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Guilty Pleasure News

Guilty Pleasure News? Which Stories Do You Secretly Follow?

You know what I'm talking about: the stories you will always, always click on and check out, even though there's a tiny part of you saying "Do you really need to read another Natalee Holloway story? Go learn about the Colombian Trade Agreement!")

Maybe it's "junk food news?" ("Pleasure" is definitely the wrong word, as the stories do usually have a serious component to them. . . ) I'll show you my serving of today's secret news, and you'll see what I mean. I promise, Jim Lehrer will not be talking about these stories tonight. (But! I read all about Kenya this morning! I'm allowed . . . right?)

Here's what I'm secretly following today:

  • The Polygamy Story: Texas authorities just released court documents detailing accusations of a “widespread pattern” of physical and sexual abuse of children by a polygamous sect. Officials are still looking for the 16-year-old who repeatedly called a local family violence shelter asking for help to leave the ranch. She said that she had been taken to the ranch three years before by her parents and that when she was 15 she was forced into a marriage with a man who was then about 49, becoming his seventh wife. While making the whispered call, the girl said that the man had left the ranch for a while to go to “the outsider’s world.”

Awful story, certainly serious, but you're following it, right? Oh, it gets better/worse, just


  • Debra LaFave: You know who she is. The pretty, young teacher who was put on probation for having sex with one of her students? A judge today cut her sentence in half for model behavior. LaFave has been on home confinement instead of serving prison time, and she has been busy — she's been to 99 counseling sessions, paid all of her fines, and completed all of her community service. Her lawyer was pleased by the ruling. Debra gets her ankle bracelet off July 11.

See? I wish I wasn't compelled to know when Debra LaFave gets her ankle bracelet off. But now I do! Am I crazy? Is there room for these stories as part of a balanced news diet? Do you have stories like this you wish you weren't so darned compelled to read? 'Fess up! Please? Or I'll be stuck reading the National Enquirer all alone.


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