(en) Top NEWSPEAK Stories of the Week #87

Lyn Gerry (redlyn@loop.com)
Sun, 26 Oct 1997 16:36:16 +0000

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------- Forwarded Message Follows ------- Date: Sun, 26 Oct 1997 13:33:05 -0800 (PST) From: MichaelP <papadop@peak.org> Subject: Top NEWSPEAK Stories of the Week #87

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

The High Standards Dept.

The state of Tennessee is leading a crackdown on one of America's most pressing problems, unlicensed hair braiders. Across the country, countless thousands of people have been setting up neighborhood businesses braiding hair without first obtaining a cosmetology license. Dianne Watson, a spokeswoman for the Tennessee Board of Cosmetology, says "Our concern is the health and safety of the public. We want people to follow sanitary measures." So to insure cleanliness, Tennessee is insisting all hair braiders get licenses requiring up to 2,100 hours of study, the amount of time they estimate is required, I presume, for a Tennessean to learn how to properly wash his or her hands. Although little of the cosmetology licensing required learning has anything to do with the proper braiding of hair, Julie Becker of the National Cosmetology Association defended it on the grounds that "Licensing is important to keep our industry professional." ( I recommend the use of a Boston accent when delivering that particular sentence). (AP 10/16)

Censorship American Style

Last spring a small furor erupted when it was discovered that Chrysler was demanding pre-notification from magazine editors of controversial articles or even material that could be construed as controversial. Faced with protests from publishers, Chrysler has apparently backed down -- apparently. Chrysler spokesman Michael Aberlich has now announced, "We don't want notifications. We won't read them." Rumor has it that three executives have been hired to "not read" any notifications. Meanwhile, Chrysler will handle the problem of inappropriate magazine content by becoming "a lot more conservative in picking magazines for its ads," says Mr. Aberlich. But what should publishers do when they know they have content that will offend the sensitivities of Chrysler executives? Simple. Spokesman Aberlich says they tell them "You know our guidelines. We're sure you will use good judgment." But at least Chrysler won't be censoring the content. (WSJ 10/15)

Image Cleaning for a Hospital Chain

Columbia/HCA Healthcare, the McDonald's of the health care field, has fallen on hard times since being charged by the government with systematically trying to defraud Medicare. Now they've taken the offensive by appointing their own ethics czar. And who to better inspire confidence than a lawyer from the defense industry. In the 1980s, when the military was under attack for buying $9,000 wrenches, they brought in Alan Yuspeh to get defense contractors to pledge to enforce their codes of ethics. Now Mr. Yuspeh will become senior vice president of ethics, compliance and corporate responsibility for Columbia. Already, Mr. Yuspeh says he sees "parallels" between the problems facing hospitals and the military. Sounds scary. What could it be? Greed? Avarice? No, it turns out the real problems, in his words, are that "Both had situations where individuals may have been confused" by the system. Just a lot of Mr. Magoo's bumping into regulations. How reassurring. (WSJ 10/14)

A Love Boat Robber Baron

The Military Appropriations Bill had a special surprise for billionaire Sam Zell. He and his company, American Classic Voyages, were given a 25 year monopoly on the cruise business in Hawaii. All they must do in return is buy two American built cruise ships for $400 million apiece. Mr. Zell received this minor concession barring rival cruise lines from operating between Hawaiian ports for the life of the new ships, because buying American manufactured goods is considered a risky investment. But do not think this will be a monopoly. Hawaii Senator Daniel Inouye points to the many different forms of tourism in his state as a reason for preferring another term. He says the provision will offer a "preference" and not a monopoly. It's subtle refinements like this that make the English language such a wonderful vehicle of communication. (NYT 10/11)

>From the Good News Dept.

In Vermont, a local travel brochure promises "The Best Hiking in Vermont." But in place of rugged mountain trails, it displays a collection of shopping malls. Yes, it is now official. The Tourism Works for America Council has announced that shopping has become the most popular pastime of vacationers, surpassing outdoor activities and visits to historical landmarks. And absorbing the largest biomass of tourists are America's 11,000 factory outlet stores which draw in millions of foreign visitors to our shores. The Wall Street Journal proudly declares that "Now, shopping is the vacation." This landmark victory of total consumption over leisure is to be officially celebrated each year on May 7th on Tourist Appreciation Day. On this occasion, says the Tourism Council, we can show our appreciation for tourists as "superstars." (WSJ 10/17)

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