Newly minted New York governor David Paterson and his wife had extra-marital affairs. Former New Jersey governor Jim McGreevey says he and his wife, Dina Matos McGreevey, engaged in three-way sex with his ex-aide and driver; Mrs. McGreevey says they didn’t. Meanwhile, the McGreeveys’ high-profile, salacious divorce case remains nightly news in the Garden State.
CNN’s “Quick Vote” question today asks: “If a politician is unfaithful in his or her private life, do you think that impacts their ability to be honest in public life?” (At this writing, 54 percent voted yes.)
And it’s ho, ho, ho everywhere as “serious” journalists interview prostitutes, including discussion of their high-tech improvements and former Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss proclaiming, “Dude, these are men.”
Broadcast news programs repeatedly replay video of Sen. Barack Obama’s pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., making incendiary comments about race relations in the United States.
News programs, print, online and cable and network, have made themselves giddy with March Madness, the annual mania that is the NCAA basketball championships. Even presidential candidate John McCain practices bracketology on his Web site.
Meanwhile, 41 million people continue to drink water tainted by pharmaceutical residues.
Says the Associated Press: “As of Monday, March 17, 2008, at least 3,990 members of the U.S. military have died since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003.”
On Sunday, China blocked access to YouTube for its 100 million citizens with Web access so they could not see videos of beatings of Tibetan protesters as, says a New York Times editorial, “the United States removed China from its list of top 10 human rights violators just as the biggest anti-China protests in 20 years erupted in Tibet.”
Inflation at the producer level jumped 0.5 percent in February to 5.4 percent, the biggest increase since October 2006. Oil prices hit a record peak of $111.80 Monday. Wheat prices have climbed nearly 50 percent since August, hitting as much as $16 a bushel as world wheat stocks have fallen by 30 percent and U.S. supplies have dropped to levels not seen since the end of World War II.
About 50 percent of the electricity consumed in the U.S. is produced with coal. The average Arctic sea ice extent has shrunk by an area equivalent to Texas and Alaska combined from 1979. Desertification remains problematic throughout the world.
U.S. airlines pushed through their largest fare hikes in years, as much as $50 on long-haul, return-trip tickets.
Whew. Depressed? Fear not; relief is near.
“UCLA Medical Center is taking steps to fire at least 13 employees and has suspended at least six others for snooping in the confidential medical records of pop star Britney Spears during her recent hospitalization in its psychiatric unit,” reports the Los Angeles Times.
And, it appears, Ms. Spears must pay ex-husband Kevin Federline $375,000 to cover legal fees in their child custody case.
And this: “A judge on Monday extended a temporary restraining order for one month against Sam Lutfi, a friend and former self-styled manager of troubled pop star Britney Spears.”
And finally, Heather Mills received $48.7 million in her divorce from pop star Paul McCartney but a less-than-favorable review as a lawyer from the judge.
There. Feeling better, now that you’ve had your titillation fix? Let our serious journalism make that nasty, inconvenient, serious world go ‘way.
Photo credit: Robert Galbraith, Reuters