Smile Politely

Champaign-Urbana on 60 Minutes

60 Minutes
Sunday, 6 pm (Central), CBS

“The Coming Immigration Crisis”
Time: 9 minutes.
Host: Steve Kroft

One year ago, a woman’s body was discovered near downtown Urbana, tossed lifeless into the Boneyard Creek. Just weeks ago, abducted children from a nearby small town were discovered murdered in an abandoned vehicle. In a long-running scandal that has devastated the school district, a second-grade teacher was revealed to have sexually abused his female students with fruit, while a local priest on the UI campus was convicted of using and distributing cocaine. In February 2008, a former student of the University of Illinois, living in Champaign, went on a shooting rampage, leaving six dead and 18 wounded. More recently, police shootings have resulted in lawsuits and settlements. “I don’t feel safe in this country,” says Juan Valdez, who has lived in Champaign’s Southwood Village for the past three years. “Plus, I can’t afford health care for my family anyway. We’re packing up and heading back to Guanajuato as soon as we can save up some dinero. I just hope we make it past the border.”


“Wal-Mart in Flames”
Time: 10 minutes.
Host: Katie Couric

The bumper sticker on the red pickup truck in the lot read, “Honk if I am paying your mortgage,” with the tri-color Obama symbol replacing the “O” in “honk.” “We’re living in a socialist country now,” the driver, Bob “Red” Grissom, complained. “I’m here buying ammo because they are sold out over at Champaign’s Gun Shop.” His other bumper sticker, The Chief Forever, was proudly displayed. Inside the store, a mother with an embarrassed 12-year-old son in tow, elbowed her way to the front of the checkout line to buy bologna and white bread. “Those people are waiting for the OTHER self-serve checkouts,” she growled. “No, we’re not,” a large woman yelled back at her. “There is only one line.” It’s Good Friday. At Wal-Mart, everybody is angry, hungry, and in a hurry.

“Facebook the Nation”
Time: 2 minutes
Host: Anderson Cooper

What are 25 unique things about you that no one knows? Nothing, that’s what. You think you’re so clever? Meh, I don’t think so. See something you like online? Let out a woot. Everybody else does. In fact, since the explosion of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and iPhone aps, we’re all in the same boat. And it’s the Titanic. Everybody is a comedian. Everybody is a critic. Everybody is a published author. Everybody is a filmmaker. Everybody sees everything everybody else does and knows every move everyone makes. Let’s face the sad truth together. We’re all friends, we’re all the same, and it really stinks.

“Christians Having Sex”
Time: 30 seconds
Host: Bob Simon

Not only is “sex is a God-given gift,” according to more and more evangelical Christian pastors, it is the gift that keeps on giving. Day after day after day after day ad infinitum exhaustion. Rev. Paul Wirth of Relevant Church recently challenged the couples in his congregation to have sex for 30 days in a row. Two newly published books calling for marathon Christian sex – “Just Do It (101 straight days)” and “365 Nights” – made the same claim. But what about the traditional evangelical claim that sex is for procreation, not recreation? According to Levi Johnston, Bristol Palin’s ex-fiance and baby daddy, that idea is just anti-gay propaganda. “Christians have sex for fun all the time,” he told talk show host Tyra Banks. “Believe me, I should know.”

“Stop Pulling My Legacy”
Time: 15 minutes
Host: Morley Safer

John Foreman, publisher of the News-Gazette, has never really gotten over his guilt at gloating over the death of his rival newspaper, The Champaign-Urbana Courier, thirty years ago this year. “(I) never thought it was all that good a paper,” he wrote in his April 5 Sunday editorial. “And not many other people thought so either.” Like Karl Rove and Dick Cheney’s recent attempts to spin their legacies and hide their crimes, Foreman also worries that his own legacy and that of the Gazette might be exposed to the harsh light and banal reality of historical truth, the fact that the majority often is not right.

“Five Minutes with Andy Rooney: The Weather”
Time: 5 minutes
Host: Andy Rooney

“Everybody always talks about the weather,” Andy starts out with tonight’s essay. “Here in Champaign-Urbana, there’s a good reason for that. Because weather is the only thing that ever changes around these parts. And does it ever change!”

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