Tuesday, March 21, 2006

The ComPost-Star and Teen Drinking

Our own local editorial wunderkind was a guest on WAMC's Roundtable earlier today. They were talking about issues in the "North Country". Apparently, the "North Country" is now Fort Edward and their terribly important "teen-drinking problem".

The ComPost-Star editor just can't get enough of this issue. He is apparently back on his puritanical teen-drinking tangent ... AGAIN! He spent almost all of his allotted time talking about the Fort Edward kids who .... gasp .... drank alcohol! It was a repeat of all of his previous, simplistic, wrong-headed, obsessive-compulsive, lunatic tangents on this tired subject (except this time everyone listening in the Capitol District heard as he bad-mouthed our close neighbors to the east).

Kids die from drinking and driving. They do. That is a fact. However, that issue is Drinking & DRIVING, isn't it? It is not the same as TEEN ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION. Two totally separate issues. This editor knows that kids in Europe, most of whom have had access to alcohol from a fairly early age and who don't often own or drive cars, seem to avoid killing each other by DRINKING AND DRIVING almost completely. What he consistently fails to mention is that a HUGE majority of those Americans who kill behind the wheel seem to be .... ADULTS! If he really wants to save lives, perhaps he could use his bully pulpit to attack the real problems, ADULT DWI and ALCOHOLISM. Or perhaps he could use his substantial powers to foster a more enlightened attitude about alcohol in this country....!?

The Post-Star has had Teen Drinking as a subject in over 240 printed pieces since 2003. Our own local congressman, John Sweeney, is currently being investigated by the Justice Department for having alleged dealings with convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff. The Post-Star has printed only one story about that. The story simply repeated the allegations that have been made and then allowed a Sweeney staffer to refute any claims of wrongdoing. Is this what currently passes for investigative journalism in our neck of the woods?

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