The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, April 13, 1998, Page 5, Image 5

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    Not jaded yet
Job perks still excite reporter after White House trip
TED TAYLOR is a senior
news-editorial major and
the Daily Nebraskan asso
ciate news editor.
Poor Ken Hambleton.
I’m sure the letter of apology
from the White House is on its way
for making him and his photographer
wait a few extra minutes before get
ting in to see the president.
I was there too, and for a young,
college journalist, the waiting was
half the fim.
In his Saturday column, the
Lincoln Journal Star sportswriter told
of the adventures he, his photograph
er, myself and two Daily Nebraskan
colleagues had in getting access to
the White House for the national
championship ceremony with the
Mr. Hambleton seemed a little
ticked off that (among other things)
we had to wait a few extra minutes
while the Secret Service checked our
credentials - something we thought
had already been taken care of.
But there was a little mix-up so
we had to wait.
A procedure a 50-something
sportswriter would find annoying,
but a 25-year-old newswriter found
LORI ROBISON is a senior
news-editorial major and a
Daily Nebraskan colum
DANGER: Oranges can cause
cancer. No, dear reader, it’s not a mis
Thanks to a study from the
University of Leicester in England,
Vitamin C has been declared a poten
tially dangerous substance.
The study found that ingesting
typical supplementary doses of
Vitamin C (about 500 milligrams)
daily can cause genetic damage,
which could lead to cancer and
rheumatoid arthritis.
Well, thank you very much, doc
tors. Is there nothing left that won’t be
declared potentially harmful?
I mean, there I was sitting in front
of the tube each morning chomping
on my orange slices before swallow
ing my daily vitamins, blissfully
unaware of the serious health risk I
was subjecting my body to.
Isn’t it enough that they ruined
eggs and butter? Why did they have to
pick on defenseless oranges?
But perhaps it’s all for the better.
Perhaps it’s even time for Congress to
step in.
Or maybe we should just sic the
Food and Drug Administration on
those evil orange growers and the
juice and vitamin manufacturers for
leaving us twisting in the wind with
this destructive substance.
Hey, if it was good enough for the
tobacco industry, why shouldn’t it be
good enough for all the distributors of
disease-causing products?
After all, we must work together
to save our children from making the
same mistakes we did!
And if we make it too hard and
too expensive for adults to get a hold
of things that are bad for them, oh
well. In the end, they’ll be better off
And while we’re at it, let’s hit the
alcohol industry. How many deaths
are caused each year by that sub
How many of our innocent young
pretty darn cool.
Cool because the White House
Secret Service was checking my per
sonal history. (Don’t worry Mom,
they let me in.)
Cool because I was a few short
minutes from going to places in the
White House that you just can’t go on
the self-guided tour.
Cool because this was, for me, a
once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
But this was old hat for Mr.
Hambleton. This was, after all, his
second time covering this sort of
Heck, he seemed like part of the
White House press corps the way he
told that Secret Service agent how he
knew which entrance we were sup
posed to go in and all. Pretty impres
sive, Ken.
The tight quarters that is the
White House press briefing room
also wasn’t very impressive to Mr.
The narrow room was tight and
uncomfortable for a 50-something
sportswriter used to the more roomy
confines of football press boxes and
basketball press rooms.
But it was absolutely amazing to a
25-year-old newswriter.
Amazing because while I was sit
ting in the seat reserved for the
Boston Globe’s White House
reporter, I thought about which class
I would normally be sitting in.
Amazing because I knew there
were a whole bunch of people back in
Lincoln who would love to be in the
position I was in.
Amazing because I realized again
that this was a once-in-a-lifetime
But to Mr. Hambleton, the scene
was similar to horse stables, pits at
Eagle Raceway and a teen-ager’s bed
A more accurate and worthy
description is a combination televi
sion production room and newspaper
newsroom filled with producers,
reporters and camera operators wait
ing for news to break.
But I suppose for Ken, you see
one White House press room, you’ve
seen them all.
After a few minutes of contem
plating (and turning down) Daily
Nebraskan photographer Matt
Miller’s idea of going up the podium
to have my picture taken, we were
allowed to go to the East Room where
we would meet back up with the play
ers, coaches and president.
Right about then the heart started
pumping a little quicker and the feel
ing of being in a place you will most
likely never, ever be in again became
even stronger.
s did the feeling that in a few
sh minutes, I would be able to see
the , esident of the United States of
Amei ca.
A feeling, I learned, that was
much different than the feeling of
seeing your favorite athlete or band or
movie star in person. And I knew all
along that I wouldn’t get that close to
the president, but that didn’t really
matter. I got close enough.
(Not as close as DN senior
reporter Brian Carlson, who shook
Clinton’s hand and talked to him
Star struck, Ted?
You bet I was, and I am not
ashamed to admit it. Sseeing the pres
ident was a dream come true.
But, apparently that isn’ t such a
big deal to a grizzled, old Lincoln,
Nebraska, sportswriter.
He complained, “I’m pretty sure I
heard him,” and “I think Clinton’s
hair is kind of gray.”
Then he compared the whole
thing to inviting a group of friends
over and having somebody walk
across the other end of the room with
a Clinton mask on.
Sure, Ken.
I’m not sure where he was stand
ing when he mentioned that the press
was kept behind a rope 4 inches from
the back of the room, but from where
I stood, it was more comparable to
standing in line for a movie and three
people up is the most powerful man in
the world.
More than a couple of times dur
ing our time in the East Room, Daily
Nebraskan senior sports reporter
Shannon Hefflefinger looked back at
me to say exactly what I was thinking:
“This is so cool.”
But I suppose it’s understandable
for an old sportswriter like Mr.
Hambleton, who is used to having
unlimited access to everything, hav
ing a full cold-cut tray waiting for
him at every sporting event and being
a big shot in the world of Nebraska
sports reporting, seeing the president
for the second time isn’t really that
Yes, it poured all day (until we set
foot into the White House) which put
a small damper on the day, but for a
couple of young reporters from the
Daily Nebraskan getting the chance
to get into the White House and see
the president was worth every second
the Secret Service had us wait.
The headline for Hambleton’s col
umn said “Trip to Washington a
memorable one.”
Too bad for him - the grizzled, old
reporter - it was memorable for all
the wrong reasons.
Orange menace
Citrus industry latest to merit government regulation
sters imbibe that product? What about
lawsuits against the industry for alco
hol-related crimes and health prob
What about McDonald’s, Burger
King and all those other uncaring dis
tributors of high-cholesterol foods?
They don’t even require an ID to buy
their product! Unsuspecting children
of all ages can shove all the fat-filled,
greasy burgers they want down their
throats in a single sitting.
And how about the car and com
bustion engine industries? How many
tons of smog have been generated by
those purveyors of respiratory dis
Somebody has to pay for rebuild
ing the ozone and for exposing our
children to increasing amounts of
dangerous ultraviolet waves; why
shouldn’t it be them?
Because if we don’t clamp down
now on this disturbing trend toward
ingesting unhealthy substances in
childhood, we’ll all be doomed!
What’s that, you say? Parental
responsibility? Individual choice?
Oh. Well, I suppose that could
work too. It’s just that Congress and
our lawyers are doing such a great job
bringing those evil tobacco distribu
tors to their knees while collecting
mountains of money at the same time.
It seems like a perfect answer to all
our society s prooiems wnn excess.
Besides, just imagine the amount
of tax dollars alone that would be gen
erated from such a venture. We could
finally build that space station on
And if the attorneys general could
get CEOs from just one industry to
agree to a siphoning of $368 billion,
imagine our collective take-home pay
from the rest of those sellers of death.
It’ll be a relatively simple process.
All we need to do is bring all those
nasty pushers of heart disease, cancer,
and high blood pressure to court.
We’ll hire teams of hungry
lawyers to dig up background infor
mation about how these industries
knew all along their products were
chock full of stuff that was bad for us.
And when we’ve got them sweat
ing in the comer, pouring over strate
gies for marketing their wares over
seas, we’ll whop a big figure on them
and offer to settle out of court.
We’ll use the money (after com
pensating all those hard-working peo
ple who battle this menace, of course)
to pay for all the health-related ill
nesses from greasy pizzas, fast food
and, now, oranges. The revenue from
Los Angeles smog plaintiffs alone
would bring in billions!
Plus, before we let these evil
doers return to their nefarious work,
we’ll make them put out advertise
ments AGAINST buying their prod
Better yet, the resulting black
market trading in the cheaper stuff
will keep law-enforcement officials
and lawyers in business for years, as
well as provide some great political
campaign fodder.
And we’ll all get to feel like part
of the solution by paying more taxes
to stamp out the illegal trading that
suing these people indirectly caused.
It just keeps getting better and bet
But we need to be careful. We
can’t afford to be too greedy.
Just look what happened last week
when Congress upped the demand in
fines from the cigarette manufacturers
to $516 billion over 25 years, instead
of the agreed-upon $368 billion. The
CEOs walked away from the table.
We had them where we wanted
them! Years of government funding
for programs galore, including some
to stem the use of tobacco, financed
by the industry’s own money!
And just like a new poker player
staring at a straight flush, we tipped
our hand and blew it.
The government assures us they’ll
continue to move toward a resolution
(i.e. stick it to ’em) without the tobac
co giants’ cooperation.
After all, budgets have been
drawn up and speeches made about all
the wonderful things that will happen
for each and every one of us when this
money for things that are unhealthy
starts rolling in.
It’s a perfect plan, so long as truly
healthy living doesn’t catch on too
But, hey, even if it does, we can
always bring the industries responsi
ble for that trend to court too!
We’ll introduce new studies about
diseases of excess health food and
clean living and charge them with
corrupting our youth.
It’s worked before.