Give Me A Break! Part II
by Gary Aldrich - Volume 1 Issue 18
Recently I shocked a few of my friends when I stated that men had few rights, and therefore it is ridiculous to apply the notion of "menís or dadís rights" in the Elian Gonzalez case. We already know that Elian has no rights -- in this country, or especially in Cuba. Are fathersí rights also a thing of the past?
Last Sunday was Fatherís Day - and I suspected what would be coming, but I didnít want to add to the depressing negativity by drawing attention to the way our society treats Fatherís Day - as reflected by our print media. So I waited until now to file the results of my investigation, and what I found was, well, downright predictable.
I live in the Washington, DC area, and we take both papers - The Washington Post, and the Washington Times. The Post is decidedly Liberal, and the Times is known as this cityís conservative, "family values" paper of choice.
What did each paper have within the pages and pages of available space to signify the fact that it was dadsí special day? The Postís coverage of our national celebration of fatherhood was a whopping 70.6% negative, as reflected in eight separate articles found in various locations throughout their Sunday Edition.
But the real surprise for me was to open the Washington Times and find, on the front page, a huge "Special Report" on lesbians and their special problems and needs. Hidden below that article, below the fold, was a little tiny, lonely, article about Fatherís Day. What did the writer find so fascinating about the day?
Well, the writer approached the holiday with all the respect of an IRS agent "doing" you in an audit, as he tallied the loot collected by dad, and then weighed it against what we spend on mom. Guess what? You got it right, we spend $28 dollars more on mom. What was the point of this article? Canít dads just have one day? I guess the writers and editors at the Washington Times say "No!"
Both papers had eight articles each related in some way to dad, or his absence. There was an article on single moms, and there were articles on deadbeat dads, and dads that discipline too much, and dads that just "donít understand" or dads who cannot be understood. You get the picture. Lots and lots of information on what real "duds" dads are.
More surprises were in store when I did my unscientific tests on the Washington Times eight pieces. Not one received a 100% positive score for saying nice things about a father by leaving out the usual negatives.
At least the Washington Post had one fully positive article on a dad who was giving everything he had to his sick daughter -- and the Post, the paper family values people love to hate, had this on their front page as the feature! (I could not find one "Lesbian" article anywhere in the Sunday Washington Post - and especially not on the front page.)
My friends at the Washington Times scored a dismal 68.8% negative when the eight articles were reviewed and graded. Go ahead and call in the experts and the pollsters and review them for yourselves! Then I dare you -- no, I double-dare you to refute my findings. Dads are on the ropes!
Once youíve had a chance to look at both of these major papers -- printed in our Nationís Capitol - you will conclude that if fathers are held in high esteem in our society, it sure is a well-kept secret!
And if you canít get any real respect -- even on your "special" day -- then how can anybody claim that you have any real rights? Give me a break!
Elian Gonzalez, pack your bags -- youíre going home to papa!