Cause and Effect

Hi all,

Friday, my friend John Gibson (search) will be with me in the studio to talk about his upcoming special, "Hollywood vs. America." In investigating the disconnect between mainstream America and Hollywood, one of the things he points to is how the judges for the Golden Globes totally ignored "The Passion of the Christ." Most film critics have left it out of their "Best of 2004" lists. John's done his homework and will be ready for your questions and comments — so e-mail me your thoughts at:

I'm also tracking a lawsuit that claims the violent video game "Grand Theft Auto" (search) led a teenager to shoot two police officers (plus a dispatcher) to death in Alabama. The suit specifically names "Grand Theft Auto III" and "Grand Theft Auto: Vice City" as the games Devin Thompson bought at age 16. Authorities say when they apprehended Devin after the shootings, he told them, "Life is a video game. You've got to die sometime." The lawsuit has been filed by relatives of two of Devin's victims; they are also suing Wal-Mart and Gamestop for selling him the games. What do you think of this?

I'm also working on this trend of Catholic schools closing around the country. In the New York City area alone, 22 of them will be shutting down in June. What do you think is behind this? Is it financial issues at the schools? Is it a changing perception of Catholic schools? Let me know.

Now, feedback on Thursday's show: The segment on "Why Teachers Hate Parents" really struck a nerve — I am trying to go through the pages and pages of your e-mails.

Here a few to ponder:

"I am already steaming with anger. I can give you many examples of power struggles in our household that occurred as our children were growing up because of some of their teachers. [For example, teachers] calling the parent 'The Terminator' for making the child complete his homework..."
Mrs. Darby Burnstein
Portland, OR

"I taught for 16 years; I was a very effective teacher and teaching was a passion to me!... [But] my last four years were in a private school, and some parents were horrendous.. I don't know that I will ever return to the classroom."
Stephanie Golder
Dallas, TX

"I am the mother of a first-grader. I am also a teacher and computer expert... I have offered my time and services to the school on four occasions to help children behind in reading (my specialty) and I've been shut out each time...."
Julie Colombi
Glen Ellyn, IL

"From my experience having five kids... The public school teachers and principals (1) are running their classrooms like boot camp. (2) They are loading up these kids with so much homework; it takes hours to do with our help.... If parents do speak up, their kids are being blackballed." —-John M. Burns

And finally, comments from a principal:

"As a middle school principal in Port Arkansas, TX, I must say that most parents are generally supportive of the schools. Often, though... if parents could only 'live' the challenges we face in public schools, they might have a little more empathy for what we do... While we try to cater to each student as an individual, we operate in the reality of over-stuffed classrooms and unfounded mandates. Parents complains, but they seldom offer solutions to these challenges..."
Travis Longanecker
Brundrett Middle School
Port Arkansas, TX

Sounds to me like we need to do more segments on this topic.

See you on the air tomorrow,


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