What's The Biggest Joke Played On The American Public By Media, Corporations, Government, Etc.?

Published the week of September 13-19, 2000

Tim Scott

"That the people who are now suing the tobacco companies once actually believed that old line that cigarettes weren't harmful or habit-forming, even as they were hacking and lighting up one after the other. That's the joke. On them."

Shanna Barnes
Caseworker, Missouri State Division of Family Services

"I think the joke is that we carry a façade that everything's OK, everything's getting better. If I was somebody in another country looking at the United States, I'd think, 'Wow, I want to live there, too.' But in reality, as I look around, I don't see things getting better for a lot of people. A lot of people are struggling just to meet the average living standard."

Robert Behrman
Church Musician

"The joke? I can't remember exactly how it goes, but the punchline is, 'Whaddya think we are, mo-rons?'"

Jon Serfas

"The biggest joke is that we can continue along the path that believes big business is more important than environment, gun manufacturers are more important than personal safety. The frontier has disappeared, we're no longer cowboys, and competition is not what drives prosperity."

Adele Heagney
Manager, St. Louis Public Library's Barr Branch

"The biggest joke politicians play is telling us they're new and improved when it's all really the same old song and dance."

Charles White
Music Producer

"The whole O.J. thing. Even when the Bill Clinton scandal was going on, O.J. was still the No. 1 talk. The joke is why y'all people hypin' it up, like it's never been done before -- like 'Oh my God, lock your windows, this black guy's killin' white people, and he's famous, too.' People just can't believe that a black person killed two white people -- that's why they wouldn't let it rest. But in reality everybody is killing everybody now."

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