Tuesday, September 5, 2017

The Space Alien Censors the News

Your Editor walked into the insanely busy office of the Space Alien Gazette and found the Space Alien bent over some drafts of articles wielding a big blue pencil.

"What are you doing?" she asked.

"I'm censoring the Space Alien Gazette" answered the Space Alien, somewhat annoyed at the interruption.

"Censoring?  What do you mean?"

"I'm deleting all references to unhappiness, sadness and any other negative emotions," said the Space Alien.  "I want our loyal readers to keep smiles on their faces, just the way I do, and this will help them do it!"

"I've never heard of such a thing!" cried your editor. "That's so dishonest!"

"Oh no, there's good precedent for this," said the Space Alien.

"Show me!" said your editor.

The Space Alien reached into a file drawer and pulled out a copy of the Washington Post.

"Look at this article!  It says here that the U. S. Environmental Protection Administration has brought in a political aide without much environmental experience to look for all references to climate change in grant applications and eliminate those from consideration!"   (And you, loyal readers may also read this very same article for September 4, 2017).


"It's a very simple word search," continued the Space Alien, reading the following paragraph aloud to your editor:

"In this role, John Konkus reviews every award the agency gives out, along with every grant solicitation before it is issued. According to both career and political employees, Konkus has told staff that he is on the lookout for “the double C-word” — climate change — and repeatedly has instructed grant officers to eliminate references to the subject in solicitations."

"You see how this works," said the Space Alien.  "The EPA denied funds for a bedbug elimination workshop, so no more bedbugs!  I sleep a lot better knowing that!  And now we won't have to worry about climate change either because the EPA will make that go away using a blue pencil just like mine!"

"WAIT!" cried your editor.  "Ignoring a problem doesn't make it go away!"

"It doesn't?"

"Of course not!  We'll still have bedbugs and climate change; we just won't be working to stop their ill effects!  And these problems will get even worse!"

"Oh," said the Space Alien.  "I guess you're right!  Well then,  I guess I'd better put this aside and start working on captions for the photographs in our special supplement on Birds of the World."

Are these the only ones with heads in the sand?
"Good idea," said your editor!

And here's a special bonus for our Loyal Readers:
The Space Alien and Your Editor with their favorite
American Public Health Association T-Shirts!