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 The Daily Show2003-05-14 23:59
by Flemming Funch

I agree with Lisa Rein that The Daily Show with Jon Stewart is the best damn news program on American TV. Mind you, this is a satirical show on the Comedy Channel. That's about the only way you can speak the truth about current events on broadcast TV in the U.S. Embed it in comedy. Well, *some* of the truth at least.

Tonight he interviewed Diane Ravitch, author of "The Language Police: How Pressure Groups Restrict What Students Learn". You see, in the U.S. it is rather tricky to write a text book for school children. Oh, not particularly because what you teach has to be correct. Rather because there's a very long list of things you aren't allowed to say, or you'll be censored, including 150 words you can't use. And, no we're not even talking about sex and traditional "bad" words. Rather words like "busboy" or "landlord", because they're sexist, or words like "imbecile" or "idiot" because they discriminate against dumb people. And stuff along the lines of: You can't include cake in a story, because it isn't nutritious. A story that is set in the mountains discriminates against students from flatlands. You can't write about old people acting like they're old. You can't say anything about people being blind or deaf. You can't mention anybody's race. Sheesh, I don't know what there's left to talk about? Certainly not the real world.

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