Thursday, March 02, 2006

Acting Homeless And No Sweeps Week???

Famous Tabloid Personality Becomes Homeless For a Night

I can't believe they bumped this story from sweeps week in February. Sharon Reed dressed up as a person with many layers of clothing to spend the day "homeless." I know that this stunt was done weeks ago. It is remarkable that they held this story until March. Hey, Sharon, if you are going to try your hand at panhandling use some of your natural gifts--not so many clothes. While the stereotype is that panhandlers are drunks who can barely talk, most panhandlers are business people that use their talents to get as much money as possible. The goal, afterall, is to stand outside in the freezing cold or burning heat for as little time as possible by getting as much money as possible.

So, she did a little panhandling because, as we all know, most homeless women are panhandlers? Then she went to the women's shelters to make fun of those who snore, those who do not like the food, and those who pay no rent. She certainly did a good job criticizing the women who have been in the shelter for 2 years and have had the nerve to complain. She met a suspected racist bully. In case you did not get the message: this woman deserved to be punished with homelessness (wink, wink, nudge, nudge). She kept her self respect for her one night of homelessness and did not complain about the charity that she was receiving. My hero--Sharon Reed. She was floored that people would still be homeless with "all the government programs that [she] had just learned about." Did she cross over into the twilight zone? Because I have worked with homeless people for 12 years and am not aware of any government programs for non-disabled single people. No, Sharon, public, assistance for "lazy people" was squeezed out of the system over a decade ago. I am sure that to Sharon Reed this was like crossing into the twilight zone. It was a disgusting display of shallowness to be sure.

On Friday, I would like to see Ms. Reed dress up in a suit and pretend to be a journalist. She could talk to other journalists in the city about why they continue to work even though most of them don't make much. She could go around and try to get subscribers or advertisers like other journalists? Then sleep in her car to follow up on a lead provided her by a shady guy in dark glasses while criticizing her bosses who do not understand the art of journalism.

The most disgusting part of all this story is that we live in the richest country in the history of the world and she condemns a women who expects more. We see money, waste, materialism every night on television, and this is pounded into us from a young age. Then we show up at the shelter having lost nearly everything and Sharon Reed is angry that we are demanding, "More please." How dare the peasants on the bottom bunk expect better food, better treatment by staff, or government help? How dare the peasants (who are Sharon Reed's viewers) become angry? It seems that maybe the shelter sold the women out by allowing Channel 19's Diva into the facility. Is it possible staff cannot stand to see the women complain and stick around the place for two years? It would be improper for the staff to condemn these women, but they can have a women who spends more on herself on Friday night than most of the women make in a year come in and do it for them. Can't the real journalists in the country patrol themselves and bounce out tabloid stations like Channel 19 and Fox News to restore honor to the profession?


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