Slacker Friday


We've got a new "Think Again" column here called "The Costs of Enforced Sexual Ignorance." And I'll be speaking at a conference on the future of the media at Princeton on Wednesday.

Name: Siva Vaidhyanathan
Hometown: Left field

The greatest baseball song of all time is Chuck Berry's "Brown-eyed Handsome Man."

Say hey.

Eric replies: Great song, but how far are we extending this? BEHM? Mrs. Robinson? Paradise by the Dashboard Light? Glory Days? Are these really baseball songs? These are important questions.

Name: Elizabeth
Hometown: Bavaria

I worked for half a dozen years as an obstetrics nurse in South Texas, and I can attest to the appalling numbers of teen pregnancies.

The lack of common sense behind "abstinence only" education was best summed up by a friend as, "sending your children to Mexico and telling them not to drink the water, but not telling them what to do when they get thirsty."

Name: Bill Ardis
Hometown: Frisco, TX


So Hannity is still trying to tie Ayers to Obama, which of course means (in Hannity's tiny little mind) that Obama is unqualified to be elected. Isn't Hannity somewhat of a hypocrite? After all, Hannity has associated (on a very friendly basis) with someone who has suggested killing supreme court justices.

Ann Coulter acknowledged that she has previously suggested "putting rat poison in [U.S. Supreme Court] Justice [John Paul] Stevens' crème brulee"; suggesting people blow up the New York Times, saying: "My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times Building"; and suggested killing Muslims or forcing them to convert.

Doesn't that mean Hannity is unqualified to be (and I use the word loosely) a pundit? After all, what is the difference between what Ann Coulter said and what William Ayers said? If one is reprehensible and should be condemned, shouldn't the other? And using the guilt by association standard, Hannity is definitely guilty of the same condoning this behavior. Will Hannity be forced to leave Fox? Will the media at least call Fox on this hypocrisy? Because it is not only Hannity, O'Reilly has said the same types of comments (like about terrorists attacking san Francisco).

Name: Ralph Sommerer
Hometown: Berne, Switzerland

Dear Dr. Alterman,

I've already found quite a while ago that I watch fake news shows like The Daily Show to get "real (U.S.) news" because they provide context of the sort that you'll never get on the MSM (perhaps "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" excepted). Where else can you actually witness the current administration officials' barefaced lies by simple being shown two video pieces side-by-side where they say one thing and then the exact opposite. Swiss Broadcasting Corporation, by the way, did this once in a news programme and were subequently being accused by a political party of attempting to "dismantle" their Federal Councillor. I haven't seen anything like it since in Switzerland on TV. "What liberal media" everywhere.

PS: Are you having any plans of coming to Europe to give talks/book tours this year? Travelling to the U.S. has become sort of a hassle lately.

Eric replies: Thanks for asking, but no. I am going to Israel in late June/early July in case anyone wants to set up a talk for me there...

Name: Beth Harrison
Hometown: Arlington, VA

Eric, you aren't being fair to viewers of "The Daily Show," comparing them (numerically) to the viewers of "Hannity & Colmes." I bet that you compared the "money" demographic (18-53), Jon Stewart would have more viewers than that joke of a program on Fox News (was that an oxymoron?). And TDS viewers need to know what Jon Stewart is talking about in order to get the satire. Unfortunately, "Hannity & Colmes" isn't satire -- they're deadly serious. Wasn't there a study somewhere several years ago that said that Faux viewers and Druggie Rush listeners were actually LESS informed after three hours?

Name: Dev Tobin
Hometown: Rensselaer, NY

Fox News shows like Hannity and Colmes get 2 million viewers, on their best night.

O'Reilly is Fox's top draw, at just 3 million viewers.

That's more than other cable TV political shows, but still a micro-minority of voters.

In 2004, Bush/Cheney got 62 million votes.

Fox viewership, at its best, is less than 5 percent of that.

Fox News preaches to the micro-minority Bush/Cheney choir, and, therefore, has no real influence on anything.

Name: Thomas Heiden
Hometown: Stratford, CT


So the Blue Dog Democrats are balking at the new GI bill because their fellow Dems will not offset the increased spending with new revenue sources or spending cuts.

They seek fiscal responsiblity on the backs of our soldiers, but will always borrow money to continue the occupation of Iraq.

If it is true that they need to do this to get re-elected, perhaps it's time for them to lead their consituents instead of trying to follow them in such irrational and immoral priorities.

Name: Bill Strachan
Hometown: Enfield, CT

Oh how we rant and rave about the lawlessness, the anti-Constitution bias, the unconstitutional behavior, and the Administration's view that the Constitution is only a minor obstacle to their shenanigans. Well, since Bush has become so massively unpopular to the American electorate, a parting salvo to all of us -- especially the "Democrat" party -- I see a slew of pardons and clemencies on the near horizon. All members of his administration, both appointed and civil service hires, will be pardoned for any and all acts they have committed or will commit in the future for as long as they live. It will be signed by the President, Vice President, Secretary of State, Chief Justice Roberts & Justice Alito, and ruled OK fine by the Attorney General, and voted Constitutional by Justice Scalia. In this way they can easily negate any Statutes of Limitations and make sure the "Fix is In"!

They will then return to Crawford and LOL as the nation erupts with outrage powerless to prevent it.

The perfect ending to the "No Accountability" administration. I do smell it coming.

Name: Ken
Hometown: Cherry Hill, NJ

In response to Ed from Arlington, I am truly sorry for your loss.

Eric replies: As are we all. May he be among the last to die for this folly.

Name: Brian Donohue

Last month, I argued that Obama left out a key element in the Joe Six Pack existential-crisis remarks that were so blatantly twisted in the media. He got guns and god in there, but forgot Grand Theft Auto. $500M in a week, folks. Call me an elitist, then, but a society in which a computer game featuring exploding cars outsells anything Hollywood can make has got to have some serious growing up to do.

I have to wonder how GTA IV might do in Baghdad ... hell, they're building Disney theme parks there.

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