Sunday, June 28, 2015

Thoughts On a Truly Historic Week Of Events

I have criticized local broadcast stations for not running editorials or commentaries, which I think is part of their obligation to operate in “the public interest.”  These ceased to exist on the death of Ralph Gabbard, President of WKYT-TV some years ago. I have also criticized the network newscasts for letting anchors give their personal opinions without so labeling them. A big difference from the erudite days of Eric Sevareid on CBS. 



Scott Pelley gave his personal opinion last Friday at the end of a momentous week of news. It wasn’t labeled as an opinion, as it should have been, but I can forgive him because of the events he reported..and he captured their spirit well.

Here is what he said:

The first American idea, that "all men are created equal," has never been honored. It was aspiration, more than declaration. And so the struggle for progress has been the inheritance of every American since.
Pressure for equality builds. And once in a great while, like a tectonic fault, there's a sudden lurch forward. That's the quake we felt this week.
Monday, South Carolina moved to strike the Confederate battle flag. Overnight, there was a national rush to obliterate relics of oppression. Shopkeepers and state houses couldn't remove them fast enough -- as if they had been noticed for the first time.
   
Friday, the tremor moved the stone at the court -- shifting the words carved there - nearer to the truth. Millions of Americans, for the first time in our history, achieved their "equal justice under law."
The African-American poet, Langston Hughes, wrote: "Let America be America again...It never was America to me."
The truths, "self-evident" at our founding, are not self-fulfilling. We the people, are founding today the America that was promised.
Well said..and worth remembering as America continues to face the pervasive problems race---and our views of race---create for our democracy.

I'm just sayin'... 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

WHY DIDN’T RAND PAUL KNOW???



Four GOP presidential candidates, including our own Rand Paul, accepted thousands of dollars in donations from a white supremacist group—the Council of Conservative Citizens. This group’s beliefs and reports supposedly triggered he “Manifesto” and possibly the later shootings in Charleston by the alleged shooter Dylann Roof.) Since this information came out all the candidates, including Sen. Paul, have pledged to give those contributions to charity instead.

BUT, why didn’t Paul know the source of his contributions before the tragic events in Charleston??

There’s Google, and Ask Me, and a dozen websites on the internet allowing people to find out just what the bland sounding “Council” really was and its policies. Why weren’t those easy to use reference sources used BEFORE accepting the contributions.

Is it the money?  Is it we don’t care what they believe so long as they listen to us?

These GOP candidates often say they will have a greater concern for taxpayers’ money than the Democrats so “elect us.” Well, such concerns for other peoples’ money starts with concerns over how they handle their own funds---and in this case the results don’t support their claims.

Yes, others are involved here, but Paul is one of us. Kentuckians, and Kentucky reporters, need to ask him why his staff didn’t check on this group before accepting their money. As we know AFTER the fact, such checking wasn’t difficult.

What other less-than-honorable contributions, if any, has he accepted. And will he now do the research he didn’t do before?

Kentuckians need to know.

I'm just sayin'...

Monday, June 15, 2015

I didn’t want to read Monday morning’s Herald-Leader.

I had this childish idea if I didn’t read the paper I wouldn’t find a story I knew was in it, and then the matter it reported on wouldn’t have happened.

And John Carroll would still be alive.

Childish, but that’s just how much I wished John were still here.

One of the finest journalists I’ve known..able, honest, ethical, and a great friend..even when, as a competitor he was beating your brains out..as John’s Herald-Leader did several times to me, when I was running the Channel 27 news department.

In’85 when the paper was reporting on the UK sports scandal (which many die hard fans refused to believe was true,) 27 took its lumps.  We may have been the “official” UK station, but my sports reporters couldn’t seem to get ahead of the paper on this major story (which won them their first ever Pulitzer)..or even stay even.  I finally resorted to having a staffer at the paper about 10:45pm, and when the first edition rolled off the press, buy one, scan it for UK developments, and if any, radio them to our newsroom where we would write them up and air them at 11..with credit to the Herald-Leader.  Best we could do, but it still put us ahead of our tv competitors, thanks to John’s crew.

He won major prizes for the next 2 papers he edited, the Baltimore Sun and the L.A. Times..where, though he won many Pulitzer’s for the Times, his owners told him he had to cut back, especially on the reporting staff that had  won those awards.

John refused. Stood up in the newsroom and told his staff why, and then resigned.  That was John Carroll, a consummate newsman.

He came home to Lexington, spoke about our profession’s problems and became an “elder statesman" we all admired.

Now, with his sad death at an early age, people everywhere in general, and journalists in particular have lost an advocate…and we here in Kentucky have lost a dear friend.




Sunday, June 7, 2015

DEBATES: LET’S DO THIS!!!

Two prominent Republicans have suggested Kentucky needs a debate commission, similar to the national one on Presidential Debates...to propose and supervise similar debates on the governor’s level.

Definitely.

Centre held two national veep debates and they went well, helping all of us sort out the candidates there.  A similar series of debates, one for each congressional district is the proposal, would help a lot. (Maybe local tv would even cover them, though the record of the Lexington media during the debates leading up to the primary is a sorry one.)

I like debates...especially those framed about issues, which is the proposal. KET’s debates have done well to illustrate the issues and the candidates stands.  More should help.


Though this idea comes from the Grand Old Party I hope state Dems will not reject it out of hand. A good idea from anywhere is a good idea and worth adopting.

And state Dems should have little to fear from Matt Bevin in a debate. If ever a candidate spoke “gibberish” it was Bevin in accusing the Dems of doing the same. I urge you to go back and re-read his comments a few days after the election.

Let the debates begin...and if we can’t get them up by this November, surely we can for four years hence.

I'm just sayin...

Let’s do this!

Monday, May 25, 2015

NEWS QUOTES FROM LAST WEEK

1. New U-S Defense Secretary Ash Carter on reports the Iraqi  Army bugged out of Ramadi, as they did Mosul, and later Palmyra:

“They weren’t driven out, they drove out!”

2. U-S network report on Ireland’s national vote on same-sex marriage:”  “In the USA this would be done by 9 votes, in Ireland, it took the whole nation.”

Which is the more democratic way???

I'm just sayin'...

Monday, May 11, 2015

OUR BRITISH COUSINS...



Held an interesting election last week. (One my fave morning Lexington paper ignored…carried NO story on it the next morning at all! Did the following day when we had heard the results. Local broadcast media ignored it also; big mistake too .)

Maybe I’m seeing too much of Wolf Hall but I have a reverence for the Mother Country, even when she screws up. If Henry the 8th hadn’t broken with the Church of Rome, who knows how different our history might have been. (Poor Henry kept blaming Anne and his various wives for not giving him male heirs. Today we know it’s the man who determines a baby’s sex.  A little knowledge can be dangerous.)  BTW, Cromwell lost his head later on, too, just in case you wanted to know…)

Readers of this blog know I am not enamored of election polls.  (The only one that counts is taken after the polls close.) The UK polls, pre-election, all got it very, very wrong. It was another election “too close to all.”  Hoo-HAW! The exit polls (the ones I like the least) got it right—and the Tories (Conservatives) are back in office.

That includes their promise to hold a referendum on Britain’s membership in the European union...a vote that could have major consequences for many nations, including our own.

And those restive Scots (got to luv ‘em, they’re so like our own rebellious colonies of so long ago) may cause the PM many new problems...and probably will.

Unfortunately our news media have cut back on foreign news coverage (see note on Herald-Leader above)...at a time when we need to know much more about possible new enemies and troubles abroad.

May I make a recommendation..watch the BBC World News on KET at 11pm (sometimes delayed due to special programming) It’s the best world news coverage you can see locally, and I strongly recommend it.

I'm just sayin'...

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

NOTES ON THE PRIMARY

1. We have more people registered to vote than ever, and a prediction fewer of them will vote. Something must be done to get more people to the polls. How about penalties for not voting? A fine, taking away your driver’s license (that’ll get the young people out) home incarceration..seriously something MUST be done.

2. with 4 candidates, and a predicted 10% turnout, someone could win the GOP primary with 3% of the vote. Should he become governor (see next) what a truly bad precedent that would be.

3. I said when Conway ran against Rand Paul, the election was his to lose..and he lost it.  I will say again, the governor’s race is his to lose..and we shall see. If state Dems take the position Conway is a shoe in, he isn’t!

4. I thought Comer handled himself well defending himself against the accusations he mistreated his college Girl Friend. He may well get a sympathy vote from those who don’t like this type of politics. He will get nowhere suing the C-J; save your money, Mr. Comer.  The hand of the Crosbies in all this looks very suspicious. Stand by.

5. Will Scott is an enigma to me. Many lawyers strive all their lives to become judges, yet he gave up the high court seat, knowing he was underfunded, probably could not win. Why??? Al Cross implied in a recent column, he was urged into the race by Prince Hal Rogers to drain off E. Kentucky votes from Comer. So Scott then loses twice. What, how does Rogers repay him—if Al is right? Does he clear the way for Scott to run for his seat in Congress? Probably just after Rogers moves to Tennessee, with his Volunteer State wife, and runs for governor down there..which has also been rumored.

Kentucky—where the politics are the damnest!

I'm just sayin'...