Pubdate: Thu, 16 Feb 2012
Source: Yankton Daily Press & Dakotan (SD)
Copyright: 2012 Yankton Daily Press & Dakotan
Author: Bill O'Reilly, Creators Syndicater
Note: Veteran TV news anchor Bill O'Reilly is host of the Fox News 
show "The O'Reilly Factor" and author of the book "Pinheads and 
Patriots: Where You Stand in the Age of Obama."


The media have no bleepin' clue how to cover the death of Whitney
Houston. That's because she was slowly dying for years and many in the
press simply averted their eyes.

It was ultra-disturbing that a beautiful woman blessed with an
extraordinary singing voice chose a self-destructive path in full view
of the world. I mean, here is a person who signed a $100 million
recording contract, actually sold 170 million albums and commanded
high six figures to deliver a 90-minute concert. Houston was a genuine
international star, and yet she often was seen in public disheveled
and confused, her substance addiction apparent. The media simply did
not know what to say.

We live in a time in which addiction is categorized as a disease, and
to do what Nancy Reagan once did and urge people to reject narcotics
is considered uncool. How many young performers do we see doing public
service announcements warning children to avoid intoxication? Right
now, I can't think of one.

The national media pride themselves on being non-judgmental unless you
are against abortion. Then you are dismissed as "anti-woman" or as a
religious zealot. But in the arena of personal behavior, there's an
excuse for just about every nonviolent activity and bad decision.

There is no question that some of us have a history of addiction in
our families. There are folks who can use drugs casually and avoid
dependence, but they are the exception. Once a person decides to
dabble in cocaine, or opiates such as heroin and OxyContin, they are
putting themselves at grave risk. And they know it. There are legions
of famous people who wound up dead just like Houston. From Elvis
Presley to Michael Jackson, the signposts are impossible to miss. No
matter how rich and powerful you are, drugs can and will destroy you.

The current medical marijuana ruse is a great example of a society
walking away from a responsible position. Ask any drug rehab
counselor, and he or she will tell you that pot often leads a person
to harder drug use and is mentally addictive itself. Yes, most people
can function while stoned. But the more you alter your mind the more
your perspective on life changes. Believe me, I know people who get
stoned or drunk every day. They become incredibly desensitized to
those around them.

On the kid front, the situation is dire. Once a child enters the world
of intoxication, their childhood is gone. Presto, they are jaded.
That's how dangerous drugs and alcohol are to immature minds. Society
has an obligation to protect its children, not to tacitly accept or
embrace mind-altering agents such as marijuana.

Houston, however, was an adult who made a decision to embrace the drug
life. Reports say she tried to rehabilitate herself a few times, but
you know how that goes. Once a person enters the hell of addiction,
there is no easy way out.

And that's how the Whitney Houston story should be covered. As a
cautionary tale. Another life vanquished by substance abuse.
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MAP posted-by: Richard R Smith Jr.