What news?

THE CENTER OF WORLD CHAOS, FL — At least that’s what it felt like eight years ago, when Palm Beach County, from its retirement communities, to its immigrant citizens, to its Gen-Xers, to its newest generation voters drilled, already, in their last school year on standardized tests, accidentally chose the wrong president of the United States by punching the wrong hole on a piece of cardboard, not punching it hard enough, or neglecting to put on their glasses.

That responsibility, one would think, would rest heavily on all of our shoulders, but perhaps none more so than purveyors of news, who would realize that, perhaps, they had failed to convey vital information  about the ballot, the issues, the stakes.

One hates to pick on them in the wake of their recent losses — here in South Florida three major newspapers have freed more than 300 journalists in the last two years to pursue other dreams that playing a critical role in democracy. But the day after a bit of breaking news that abstinence-only-supporting, family-values-boosting Republican Governor of Alaska and, oh, yes, Vice presidential pick of  the oldest presidential candidate in history — Sarah Palin has a 17-year-old daughter who just proved that abstinence-only education as a replacement for sex education, and family values as a replacement for ethical thinking, don’t work.

She did it by getting pregnant, by accident, by this guy:

Everyone screws up, and everyone worries about their children screwing up, and often, by the nature of chance, and of cracks that things can slip through, those fears are realized. But if your daughter was now in a position of pledging her life, before her god, to that guy, or for that matter this guy:

or the guy who summed up his philosophy thus:

“… I live to play hockey. I like to go camping and hang out with the boys, do some fishing, shoot some shit and just fuckin’ chillin’ I guess … Ya fuck with me I’ll kick [your] ass.” adding, “I don’t want kids.” . . .

For the love of God, wouldn’t you maybe rethink, a little bit, how you had educated that daughter? And wouldn’t you think the abstinence-only thing had blown up in your face?

You would be irresponsible not to.

But the day after the important news that Palin had been confronted with important evidence challenging the policies she espouses but continues to push as a worthy agenda for the American people, you could not find that news on the websites of the two newspapers whose readership is Palm Beach County voters.

They were consumed, perhaps with the latest election day fallout, surrounding missing ballots crucial to a judgeship runoff.

God help us.  Apparently no one else is paying attention.


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