- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 20, 2006

Fresh from a six-city “listening tour,” soon-to-be CBS “Evening News” anchor Katie Couric declared that “the news is just too depressing” and that while “we can’t sugarcoat what’s going on in the world … there are cases where we can be a little more solution-oriented.” In other words, the nightly news just isn’t perky enough. Here are some suggestions on how to up the Perkiness Quotient:

Global warming — Yes, it’s a problem of staggering proportions, but journalists should point out that a) the climate in Greenland is better than ever, and b) we could go a long way toward avoiding a crisis if we all carpooled in Miss Couric’s limousine.

The Middle East — The region is a hornet’s nest of despotism, economic dysfunction, intermittent war and intractable ethnic and religious hatreds. It’s so depressing that Anderson Cooper might literally weep at the Wailing Wall. If that doesn’t inspire long-term peace, then nothing could.

Tooth decay — It causes bad breath and can ruin a smile, but, hey, at least the surgery comes with laughing gas.

High gas prices — They make nearly every consumer good more expensive. They make summer vacation prohibitively pricey for average Americans. And yet, less driving should translate into more walking — and hence widespread weight loss for an obese population.

“The View” — Fallout from Miss Couric’s promotion has included a strife-fraught reshuffling of the lineup of ABC’s midmorning chat show. Rosie O’Donnell will now occupy the slot vacated by Miss Couric’s “Today Show” replacement, Meredith Vieira. Actually, there’s no way to spin that one positively.

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