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with Leslie Generic, 2/25/00

Leslie: Here now the news, I'm Leslie Generic.
Winter resort owners and those who run businesses that are dependent on snow are suing the Groundhog, "Punxsutawney Phil" for mistakenly predicting six more weeks of winter a scant three weeks ago. The class action suit asks for damages in excess of 600 million dollars for lost income due to unusually mild weather that is inhospitable to winter sports. Punxsuatawney Phil's agent, Marvin Badger, says the Groundhog is not liable.

Badger: It's a prediction, not a guarantee. Phil observes. He advises. He's a GROUNDHOG for Pete's sake. I can tell you Phil is very upset about how things have gone … but he did his job this year exactly the same way he's done it in the past! And I don't get the point of the lawsuit. My client has very little money. I make sure of that.

Leslie: Groundhog representative Marvin Badger. He says Punxsuatawney Phil will vigorously fight the charges, as soon as he is done hibernating.
Voters who cast their ballots for the winning candidates in the past week's primary elections have called on the losing voters to give up and withdraw from politics. Speaking on behalf of a group called "America Loves Winners," voter Jeff Bandwagon says it's time for people to "wake up."

Bandwagon: Let's face it … you put your money on the wrong horse. You didn't have a winning hand. You didn't keep your eye on the ball … you struck out and wound up in the rough … on the wrong side of a tight race. Winners win. Losers … get out of town.

Leslie: Jeff Bandwagon of America Loves Winners. Most voters who cast their ballots for losing candidates in the primaries have refused to drop out, saying they have sufficient funds to stay allive and will vote again in the general election.
Rumors have surfaced that highly detailed three dimensional maps of Earth made by the space shuttle Endeavour are causing controversy inside NASA laboratories. This data specialist asked that her name not be revealed.

Female scientist: The astronauts brought in all this data on hundreds of digital tapes. It's an awesome amount of information. So I said to my male counterparts in the lab, I said, "Hey, let's look at the maps." And they said "We already know where we are. What do we need maps for?"

Leslie: NASA officials dispute the claim. The agency's Director of Denials, Charles Nay, said there is universal enthusiasm for the mapping project.

Nay: The maps are SO good, SO detailed, SO unlike anything we've had before. I happen to know when the first images were posted several of our scientists were jostling for position … trying to see the map and find their houses.

Leslie: Maps from the Endeavour's latest mission will be available to the general public in the year 2003.
Pressure is increasing for federal rules that require doctors and hospitals to report all medical errors, especially those that result in the death of a patient. Opponents of mandatory reporting admit it's difficult to rally support to their cause, but Dr. David Clutz, leader of the opposition, told reporters that admitting medical mistakes won't change anything.

(sfx: press conf, cameras, etc.)

Clutz: We certainly don't try to goof up, but when we do … if you make a big deal out of it, it's just going to shake our confidence. If I rotate the wrong patient's kidneys, or remove someone's heart when I'm supposed to be taking out their gall bladder … I'll be much more likely to respond to a pat on the back and a "better luck next time," than a big fuss over something I can't change.

(reporter hubub)

Reporter: Dr. Clutz … what would you say to the family of a victim of this kind of mistake?

Clutz: I don't like that word "mistake." What it really is … is an "Inadvertent Outcome of Appopriate Treatment."

Reporter: But what would you say?

Clutz: After I say I'm sorry? (pause) Please don't sue me.

Leslie: Dr. David Clutz. He says when a patient dies unexpectedly it should be called an "inadvertent treatment outcome," rather than a "mistake." "Everyone will feel better about it," says Dr. Clutz, "except the grieving relatives, but they feel bad anyway."
The High Quality Network has announced that in the future it will distance itself from all "reality" programs in the wake of a scandal emerging from their one time only broadcast of "Who Cares about Courtship Anyway?"
The program featured a real couple meeting, marrying, becoming estranged and divorcing all within three hours of prime time.
It was revealed this week that the groom on the highly rated show was actually a human manifestation of Satan, Lord of the Underworld, and as such is not permitted to enter into a legal contract in the United States, not even in Nevada. HQN has pledged an investigation into how this blemish in the groom's character evaded their background screening process.
A study released this week reveals that doctors are prescribing anti-depressants for pre-schoolers, and that such uses of the drug have increased rapidly in the past few years.
Kent Judge is a father who defends the practice, saying he's been begging a doctor, (unsuccessfully), to prescribe Prozac for his 11 month old daughter.

Kent: She needs a lift. I can't tell you how many times I go to her crib and there she is … crying. For no apparent reason! So I say … "what's bothering you, honey? Do you want to talk about it?" And you know … she doesn't say a word. We've gotta have some drug to take care of this.

Leslie: Judge says for his daughter's first birthday, he's planning to give her a gift certificate to Starbucks.
And that's the news. I'm Leslie Generic.


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