2009-07-24 / Columnists

The Progressive

By John Paul Culotta

In these difficult economic times, with wars, challenges to social order, and threats to our safety by domestic and foreign terrorists, we need distractions in order to survive. Our mass media keep us entertained with celebrity news, sports, sex scandals, and crime reports.

Often we are not aware of issues of debate in the halls of Congress, City Hall, and the mire of Albany. Our ignorance makes us victims of our political, economic and social elite.

Most Americans, though, are happy not knowing the details of political misfeasance, malfeasance, and dysfunction.

This is a major threat to our democracy. Many Americans do not vote. They feel voting is not important, allowing our legislators to continue their corruption.

When Michael Jackson expired, the frenzy of the public to obtain information via the Internet caused technological problems. More Americans watched the memorial service than the funerals of former presidents.

Our King of Pop's biography was a fascinating and tragic story. For almost a month, the ramifications of his life are discussed over the airwaves, the World Wide Web, and print media. His story fascinates because it is one of family dysfunction, sexual perversion, greed, fiscal ruin, drug abuse, plastic surgery, court trials, and gender and racial confusion. No wonder the media and the public are obsessed.

Now, though, we should all return to the real difficult issues facing the nation and world.

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