B2 WEDNESDAY. OCTOBER 23, 1996 THE SALINA JOURNAL George B. Pyle editorial page editor Opinions expressed on this page are those of the identified writers. To join the conversation, write a letter to the Journal at: P.O. Box 740 Salina, KS 67402 Fax: (913) 827-6363 E-mail: SalJournat @ aol.com Quote of the day "We've now caught up and edged ahead, and we feel a little better." Greg Bengtson Chairman of the Salina Area United Way campaign, which nearly has reached the halfway point OPINION By SCOTT SEIRER / The Salina Journal A Miss for Kansas THE ISSUE Who is a real Kansan? THE ARGUMENT Let's appreciate what we have I n Pratt, the homecoming was fit for a queen. There was a parade, of course, and store windows were painted with welcome signs. There were autograph sessions, interviews and a banquet. Oh, and smiles. Smiles everywhere. But, too, there was a dark cloud over the whole affair. In some people's eyes, the suhject of all the attention, Miss Kansas, who now wears the crown of Miss America, is not a tried-and-true Kansan. They're right, as if that matters. Tara Dawn Holland is really from Florida. What brought her to Kansas is a matter of some dispute. Officially, she moved to Overland Park so she could slip across the border and attend the University of Missouri-Kansas City, where she began pursuit of a graduate degree in music education. Some detractors say Holland, three times a loser in the Miss Florida pageant, was hearing a different siren song. They charge that she was shopping for a state where a pretty face might be more conspicuous, thus enhancing her chances of being a beauty pageant winner. Holland had been a Kansan just six months when she won the Miss Flint Hills title in February. That was her stepping stone to the Miss Kansas title, and after she won that crown she moved to Pratt - packing with her dresses by the dozen and an extensive teddy bear collection - to train for the Miss America pageant. While she lifted weights at a local gym and avoided dietary fats, except for a bit of homemade ice cream on the Fourth of July, Holland endeared herself to Pratt's residents. So, at her homecoming last week, Pratt folks were waiting for her with open arms. A carpetbagger? Well, yes. But why does it matter? All this fuss, including a caU by the Hutchinson News that Miss Kansas contestants have at least five years of Kansas living under their belt, is silly. .. Geographic ties are tenuous at best as people move freely to pursue a variety of opportunities, from education and career goals to, yes, even a Miss America title. By first becoming a Kansan, our newest Miss America is deserving of accolades for creativity and cunning. But besides that, make-believe is the essence of the aura surrounding Miss America. Who would believe that the princesses-in-waiting are drawn to the Miss America runway by the hopes of winning a college scholarship? Or the chance to pursue a personal, compelling humanitarian mission? We'd best just play along and welcome Holland as one of our own. Because she'll bring the state a bit of notoriety, the least we can do is hold her in the same esteem we hold other noteworthy pseudo Kansans, including presidential candidate Bob Dole and U.S. Rep. Pat Roberts. LETTERS TO THE JOURNAL P.O. BOX 740, SALINA, KANSAS 67402 Bob Dole never has gone back on his word As a concerned citizen, I want to inform some of your people about Bob Dole. I grew up with him, as a poor boy working with his father in the elevator, where he had to stay, while his mother was out selling sewing machines. As a young boy he worked at Dawson Drug as a soda jerk selling ice cream and pop. Bob is concerned today, as he has always been, about the small babies, old folks and middle class people, and small business. Bob has never gone back on his word or promise. I feel anyone who is unsure of voting for Bob should come visit with us in Russell, Kansas, and see and talk with those of us who know him. I hope and pray that Americans will realize the great loss they will have if they don't vote him in. Clinton's smooth talkers have been and are in the throes of perpetuating lies. It is sad that so many people have been bullied into thinking they really don't know how to think for themselves what is right or wrong. As a leader he should be a good example. I have been active for several years as a Republican campaigner. This year it means even more to me and the people of Russell. He's always been a real caring person, just like his parents and the rest of his family. As this Presidential election draws near, my prayer is that every American citizen will consider carefully the impact of their vote. — ROSA BOXBERGER Russell Divine not influenced by pressure groups I am one of those citizens who has become somewhat disenchanted with politics and politicians. So, it is somewhat surprising for me to be writing a letter in support of a candidate for Congress. John Divine is a personal friend of mine. Through our long association I have come to know this man as approachable, open to new ideas, a great listener and one who is not influenced by pressure- groups or factions. Perhaps John's best quality is his ability to always have a positive outlook. If there are answers to problems, this man will find them. This, coupled with John's strong commitment not to receive contributions from PAC funds, should clearly point to his desire to work with the common' person in reaching appropriate solutions to their problems. Consider the two possibilities — the politician who is clearly guided by his party and the system that contributes to it, or John Divine, the candidate who will listen to problems and speak specifically to issues. — CLAY THOMPSON Salina A«*e vou JUST THERE, B6B? WMV ARGN T tfou TTAE CHARACTER m PASSIVE? T COMMENT The poor, black, young and stupid Tobacco firms have to find 2 million new customers a year; guess where they get them? F or the 11 or 12 airheads who still are not sure that smoking causes lung cancer, we now .have a direct scientific link between a tokic chemical in cigarette smoke and the malignant tumors that have caused such agonizing deaths for so many. None of these airheads hold high-ranking positions with the tobacco companies. More than anyone, the tobacco big- gies know the real deal. Some years ago' a model named David Goerlitz, during a photo shoot for a Winston ad, asked a group of R.J. Reynolds executives if any of them smoked. One of them replied: "Are you kidding? We reserve that right for the poor, the young, the black and the stupid." The tobacco executives are not into suicide. They want to hang around awhile, enjoying their fabulous lifestyles and thinking up devious new ways to promote the destruction of others. Each year the tobacco companies have to replace 2 million American smokers. A million and a half kick the habit annually. Another half-million or so are bulldozed into early graves because they couldn't quit. If the lifestyles of the tobacco bigs are to be preserved, annual replacements for those 2 T SPEAKING ENGLISH BOB HERBERT Ttte NewYorkTimes million Americans must be found. Now where do we think the companies look for those brand new smokers? Hint. Nearly all adult smokers began smoking as children. The average young smoker begins at age 13 and becomes a daily smoker by 14'/a. The tobacco execs know exactly where the replacement-smokers are. They are wherever children gather — in the classrooms and the playgrounds, the candy stores and the toy stores all over America. And just as surely as smoking causes cancer, the tobacco companies are directing an enormous amount of their advertising toward children. They are trying to hook the kids. According to the Campaign for Tobacco- Free Kids, a national effort to stop the marketing and sale of tobacco products to youngsters, 86 percent of all children who smoke prefer Marlboros, Camels or Newports — the 1 three most heavily advertised brands. When •R.J. Reynolds introduced the Joe Camel cartoon character, Camel's market share among underage smokers quickly increased from 3 percent to 13 percent. William Novelli, a former advertising executive who is leading the campaign, said, "For the vast majority of the kids, that Camel was the first cigarette they smoked. They started with Joe." Joe Camel debuted in 1988 and was an instant success. The first couple of years of the Joe Camel advertising campaign were accompanied by the first increase in teen-age smoking in a decade. Last week, during an interview, Novelli handed me a cardboard box full of goodies guaranteed to appeal to children. There were "Camel-Powered" toy cars; a set of "Smokin 1 Joe's" trading cards; cigarette packs containing Joe Camel cartoons and play money that could be redeemed for prizes; goofy T-shirts promoting a variety of tobacco products and brands, and, particularly insidious, a toddler's T-shirt with an auto racing scene that featured a design very similar to the famous Marlboro logo, but without the Marlboro name. There was also a Rolling Stone magazine that contained an elaborate Camel/Ticketmas- ter ad. On the first page of the ad, Joe Camel, in a black leather jacket and shades, and with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth, says, "Wanna see a show?" You turn the page and the ad comes to life. A large foldout of Joe reaches out of the magazine with a replica of two tickets in his hand. The ad offers $25 gift certificates to "just about any Ticketmaster event." (Think rock concerts.) All it takes is some of that play money in the Camel packs. You get one $25 gift certificate for every "100 Camel Cash C-Notes." Each pack of cigarettes that I saw contained one C-note. So you'd have to smoke 100 packs of Camels to get enough C-notes for a gift certificate. Now the back page of this ad says you're not supposed to participate unless you're over 21 Got that? - The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids is try-, ing to combat this sort of thing. It wants the tobacco companies to keep their hands off the kids, and it is moving aggressively in advertising and other forms of media to get that message across. "We'd like to be the Tobacco Institute for the good guys," said Novelli. For every season, spin, spin, spin As we suffer through another political campaign, it's clear we're spinning out of control O ne of the sickest problems with politics isn't located in Dick Morris' boxer shorts. It's located in his head. The adviser to President Clinton, who was caught with his pants down, deals in spin, and spin is why more and more voters are becoming disillusioned with politics. "Spin" is political shop talk for twisting every fact about their candidates so it looks either positive for them or negative for their opponents. Spin Center, or whatever it was called, is a good example of this. Spin Alley, or whatever, wasn't located in a back alley or in the dark corners on the streets of Washington, D.C. It was right out in the open. Reporters, in fact, were encouraged to visit it. Spin City, or whatever, was located off in a corner during the two presidential debates, the last of which was last week. Reporters who should know better flocked to this area of sick political sin after each debate to get the comments of press secretaries, campaign slums and political bums. Spin Whatever was where the lazy labored DAN ENGLAND The Salina Journal to get a quick quote, the weak went to get a bi. ased opinion and the crazy came to get what they actually thought was a thoughtful, well- meaning comment about Bob Dole and President Clinton. A spinster might have presented Watergate in this way: "Nixon really didn't want to break into the Democratic headquarters. But the darn guys forced him to because they're being so secretive about everything. Nixon wants to talk. Nixon wants to get things done. The Democrats won't talk. They always insist on being so private. And Nixon is the one in trouble? Please." Anyway, the problem with spin is it spreading. The press turns to the spin doctors for news, and the doctors lovingly give it to them. Whole entourages of spinsters travel with campaigners, ready to fire off the latest poll, the newest quote or the sharpest smile to anyone who cares to listen. According to an article in Congressional Quarterly, political consulting has ballooned into a billion-dollar-a-year industry that services up to 50,000 national, state and local campaigns annually. Around the country, some 7,000 professional consultants market expertise in campaign management, polling, advertising and direct-mail. We've even seen the spin virus creeping into that last bastion of political purity, our local elections. At least two political consultant centers are in Salina. Now, to be fair, most of the work political consultants do is geared toward making flyers, door hangers, signs and forming a cam- DOONESBURY paign strategy. There's nothing wrong with forming a game plan. Candidates really can't expect to win without one. The problem is the spin doctors who try to distort the candidate's message. Reporters from the Journal have attempted to talk to a candidate, only to be interrupted by someone (who shall remain nameless), who then proceeded to try and explain what the candidate "actually said." Or, in other words, now that I've heard- what my candidate has said, let me distort his meaning so it will come across to make him look good. Puke. People say they don't trust politicians. Look around. You can find a quote to that effect in thousands of election stories. The good news of that is people are beginning to see through the spin. The bad news is it's turning them off. Voting participation is down: National surveys are indicating that only a 52 percent turnout is expected this year. More than 54 percent voted in 1992. Look, we know that we'll never be able to get 100 percent of the truth from politicians. But I think it's time the spin doctors stopping spreading their viruses, No more press secretaries. No more entourages. No more dirt-diggers. Before no one registers to vote unless they renew their driver's license. By the way, I'm sorry I didn't know the exact name of spin city, or whatever it was called. I suppose I should have called some press secretaries to find out. But then again, they would probably tell me the place didn't even exist. By Q.B. TRUDEAU YOUMGAN, YOU TTOTHISCU HDSMOKep MARIJUANA , I'M TKflNGTD IMAGING YOU DEAR GIRL? l\ YOUUXKAPPALLeP, OIPCHUM.,. \ PR&6 FOR.U.
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