We in the media are always being criticized for being too negative.

Tell us that $20 bills are falling out of the sky, and we'll whine about littering.

If you can't think of anything nice to say, come sit next to a reporter.

Anyway, many readers believe there's too much negativity in the news and not enough, uh, positivity. They're positive we're negative.

They're right — it's our fault we haven't been able to put a positive spin on soaring gas prices, rampant street drugs, DUIs, inflation, the national debt, school shootings, global warming, terrorism, the Middle East, obesity, war, famine, natural disasters, drought, pestilence,

and ...

Where was I?

As you can see, things aren't so bad. It's just your point of view.

So today I will attempt to present a more positive spin on the headlines, no matter how difficult it is, to start your summer off right. Just call me Dr. Sunshine from now on.

Negative: HIGH GAS PRICES HAVE AMERICANS REELING.

Positive: HIGH GAS PRICES KEEP SAUDIS' PRIVATE JETS FLYING!!! Let's face it, other than sand and oil, what does the Middle East have going for it? It's not easy making payments on the private 747s and yachts and keeping the fleet of Escalades and Porsches in tip-top shape. It's nice to know that the money you're spending at the pump is helping Arabs support the hundreds of servants they keep in their employ to hand-feed them grapes by the pool.

Negative: FAMILIES STAYING CLOSE TO HOME THIS SUMMER DUE TO GAS PRICES.

Positive: NO TRIP TO DISNEYLAND OR SIX FLAGS THIS YEAR, DAD. Sure, you'll miss the crowds, the heat, the sunburn, the ticket gouging, the meals at Chuck E. Cheese and having Junior knee you in the back for a thousand miles, but difficult times call for personal sacrifice.

Negative: THOUSANDS LOSE JOBS, FACE UNEMPLOYMENT.

Positive: AMERICANS HAVE MORE LEISURE TIME! Thanks to unemployment, thousands can catch up on "I Love Lucy" and "Andy Griffith" reruns and golf at the local muni while hunting for employment on the back nine. They'll soon wonder how they ever had time for a job.

Negative: WAR RAGES ON IN IRAQ.

Positive: GUN AND BULLET SALES NEVER BETTER. Think about it: Where would this business be if calmer heads prevailed and peace broke out?

Negative: AIRFARES SOAR INTO WILD BLUE YONDER AS AIRLINES CUT FLIGHTS.

Positive: CHANCE OF AIRPLANE CRASHING INTO YOUR HOUSE PLUMMETS! Bonus: Now you also don't have to worry about getting the middle seat — or any other seat for that matter — because you can't afford to fly. (Oh, was that too negative?) Look on the bright side: No longer will you be herded cow-like onto the jetway and searched high and low as if you just pulled off the Brinks heist.

Negative: TEEN DIVAS IN REHAB.

Positive: ROADS ARE SAFER; KIDS ALLOWED TO PLAY IN FRONT YARDS AGAIN.

Negative: GLOBAL WARMING MELTS POLAR CAPS.

Positive: SURF'S UP! Think condos on the Antarctic and sunny summer cruises through the North Pole.

Negative: ACRES OF RAIN FOREST DESTROYED.

Positive: FIREWOOD PLENTIFUL IN SOUTH AMERICA.

Negative: COST OF IRAQ WAR NEARLY $550 BILLION! (EDITOR'S NOTE: BY THE TIME YOU READ THIS HEADLINE IT WILL BE $560 BILLION.)

Positive: HALLIBURTON STOCK STILL RISING! Sure, war profiteers are making bundles, but when they're not shoveling money into a vault they have kids to feed like the rest of us.

Negative: REF ACCUSES NBA OF FIXING GAMES

Positive: NEWLY RELEASED 2008-09 NBA SCHEDULE MAY INCLUDE GAME RESULTS!

Negative: BUSH ADMINISTRATION MIRED IN ECONOMIC AND IRAQ WOES FOR SIX YEARS.

Positive: BUSH HAD TWO GOOD YEARS!

Negative: AMERICANS FACE FOOD SHORTAGES.

Positive: FAT AMERICANS MOTIVATED TO DIET.

Negative: AMERICA'S POPULATION AGING.

Positive: IT BEATS DYING!

Negative: CEOs, OIL COMPANIES MAKING RECORD PROFITS.

Positive: Nothing comes to mind. I'll work on it.


E-mail: drob@desnews.com