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Norman Lear Headshot

Horrified and Angry in Paradise

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I am sitting over coffee, poolside, at our handsome private bungalow -- the pool, a koi pond, and the beach only some feet beyond, on the most beautiful Christmas Day in Hawaii history, reading a story in The International Edition of the New York Times, and I am so upset I could throw up the cheese omelet with spinach, onion, mushroom and bacon chips that came with the coffee!

It wasn't the information re the treatment of middle class homeowners by the bankers and lenders who sucked them into mortgages they couldn't afford by jolly high priced TV ads that convinced them they could trade up, or move into their first home with no deposit and no job?

And it wasn't the Supreme Court that ruled recently that corporations had the right to spend untold sums of money on high-priced TV ad in electoral races across the country that causes voters to vote in favor of corporate interests against their own self-interest.

It wasn't even the outright usury practiced by some of our foremost lending institutions who shove Interest-exploding language only a prize-winning economist would understand into credit cards aimed at the unsuspecting.

No, It was the simple story of a guy named Gabe Okoye and his girlfriend, Brittany Mayti, contestants on the first episode of a new Fox show called Million Dollar Money Drop. Suffice it to say they had won $880,000 and decided to risk $800,000 of it on one more question the producers challenged him with, the answer to which Okoye was certain he knew. But, according to the show and its producers, he was wrong. Devastated, their hearts in their shoes, Okoye and his girlfriend left the studio empty-handed.

But a day later the producers and Fox learned that they had been given "incomplete information" and that Okoye's was the correct answer after all. And so what did they do? They invited Okoye back to the show as a participant.

Isn't this, in a nutshell, a complete and understandable example of how corporate America and the people's Congress, charged with the responsibility of protecting them from the unscrupulous, is instead screwing over the American people?

And what will I do about it? I'll make my chest-beating calls, and blog here and maybe write my Congressperson.

But first I'll go to lunch and eat my panini-wrapped cheese melt with chips.

I am so upset and angry in paradise.

It's another prime example of how we let them get away with it.