Archive for March, 2016


For our Christian readers, have a happy and blessed Easter


The Good Ole Days

I have just finished reading That’s The Way It Is, by Charles Ponce de Leon. This is a history of television news, which was more mixed up and unstable than I ever realized. There were all the people I have known, Edward R. Murrow, Eric Sevareid, Walter Cronkite, Jim Lehrer, Robert MacNeil; all off the TV screen now, but still fresh in my mind. There were, of course, many other program commentators, many still alive.

One of the things that amazed me was that from the start in the early 1950’s, the motivation for CBS, NBC and ABC to invest in news programs was money (which says more about me than the TV networks). And of course, Fox and CNN were attracted by the same goal. I had never realized that the frequent changes in program line ups was brought on by constant searching for a program with the people and format that would attract large audiences, and lots of advertisers paying high fees. Once such a combination was found, for example, with Walter Cronkite at CBS News, it lasted only as long as it attracted large audiences. So much for my mistaken belief that the evening news programs were for my enlightenment.

“The goal should not be to tell people what they ought to know. Instead, it should be to give them stories that were ‘pertinent’–that appealed to their interest and satisfied their needs. And, they should be conveyed in ways that ordinary people could understand.” (157)

With the competition from the internet today, TV news programs are in a constant struggle to attract viewers. Even the all news channels are dependent upon some major event (preferably a catastrophe) to beef up their audience.

Now I know that the constant diet on my local news channels of murder, disaster, natural catastrophes and accidents don’t show up on my screen simply because they are ‘out there’. Hmmm?

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Starting the Day


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Once Again!

Well, we return to the election. Or, rather, I have never escaped it. For the Democrats, Mr Sanders was really coming on after the New England elections. Then, after South Carolina he was finished. Mrs Clinton apparently doesn’t appeal to younger voters, so she had to go to South Carolina to mobilize black voters, which she did. So, what happens next with the Democrats?

For the Republicans, shock over having 75 candidates (or was it 22?) seems to have driven them to support one who really doesn’t acknowledge the party, rather just himself. Recently, I have seen him compared to Benito Mussolini. Initially, I thought how wild could you get. However, recently as I have watched and listened to some wild thing he plans to do, he then stands back, shakes his head up and down and purses his lips, I must admit, there is more than a little resemblance to Mussolini doing the same thing, with his hands on his hips, nodding his head and smirking.

So, Senator Sanders plows ahead, Mrs. Clinton tiptoes through the investigation of her correspondence as Secretary of State, and those Republicans who are left, shoot mud at each other (except for one who often gets it on himself).

The above sentences are not easy to write. Our elections for president aren’t supposed to be so sarcastic, and you know that these words are way behind some writers I thought were reasonably neutral. It doesn’t look to get any better.

More later (unfortunately).