Probe: Dec. 19, 2001

December 19, 2001

COMMUNITY GOSSIP — Thank you for not indulging in community gossip about people's personal lives. If people want gossip, let them buy magazines at the supermarket check stand.

Even though our morals are in decline (as our ex-president demonstrated), we don't need more of it in our face. So much gossip is not true, but even if it were true, I would not want to read about it the I.V. Press. If people want garbage, let them watch Jerry Springer. — Steady Reader, El Centro

We don't agree "our morals are in decline." Morality is a lot more than sexual behavior. One can be as sexually celibate and still be a moral pig.

We thought the O.J. Simpson case was a major news story and the Clinton scandal was too important to ignore. So was the Gary Condit fling. The trouble was the cable news networks as well as the supermarket tabloids wallowed in all three.


Now we think the electronic tabloids are overplaying the Afghan "war." We yearn to know what else is going on in the world.

To keep us glued to the sets, they have to keep hyping the terror angle. The star of this continuing soap opera is Osama bin Laden.

Will we catch him or will he continue to elude us? Stay tuned.

QUESTION: Fox News Channel writes Usama bin Laden with a U and MSNBC writes Osama with an "O." Which is correct? — Clerk, North County

We don't know but The Associated Press writes it with an O and we follow AP style so we go with an O.

THE PROBE CHALLENGE — PROBE readers were challenged to raise half of the money to replace the $500 lost at Wal-Mart by the Niland woman trying to get off welfare. Did we do it? — Challenged, El Centro

We did but it was a cliff-hanger. By Monday night we were all but conceding defeat but Tuesday the bucks started rolling in, including some $5, $10, $20 bills. We didn't meet the goal until we opened the last, thin envelope and pulled out a single $100 bill.

Even after we took out the $90 designated to help the El Centro family stave off eviction from the Imperial Valley Housing Authority home, we had the $250.

The man who challenged PROBE readers came through with his $250 plus another $100 for "Christmas." Then he wrung another $200 from Imperial Irrigation District directors. He even got a few bucks from the audience. In all, he gave us $570.

He suggested we divert some to the eviction project. We may not need to do that. The Center for Family Solutions may pay the back rent.

Hey, creating Christmas miracles is fun! Thank you, PROBE readers!

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