Laura Ingraham Zings American Cultural Decay

Friday, 08 Jul 2011 02:41 PM

By Henry J. Reske and Ashley Martella

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Cultural decay is eroding America’s greatness, noted radio host Laura Ingraham tells Newsmax.TV as she ticks off a list of the signs of that decadence: airline seats that shrink while Americans get larger, parents saddling their children with ridiculous names, and people who can’t stop twittering long enough to smell the roses.

The Fox News regular and best-selling author devoted her latest book, being published on Tuesday, to the ills besetting the country. She describes “Of Thee I Zing: America's Cultural Decline from Muffin Tops to Body Shots”  as a “kind of a cultural intervention.”

“’Of Thee I Zing’ was written in good humor and hilarity, but the message is serious underneath it,” she said in the exclusive Newsmax interview. “We can fix our economy and defeat every last terrorist on the globe, but we still have to deal with ourselves.”

Story continues below video.



The cultural decline did not happen overnight, she said.

“As a serious observation, it probably did start somewhere in the 1960s, bled into the ’70s, got worse in the ’80s. Then in the ’90s, it became really visual with the Clinton scandal, and then it kind of morphed into the technology boom,” she explained. “And we turn around and we say, ‘Wait a second what happened, what happened to parenting, what happened to education, why can’t we travel in peace in relative comfort without all these visual images assaulting our senses?’ ”

Drawing the former Supreme Court law clerk’s particular ire is Americans’ habit of giving their children ridiculous names that she says can predispose them to a life of crime and incarceration.

“Studies actually show that this is a problem,” she said. “Because we’re not satisfied any longer with names like John and George or James — those are boring, those don’t express our individuality.

“All Newsmax readers know this, that unless you have a name like Blanket or Apple or Jermajesty, you really haven’t made it in the world. You have to be ever innovative in the way you name your children. That means you are a cooler person, and you’re a parent who is really hip to the kids. So we’ve had all manner of odd names, names like Rocket and Ranger, names of appliances are now names of children. That confuses me. I’m old school.”

As to the encroachment of technology into every waking moment, Ingraham admits to being an offender herself.

“They’re another appendage . . . I’m always connected. I got the camera. I got the BlackBerry. I actually own two iPhones — what’s wrong with me?” she said. “I’m part of the cultural technology addiction that makes us feel that we cease to exist if we’re not tweeting, social networking, emailing texting or talking, preferably all at the same time.”

Seguing to parenting, Ingraham said President Barack Obama and Michelle seem “to be good parents, but at the same time they want to have it both ways.” They have made the situation worse with their embrace of such people as pop star Beyoncé and the rapper Common, she said.

“I’m not saying these people are the worst people on the face of the planet — that’s not for me to judge,” she said. “But let’s face it, Beyoncé seems like a nice girl but she also wears things that don’t even in any definition pass as clothes . . . Is that really what we want to hold up to our young girls and women as cultural role models?”

The solution for America’s cultural addictions is one familiar to all those who have ever been in a 12-step program for addiction, she said.

First, we must say, “I’m America and I have a cultural decay problem.”

Editor’s note: To get a copy of Laura Ingraham’s new book, “Of Thee I Zing: America's Cultural Decline from Muffin Tops to Body Shots,” at a good price — Click Here Now.


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