I Love Reading the Newspapers
I read a lot of newspapers every day -- or at least I look at a lot of newspapers. It would take all day if you read everything in just one newspaper and we get eight newspapers in my office: the New York Times, the New York Daily News, The New York Post, Newsday, The Washington Post, USA Today, The New York Observer and The Wall Street Journal.
I counted it once and there were about 20,000 words in one of my papers. Say, we read about 100 words a minute -- that means it would take over three hours to read the average newspaper if we read the whole thing.
We all have a thousand little thoughts when we read the paper. That's what takes time -- thinking about what's in the newspaper.
Here's a story that I cut out of the paper a while ago, for example, that says Maryland is going to get tougher on teenage drivers. No politician would get in trouble for saying that. Have you ever read a story that said a politician wanted the police to get softer on teenage drivers?
The story says they'll make it illegal for 16-year olds to drive after 10 p.m., and illegal for 17-year-olds to drive after midnight. That seems dumb to me. A kid who's a bad driver when he's 16 before midnight is still going to be a bad driver before midnight when he's 17... or 27 or 67, for that matter.
This headline says, HEARTLAND SEES BOOM WITH GRAINS IN DEMAND. That sounds like good news. Especially good for farmers in the Midwest who grow wheat and corn. We all like stories about wheat and corn. If I knew where I could buy wheat, I'd buy a pound.
The Washington Post is a good newspaper. I liked this story, so I cut it out last year. The headline reads, TWO SIDES TESTIFY ON SAME-SEX MARRIAGE. I have an opinion on same-sex marriage but I think I'll just keep it to myself.
The Wall Street Journal reported a while ago that the price of platinum went up to more that $2,000 an ounce. FEARS PUSH PLATINUM HIGHER, the headline reads. If I had to pick a story out of the paper that interested me least, that might be it. I hardly ever buy an ounce of platinum, to tell you the truth. I wonder where I'd go to buy a pound? Would they wrap it for me?
Speaking of headlines that mean nothing to me, here's another one from The Wall Street Journal: CORUS AUCTION PROMISES PROPERTY 'MARK'. I never heard of anything named "Corus" and I don't think I've been promised any property. To tell you the truth, I don't know what a property "mark" is. When I get home, I'll look in my house because that's where I usually keep things like that.
The best news I've seen out of Washington is a story saying, OBAMA PUSHES TIMETABLE FOR MIDEAST TALKS. It's hard to push for talks in the Middle East because no one wants to talk peace. They might get together to talk, but you know how that usually turns out.
Every new administration pushes to get the Palestinians and the Israelis to the table to resume the peace process in the Middle East. We can only hope a little pushing helps.
(Write to Andy Rooney at Tribune Media Services, 2225 Kenmore Ave., Suite 114, Buffalo, NY 14207, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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