Laughing At Us

In the past few weeks, two major (and one majorish) U.S. newspapers have, shall we say, bitten it. And, for a lot of the rest of the industry, it's looking like more of a "when, not if" type situation. I frame the following blotter entry this way because this crime, and its accompanying deception, insult me not just as a law-abiding citizen, but as someone who's seriously beginning to wonder if hotel or restaurant management wouldn't have been a more prudent career path.

A young couple—all glitter makeup and halter-tops, no doubt—approached the counter of a West Knoxville drug store on Thursday, March 19. The female half of the couple began asking the clerk about the store's newspaper selection. Which newspapers do they carry? Are the issues all current, and so on. I can only imagine, if I were this clerk, how refreshing this exchange would have seemed to me. But I'd be a sucker, because this conversation was simply being used to distract the clerk's attention away from the male half of the couple, who was stuffing cartons of cigarettes into his pants. This type of episode is, I believe, indicative of this country's greater problems. America is running amok, committing larcenies and gleefully stuffing things into its collective pants, all the while laughing maniacally as the Fourth Estate burns to the ground.

End tirade.

Kate McClaskey contributed to this report.