared Hussein an enemy, and a group of
Well, I did what anyone else would do. I organized people within Iraq are working to
spit the bee out, stepped on it, screamed as loud- overthrow him. They are called the Iraqi
ly as I possibly could like a 12-year-old girl and National Congress and they've been dealing
ran home. Bursting into my apartment, I ran to with Hussein for years. During the Gulf War
the freezer and filled my mouth (ah ... remember
with ice. I collapsed to the floor of THE ARIZONA DAILY WILDCAT Bush I?), it was
the kitchen and stared at the ceil- UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA rumored that the
ing, writhing and twitching in CIA helped the
incredible pain. And that's when it hit me. INC in their efforts. But these days, the INC
A clear vision emerged through the fog: I focuses most of its energy on getting more
rolled over, spit out some ice and a wing and powerful nations (like the United States) to
said out loud: "The United States must help them out.
engage Iraq in a military confrontation." The So what is the big problem with Saddam
--_..] . _, a..,,.. .......- - 11,~4T LT-- t- - TTonnio c~ rir

decided to send weapons inspectors into the
area to check up on Saddam. When Iraq
decided not to let the inspectors in, the sanc-
tions ensued. The United States, alongside
other nations, put economic sanctions on Iraq
over a decade ago. This, undeniably, has left
the country in economic ruin. But Hussein
has the power to end the sanctions by agree-
ing to let the inspectors back in. It seems that
Saddam would rather let his people starve
than do this. I guess he just loves shiny
things that go boom that much.
So what is the United States to do? There
is little global support for a war against Iraq.
This is the kind of war the United States will
have to go along with. Fortunately for us, we
have a President (ah ... Bush II) that will
probably be willing to do this. Here's the
best part: White House lawyers (God bless
them) have recently made the argument that

U
4

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