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LIES AND DISTORTIONS: WELL, YOU ALWAYS PRIDED YOURSELF IN BEING ABLE TO FILTER THE WHEAT from the chaff. Would it make a difference if the quotes turned to paste, and the mouthes froze in oratorical mime because there was nothing new or original to say? Don't despair, let us help make sense of the news! Today's Events du jour ...


Wednesday, August 14, 1996


SAN DIEGO -- An Associated Press news release on AOL reported that "the Republican convention took up the subject of family values Wednesday and dropped it in a bit more than a blink ... The social conservative themes that made headlines at the 1992 convention and came back to dominate the platform this time were shoehorned into a fast-paced schedule drawn all week to show the party's breadth more than its activist base."

Baby-faced Ralph Reed of the non-profit, non-political Christian Coalition appeared with other anti-abortion, anti-government-interference opponents in a four-minute series of fetal position video clips. "We're not going to take this lying down!", Reed pitched to his frenzied fringe followpersonship. He got less time than Olympic wrestler Matt Ghaffari, who was on stage for six. But wrestling has always outdrawn skating in live exhibitions, and this time was no exception.

Reed's real evangelical work was done before the convention floor was half filled on opening day, and before televisions crews had assembled to document how the party platform became, by a series of backstage and backwater maneuvers, "cast in stone" as it were. The AP reports that conservatives "earlier pinned moderates to the mat in drawing a party platform that maintains the call for a constitutional abortion ban, urges a tough line on immigration and declares homosexuality incompatible with military service."

Eight years ago, the name of former Vice President Dan Quayle was a household word. Quayle's inane redundancies, oxymorons and stupid blunders made him the political laughingstock of the nation. To remind the 1996 politically-savvy how far we've come, Quayle was practically a welcome relief to battle-hardened campaign veterans, a return to the days when you could misspell "potatoe", so to speak, without inciting a call for your summary execution and for a national law defining a new category of crime.

Quayle, who pushed his "family values" phrase into politics with a widely mocked campaign talk against illegitimacy in 1992, said his ideas are now stock in trade for the professional carnies. "We have nothing better to talk about these days, no cause no more worthwhile", he told a cheering delegation of prison guards from Duluth, "than minding other people's business. What's good for business is everybody's business." The baton-swinging crowd went wild and had to be subdued with fire hoses on loan from Damage Control.

Even while celebrating his disproportionate clout, the Christian Coalition's high Imam, Ralph Reed, wryly observed that convention chiefs have been scripting a somewhat watered-down version of the real thing to the TV viewers.

"In case you haven't heard it in the last two days, the Republican Party is a pro-life party," Reed told several thousand cheering supporters at a halfbaked coalition rally earlier Wednesday. "That means anybody who is against us is against life, and this is the message we are carrying to the people."

In the expected move at power consolidation, Reed declared, "All this Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness crap has gone too far, and we're going to put a stop to it once and for all."

Reed explained, "If people could simply do as they pleased, even if they never harmed anybody else, they wouldn't have to go through us. All this that you see before you, our platform, our campaign contributions, this wonderful assemblage of the purest patriotism this nation has ever countenanced ... would go away. It wouldn't be needed, and your lives, too, would become mockeries in the vile lifestyles of the self-indulgent. This country was founded on Christian Principles, and, god-dammit, we're going to make this country Christian whether it likes it or not!"

In another power consolidation elsewhere in the Golden State, PG&E spokespersons were asking Californians to cut back on electrical consumption to prevent another repeat of the weekend power blackouts. It promises to be a long, hot summer.

Portions of Today's News ... Tomorrow have been intentionally fabricated, distorted, or, alternately, quoted verbatim from commercial news sources. This material is a mixture of satire and truth. Please verify whether you can still tell which is which.This reality check is provided as a public service.


brought to you by Talking Crow Productions. Copyright ©1996 by Alex Forbes



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