Does That Mean Andrei Codrescu Will Finally Cheer the Hell Up?


Some bad news about good news in Romania:

Upbeat news would have to make up half of all newscasts on all of Romania's radio and television stations, under legislation adopted unanimously Wednesday in the senate.

"News programmes on TV and radio shall contain, in the same proportion, news with positive and negative themes," states the legislation, which is going to President Traian Basescu for adoption.

The measure is the idea of two senators—one from the governing National Liberal Party, the other from the far-right Great Romania party—who bemoan the "irreversible effect" of negative news "on the health and life of people".

Its aim, they said, is to "improve the general climate and to offer to the public the chance to have balanced perceptions on daily life, mentally and emotionally".

Insert imagine-this-in-America joke here. I wrote about the Romanian government's perennial (and perennially futile) attempts to control broadcast television three years ago.

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  1. Given that most news is positive to some and negative to others…

  2. Insert imagine-this-in-America joke here.

    Don’t have to. The scary precursor to that is called “equal time”.

  3. “…and on a positive note, an asteroid landed on Washington DC this afternoon.”

  4. So is this story supposed to make me happy or sad?

  5. So it’s illegal to have a broadcast with nothing but good news?

  6. “Insert imagine-this-in-America joke here.”

    Don’t have to. The scary precursor to that is called “fairness doctrine”.

  7. I dated a girl from Romania. She said it was depressing as hell and never wanted to go back.

  8. I’m not sure there is that much good news in Romania.

    Maybe they just keep playing the Chevy Chase “Generalissimo Francesco Franco is still dead” bit.

  9. And Gypsies were once such pioneering libertarians…

  10. “Good news, thanks to this story about fulfilling our quota technically counting as good news, we have fulfilled our quota”

  11. If I were running a Romanian news show, I would now devote half the show to gruesome coverage about war, torture, genocide etc., and the other half to a feel-good piece about saving some little kid’s pet mouse that fell down a well. It might be fun going for the biggest possible contrast. Who knows, I might even run the same feel-good piece every day for a few months.

    I have a sneaky feeling I wouldn’t last long in the job.

  12. TallDave

    I dated a Romanian woman, too, and she said similar things to me.

    Coincidentally, my stepson is going to Romania tomorrow for a mission trip (why Romania needs Christian missions is unclear to me). I told him to avoid the girls.

  13. At least the decision was bipartisan.

  14. In Soviet Romania news cheers up YOU!

  15. Just add a link to this site:

  16. why Romania needs Christian missions is unclear to me

    Why anywhere needs Christian missions is unclear to me.

    I told him to avoid the girls.

    Why? Banging some hot Romanian chick would be the best missionary work he could do there.

  17. Pro Libertate: Did you know that “libertate” means liberty in Romanian? For the longest time I assumed you were Romanian…

    joe: On the tax front, there sure is good news from Romania. Romanians are also generally receptive to libertarian ideas, thanks to centuries of anti-liberal repression at the hands of just about every one of the Steppe’s and Central Europe’s empires. Despite their intense religiosity, years of Ceau?escu’s anti-birth control policies means that the only abortion issue that comes anywhere close to controversial is denying abortions to preteens.

  18. It’s also Latin, though I cater to freedom lovers in all nations, not just the ones who speak Romance languages ?

    Dirty Frank,

    Well, yes, but the idea of adding a grandchild to the four (plus one on the way) children is mildly unsettling.

    As for the Christian thing, my wife wanted him to go to private school, and the Baptist school down the street was the most affordable. I issue regular objections, and I do some deprogramming on occasion. The indoctrination in the science class is fierce, but I’ve gotten him to plant himself in the theistic evolutionist camp, which beats the alternative. The first three kids are from my wife’s previous marriage, so they aren’t as unindoctrinable as I intend to make my daughter and child to be named later. Not that I’m not trying!

  19. This Is Good News for People Who Love Bad News.

  20. And bad news for people who love good news.

  21. This Is Good News for People Who Love Bad News.

    Modest Mouse reference for the win.

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