Most kids don't read the newspaper, and if they do, it's probably
limited to the comics and sports sections. Nothing wrong with that --
it's at least a start. But the recall is proving to be an outstanding
lesson in how to be a discriminating reader and how important it is
to not accept the printed word at face value.
First, let's get my own loyalty straight. I am a registered
independent. I have no allegiance to Democrats, Republicans or any
other political party, only to decent people with integrity. I
believe that character does count. The recent front-page allegations
of Arnold Schwarzenegger's various gropings are cause for concern,
but I am also concerned about the timing and style in which the
message was delivered.
My examination of the story is only a starting point for the
larger picture of the importance of digging for the truth. In my
opinion, four of the six allegations that were printed on Thursday
should never have made it into the story. That is not to say that
they did not happen, but that the supporting evidence too weak to
make this credible news.
When I told my kids yesterday not to believe everything they read,
I was not only talking about the newspaper. Across the country,
textbooks are filled with substantial factual errors. Kids may still
read, for example, that the Earth's moon was formed when an asteroid
hit the planet and the chunks collected in space. Also that the
Pacific Ocean is the hole left by the asteroid.
Do you believe that warm air rises and cool air is sucked in to
replace it? If so, you are wrong. Do you believe that space has zero
gravity? Wrong again. Columbus did not prove the earth is round. And
the Earth does not rotate once every 24 hours (though it's close).
All wrong, yet, you'll still find these "facts" being taught to kids.
In the mix of the latest Arnold controversies is his response, the
exact wording of which has been overlooked by much of the media.
In his response to the groping allegations on Thursday,
Schwarzenegger did not use any euphemisms in his apology. There was
no "I made a mistake" or "I used poor judgment," or any of the other