A White House press conference revisited.

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Sept. 15 2006 6:31 PM

Watch What You Say

A White House press conference revisited.

(Continued from Page 4)

Who's the bigger asshole? The guy who spends a couple of hours and $50 bucks assembling a "go bag" plus maybe a little continuity of life planning that he'll likely never use, or the guy who wanders aimlessly around town after a hurricane with his hungry kids in tow wandering what the hell to do with a stalled car and a visa card no one will take.

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Rejecting the individualistic focus of the articles, ironocracy_now argues that disaster prep should be a collective endeavor:

Rather than posting links to the latest fashion accessories that may save your life assuming you have them with you and functional at the moment danger strikes, how about a frank discussion of the changes in mindset that will truly make us safer? How about a rundown of sustainable practices and methods of preparedness including how long items are useful for, how to accomplish secure storage, etc.?

Rising to the challenge, BenK offers a great suggestion—encouraging widespread EMT training as a basic civic duty.

Several readers raise arguments against preparing at all. Degsme thinks a little sensible paranoia spits on the notion of grace. TJA describes how too much common sense can ruin your chances of getting laid. According to NickD, survival depends more on the sensible use of ordinary resources, like a simple bicycle, than the acquisition of dedicated gear.

Ultimately, TheMaxFischerPlayers points out the best hope for educating the public—disaster prep aerobic videos (video link with sound).

Quit holding out on us. Share your own secret plan for withstanding the apocalypse in the Survivalist Fray. GA6:15pm PDT

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Thursday, Sept. 7, 2006

From the Television desk, Troy Patterson's assessment of Katie Couric's debut as anchor of the CBS Evening Newshour attracted a fraction of the approximately 13.6 million viewers who watched her maiden broadcast on Tuesday night.

Talking as a disappointed Couric fan, Pseudo_l offers harsh words:

It was horrible. Every Networkian tirade you could think of about the death of television would be appropriate… And every one is trying to be genteel about not referring to Katie's appearance--but she looked eerily Stepford wifey--she's been given serious news hair and make up and botoxed to the hilt (I'd even venture for some plastic surgery over the summer). Why can't she have her wrinkles just like the boys?

Stella77 finds Patterson's review offensive on feminist grounds:

Had she been a man, would we really have had to read about "her first night sitting behind (and perching beside, and sitting leggily in front of) the anchor desk..."? Would there be that vague (or perhaps not so vague) pedantic tone when describing the first story of the night as "a report that was both hefty and stylish—a fair bit of context,... the steady insinuation of the glamorous correspondent's sense of peril."

Throughout Mr. Patterson's story, I sensed a level of condescension that I hoped would be absent in this day and age when describing the work (however groundbreaking) of a woman.

I did not watch yesterday's broadcast. I don't understand what the big deal is about her hosting the evening news. What I did see today though is a sad example of the continuing uphill climb women face in the attitudes of some men.

But for Baba, if some fail to take Couric seriously, it's because  she undermines herself by playing up her own girlishness:

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