Page 17


307 West 5th Street Austin, Texas journalism and Ellen DeGeneres announces that she has a loving relationship with a woman and both become symbols of media bravery. It’s the moral equivalent of downsizing.” Another mainstream columnist who often sides with Solomon and Cohen is Frank Rich, who is so good he seems out of place on The New York Times op-ed page. Provoked by faddish news coverage, he recently complained: “Under the new and terrorizing code of emotional correctness, Americans risk complete banishment from polite society if they do not wholeheartedly join in each national day of mourning or celebration as decreed by the media. We can no longer admit that we did anything other than collapse in paroxysms of grief upon hearing of the death of Princess Diana. Nor can we confess that we slept quite soundly on the night of Mother Teresa’s funeral. And we certainly are not allowed to say a discouraging word about the birth of Iowa’s ‘magnificent seven.'” How many zillions of throbbing words press ask us to swallow on just those three diversionary topics the death of the press agents’ princess, the death of the right-wing nun, and the absurd multiparous delivery? Solomon and Cohen could answer that question if it weren’t for the fact that they went through their Nexis data-base before those deaths and births took place. However, looking through an earlier twelve months of newsprint, they came up with some interesting contrasts: They found that Princess Di was men tioned in just over 5,000 stories \(and this was before of George Seldes, probably this century’s critic, got only twenty-five mentions. The phrase “property rights” appeared in 6,802 stories, while “labor rights” appeared in 440. With the press becoming sappy over technology, the term “Internet” appeared in 169,886 stories. But “safety net” appeared in only 6,761 “even though,” Solomon and Cohen remind us, “1996 turned out to be the year when Washington withdrew the federal safety net for poor children that had been in place for six decades.” Wizards of Media Oz is a terrific buy. You can’t even get two six-packs of a really good beer for the sixteen bucks a pa perback copy costs. And I absolutely guarantee that it will give your brain and conscience a much better buzz. Aside from relieving your heartburn. Robert Sherrill is a former Observer editor and writer who now lives in Tallahassee. CLASSIFIEDS ORGANIZATIONS THE TEXAS OBSERVER is seeking volunteers to help with a variety of tasks. Volunteers need not live in Austin. If you can spare some time, call WORK for single-payer National Health Care. Join GRAY PANTHERS, intergenerational advocates against ageism and for progressive policies promoting social and economic justice. $20 individual, $35 family. 3710 Cedar, REVOLTED BY EXECUTIONS? Join the Amnesty International Campaign Against the Death Penalty. WORK FOR OPEN, responsible government in Texas. Join Common Cause/Texas, 1615 Guadalupe, #204, CENTRAL TEXAS CHAPTER of the ACLU invites you to our noon Forum, the last Friday of every month, at Furr’s Cafeteria Banquet Room in Northcross Mall, Austin. For information call NATIONAL WRITERS UNION. We give working writers a fighting chance. Grievance procedures. Health insurance. Solidarity. Journalists, authors, poets, commercial writers. Forming locals in Austin, Houston, and El Paso. [email protected] PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS. Join the Texas Civil Rights Project, 2212 E. MLK, Austin, TX 78702. $25/year. Volunteers also needed. Contact Jim 474-5073. GREEN DEMOCRATS \(the Environmental Caucus of the Texas Democratic statewide for the ’98 elections. It’s time for Texas environmentalists to create a grassroots political force to help elect earthfriendly politicians like Garry Mauro. For contacts in your part of Texas, call [email protected] . SERVICES MARY NELL MATHIS, CPA, 20 years’ experience in tax, litigation support, and other analyses. 901 Rio Grande, HOUSEBUYERS, The Consumer’s Agent. Specialists in representing central Austin residential buyers. WORLDWISE DESIGN, awardwinning graphic design studio. For creative, effective and professional designs for your educational and promotional materials, call TAOS SKIING AND MORE. Little Tree Bed & Breakfast. Authentic adobe hacienda near the slopes. See home page URL FOR SALE ARE YOU JUST A CRY-BABY? Or do you really want to change the way wealth is owned and distributed? Read SOLUTIONS, a 14-page pocket booklet. $.40 each, min. $1.00. Gordon Monroe, 7030 Roos, Houston, TX 77074. CLASSIFIED RATES: Minimum ten words. One time, 50 cents per word; three times, 45 cents per word; six times, 40 cents per word; 12 times, 35 cents per word; 25 times, 30 cents per word. Telephone and box numbers count as two words, abbreviations and zip codes as one. Payment must accompany order for all classified ads. Deadline is three weeks before cover date. Address orders and inquiries to Advertising Director, The Texas Observer, 307 West 7th, Austin, TX JANUARY 16, 1998 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 21