(en) Top NEWSPEAK Stories of the Week #76 (fwd)

Lyn and Shawn (linjin@tao.ca)
Tue, 1 Jul 1997 01:15:41 pst

A AA AAAA The A-Infos News Service AA AA AA AA INFOSINFOSINFOS http://www.tao.ca/ainfos/ AAAA AAAA AAAAA AAAAA

------- Forwarded Message Follows ------- Date: Mon, 30 Jun 1997 11:32:16 -0700 (PDT) From: MichaelP <papadop@peak.org> Subject: Top NEWSPEAK Stories of the Week #76 (fwd)

AMERICAN NEWSPEAK is hoarded at http://www.scn.org/news/newspeak/ Celebrating cutting edge advances in the Doublethink of the 90's. Written by Wayne Grytting

Doctors Find Their True Calling

This past year many Doctors have seen their earnings plummet. They've watched HMO's turn them into mere "health care providers" whose services are to be sold at the lowest price possible. Doctors like Glenn Meyers of Florida, who has watched his income drop from $400,000 to a mere $300,000, say HMO's are "imperiling the lifestyle they expected." But fortunately, Dr. Meyers, like many others in the medical community, has found an answer. He turned to Amway! Now when he meets a patient stressed out from financial concerns, he can take them aside and offer a real cure selling everything from soap powders to appliances. Although doctors must be careful not to sell Amway products while practicing medicine (it would be bad taste during an operation), they can drop hints even to colleagues about the need to build a "hedge against managed care," and then suggest a private discussion later. More doctors are heeding the Amway call despite the unfortunate fact, reported by Dr. Don Berkowitz, that "a lot of doctors are scared that it reduces their status." But sometimes you just have to be a nonconformist. (WSJ 6/18)

Rewards for Democratic Participation

Skeptics scoffed this winter when Pres. Clinton's Coffee Gatherings at the White House for large donors were described by defenders as mere exercises in democracy and good citizenship. But now comes evidence that they may have been right. It turns out that of those who attended the historic August 23rd coffee with the President, one out of five has now been offered an ambassadorship. This is obvious evidence of their active civic involvement. Among these are five Texans who contributed $643,000 to the Democrats. But as one of them said to the press anonymously, "Why don't you talk about all the community activities as well that have been done by these 5 donors?" Indeed. New ambassador-to-be Lynden Olson, CEO of Travelers Insurance, described just how ordinary the meeting with the President was. "It was just so normal," he said. "People acting in the political process." Only natural they should be rewarded. (Dallas MN, 6/12)

A Global Shopping Mall Update

While parents report increased problems communicating with their teenagers, the advertising industry is having no such problem. Agencies can look with pride at having accomplished what the Wall Street Journal describes as the biggest development of the 1990's, "the growing similarity of youthful attitudes and spending habits word-wide." Whether it be in Buenes Aires, Bangkok or Budapest, international corporations like Levi's, Nike and Coke are developing brand identification at younger ages. They can now count on teenagers having consumer appetites that "look increasingly like those in, say, California." This achievement of consumer uniformity in turn means ads can be run worldwide instead of having to be tailored to local cultures. Much of the credit goes to rock and roll and MTV which is watched by an estimated 98% of teenagers in nations like Thailand. Joseph Quinlan, economist at Dean Whitter, says we now have "a global MTV generation." But Tom Freston, chair of MTV Networks, notes one crucial difference. Unlike the U.S., in developing countries, "There isn't a lot of angst. It's just unbridled consumerism." Beacons of hope, some would say. (WSJ 6/26)

Lawyers Campaign for Fairness

The recent tobacco settlement left many people worrying whether the lawyers involved would get their fair share. Concerns were heightened when the Wall Street Journal reported that "The lawyers say they have been focusing on the terms of the deal and haven't given their fees much thought." Such selflessness sometimes loses out, but not this time. Attorneys from over 60 firms involved in suits will be collecting up to 25% of what individual states recover from the $358 million settlement. This record bonanza may seem, said a winning Mississippi attorney, "a little obscene," but the major issue on most lawyers minds seemed to be fairness. Attorney Ronald Motley said about receiving a giant fee, "Assuming we are treated fairly, I wouldn't blush a bit." But other experts, like Ralph Knowles, point out a problem all public spirited lawyers will face, warning "Even if the amount of money is a very reasonable amount, to the average person it is going to sound like a fortune." The masses just have trouble comprehending "reasonable" solutions. (WSJ 6/23)

Baseball Cracks Down

Faced with player salaries that have gone out of control, a major league baseball team has finally decided to put on the brakes in what could be a model play for the whole league. The Oakland Athletics have just said "no" to what they felt were outrageous trade demands following a record 538 foot home run by slugger Mark McGuire in Seattle. Following the game, the baseball hit by McGuire was brought to the clubhouse by 13 year old fan Andy Justice who had caught it. He offered to trade it. The A's equipment manager, Steve Vucinich, reported offering the teenager an autographed bat and baseball, but Andy held out for a team jersey. That was too much for the Oakland Athletics. Said the team official, "There is a limit to what you can give up for it." Despite the unfamiliarity of these words for baseball officials used to handing out multi-million dollar player contracts, the Oakland A's representative reportedly pronounced all of them correctly. (Seattle P-I, 6/26)

Newspeak is inflicted weekly. There is also a mailing list you can join by writing wgrytt@blarg.net and telling why you love Amway.

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