Monday, June 27, 2011

What I did on my vacation

Visited two states, Maine & New Hampshire, where I had never been, at the invitation of old friends. In NH, I was able to hook up with Tom Griffith, who worked for me at Channel 27 News 30 years ago, as a good reporter and weekend anchor. Tom is now the prime anchor for WMUR-TV, literally the only TV station in NH.

His station, the local paper, and CNN sponsored the recent GOP presidential candidates debate, and he got me tickets for that event. I've covered 14 national party conventions, but had never sat in on this type of debate, which was just about heaven for a political junkie.

(I don't know who won but I sure can tell you who lost; Tim Pawlenty waffled on his previous charge that Romney's healthcare program was similar to Obama's, and Ron Paul lectured the audience on arcane fiscal policy, becoming the Ross Perot of the 2011 campaign.)

CNN's set was dazzlingly over-the-top, probably costing the annual budget of Tunisia, and Tom tells me will only be used one more time.

Tom's station is magnificent, not just in its physical plant (a converted Service Merchandise and discount shoe store) but in its owners' dedication to local news and public affairs. They run many more such programs than do the Lexington stations, and not just every four years.

This was heady stuff for me, and charged me up to come back and flay a little hide locally. Maybe I will, but in the meantime, I am totally saddened and puzzled by some major mistakes on the part of the national news media broadcast here recently:

CBS misidentified the state senator brother of James "Whitey" Bulger as the suspected Boston hit man; ABC told us twice that fires in Texas had burned over a billion (with a B) acres when it was actually a million acres involved...and one of my fave PBS Shows, History Detectives, twice mispronounced the last name of President FDR. The first syllable rhymes with the flower rose, not with "ruse." So much for their vaunted research staff and journalism fact checking in general.

I'm just sayin'....

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