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What The Media Tell Americans About Free Enterprise

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May 1998



Normally MediaNomics awards kudos to balanced news reporters. But this month kudos goes to the April 26 episode of Fox's animated comedy series King of the Hill, for a satire of liberal public policy not often seen in prime time. Hank Hill, the show's title character, is a manager for a propane sales company. He hires a closet drug addict as a sales associate, and there his nightmare begins. The new associate shows up for work hours late, buys drugs over the phone at the office, and at one point refuses to do any work, instead curling up in the fetal position in a corner. When the associate begins frothing at the mouth in front of a customer, Hank finally fires him.

The associate returns the next day with a social service worker, who tells Hank that the associate is covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and, therefore, cannot be fired. The propane company's other employees learn of this and begin making up disabilities which keep them from doing any work. Hank finally decides to quit, which brings the company below 15 employees, the threshold at which ADA kicks in. The company's owner then fires the drug addict and work returns to normal.

Rich Noyes




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