Pubdate: Fri, 17 Feb 2012
Source: Columbia Daily Tribune (MO)
Copyright: 2012 Columbia Daily Tribune
Note: Prints the street address of LTE writers.
Author: Bill O'Reilly


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
media 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? I can't think of one.

The national media pride themselves on being nonjudgmental 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 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. Hers was another life vanquished by substance abuse.
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