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Tuesday, June 28, 2005 - 10:22 a.m.

Don't judge a news show by its name

I grew up along the northern part of what is known as the Jersey Shore.

The real Jersey Shore -- not the town in Pennsylvania with the identity issues.

The panoramic photo at the top of this page shows Sandy Hook, essentially the Garden State's northernmost stretch of sand along the Atlantic. Way down at the other end, 130 miles south, is another tip. At the end of the tail of New Jersey, as it were, sits Cape May, a Victorian vacation town with a long history as a "fashionable resort," as such locations were called in the 19th Century.

Considering Cape May's sunny history -- first becoming popular at a time when bathing suits were made of wool, covered more of the body than underwear would and decorum was such that men and women were often relegated to separate beaches -- it's not surprising that the town passed a law 30-odd years ago banning "men" over the age of 12 from wearing Speedos. Those things just aren't appropriate on a family beach.

But now the current powers-that-be have reversed the stance of their predecessors. The Speedo ban has been lifted.

The best thing to come from this development is Ed Helms' segment on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Even funnier is the story on the segment in the local newspaper. I can understand how some people don't know what The Daily Show is. I love it, but hardly make time to watch it. When producers first set up these interviews, they probably say the name of the show and describe it as a cable news program. I doubt they give up the network right away.

But really, people, turn on your TV before you welcome the camera crew into your home.

That way, you can play along.

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