Monday, October 1, 2007

Cell phones, newspaper spin -- and AARP

Next time you are stuck in traffic, take a look around. The only people who are not on cell phones are older drivers. Buttons are too small, too confusing. Besides, we are dangerous enough without added distractions.

Other than the government, who spends $2.3 trillion yearly on goods and
services? People age 50 and older, that's who.

Myth: when you get old, you're going to grow a hump. Not if you can keep
your bones strong. Spinal humps are caused by vertebrae gone bad,
osteoporosis, brittle bone disease. Eat calcium and walk a lot.

Another reason I'm angry with AARP: more than half the elderly who live in long-term care facilities go through their entire savings and have to go on Medicaid -- welfare. With 38 million members, AARP should have the muscle to fix this injustice. How about it, Big Guy?

Here's the latest spin on falling newspaper circulation: the newspapers are losing subscribers on purpose. Pinch me. Big newspapers have lost about 10 percent of their subs since 2000. Due, in part, to on-line competition and, in part, because of the expense in getting newspapers delivered to the hinterlands. The Dallas Morning News took a 15 percent hit when it stopped distribution outside 200 miles. This year, the newspaper cut the delivery circle to 100 miles and expects another drop. Does anybody care?

Despite its vast media holdings, News Corp. is dwarfed by the enormity of the Internet, says chief Rupert Murdoch. "We don't dominate anywhere," says the media mogul. News Corp. remains "a tiny fraction" of the media universe, with the public well able to find differing opinions elsewhere. (I call BS on this one.)

Example of media migration: 52 percent of adults frequently go to the Web
for health information, according to a Harris poll. That's up from 29 percent in 2001.

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