Sarasota News Leader

10/18/2013

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Sarasota News Leader October 18, 2013 OPINION Page 91 SLIGHTLY HACKNEYED ONLY THE WACKY STILL APPROVE OF CONGRESS By Robert Hackney Opinion Editor COMMENTARY My late Uncle Bill (my late father's brother) was truly a newpaperman's newspaperman. After graduating with an AB in Journalism from the University of North Carolina, he held a number of posts in the fourth estate, including sports editor and Sunday editor for the High Point, NC Enterprise. He eventually returned to his hometown and took a position in the family business, but the proverbial printer's ink beneath his fingernails proved too irresistible. He moved his family to Florida and returned to publishing a newspaper … first in Winter Park, and then to Arcadia, where he owned and published The Arcadian. great standard he set for future generations of Hackney journalists — I am titling this occasional column, "Slightly Hackneyed." I hope you enjoy it. And now, without further ado, my first submission: The revelation last week that, according to an Associated Press/GfK poll the approval rating for Congress had plummeted to only 5 percent, really should not have surprised most of us, disgusted as we are by the dysfunction in that body. But to put into perspective just how terrible that low approval rating really is, let us consider how it compares with the percentage of Americans who, by virtue of their beliefs, He had a weekly column called "Slightly might arguably be less than completely in Hackneyed" (cleverly playing on the alterna- control of their mental faculties. tive meaning of that word, which is "to make commonplace by too frequent use"), wherein Earlier this year, Public Policy Polling did a he had all manner of great stories, jokes, gen- comprehensive survey of conspiracy theory eral observations and other bons mots. The beliefs held by certain Americans, including 29th of this month marks the 43rd anniver- the percentages who held what diplomatically sary of his passing, so — to honor him and the would be termed "unconventional" beliefs:

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