Blanche Lambert Lincoln: One of their own | Street Jazz

Monday, September 14, 2009

Blanche Lambert Lincoln: One of their own

Posted By on Mon, Sep 14, 2009 at 10:33 AM

Senator Blanche Lambert Lincoln’s office is making hay this morning with the creepily fawning editorial in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, “One of our own: Senator Lincoln takes the chair.” I’m not sure that Lincoln is capable of appreciating the fact that there may be a lot of double meaning in that headline. - http://www.nwanews.com/adg/2009/sep/14/editorials-one-our-own-20090914/

One would think that any Democrat worth their salt would feel their skin crawl when the ADG writes love sonnets to them, but not Miss Blanche  - as her admirers at the ADG occasionally refer  to her. And why should she? Their goals and views on life are practically the same.

Climate change bills? Isn’t this a farming issue? Don’t confuse me with facts, snarls the Senator from Tyson Foods.

Employee Free Choice Act? This may not affect farms, but it does affect so many of her constituents.

Health Care? This certainly affects farm workers.

She’s practically a Democrat-Gazette columnist. And with her shrinking poll numbers, Lincoln is more likely to embrace the dark conservatism in her soul, kowtowing to those who throw money at her campaign coffers, and currying the favor of the likes of the editorial writers from the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

At some point in one’s life, it just has to creep you out that Paul Greenberg is your number one fan.

******

Quote of the Day

First things first, but not necessarily in that order. - The Doctor (Doctor Who)

*****

Bob Losure: Five Seconds to Air

Bob Losure's story of his time spent in broadcast journalism - both radio and television - opens with an exciting sequence during the beginning of 1991’s Persian Gulf War.  Cable News Network (CNN) had worked diligently for some months, using its not inconsiderable clout, to convince Saddam Hussein to allow the installation of a four-wire telephone system in Baghdad’s Al-Rashid Hotel. Because of that effort, CNN was able to broadcast from “behind enemy lines,” and report on what was happening in Iraq when the American air strikes began. In Five Seconds to Air - Broadcast Journalism Behind the Scenes, he tells the fascinating story behind all of that.

CNN was able to leave all other networks in the dust, and claim a place in broadcast history, as three CNN correspondents, in a city subjected to the power of the greatest air power in the world, told the world what they saw and heard. Back home in Atlanta, Headline News (CNN’s sister network) producers and writers broke a long-standing rule and didn’t bother to send their messages across the large newsroom by computer - they literally shouted facts and updates across the room.

Across the globe, eyes were glued to CNN and Headline News for their information.  To a large degree, it has been true ever since.

Anyone wishing to learn about the early days of the world’s first truly global news network will find Losure’s book fascinating. But it isn’t just a history of the public glories and off-camera dramas which propel this book. Rather, it is the story of a hard working, ambitious young man determined to make his mark on the world. The account follows Losure  from his early days at a country western music station, to radio traffic reporting to Tulsa’s KOTV, and finally, Headline News.

Losure recounts tales both tragic and comical, and there is nary a sign of any “aren’t I wonderful” blather so often encountered in other works by journalists.

In addition to his professional life, we become acquainted with his wives and friends over the years. Possibly the most affecting chapter has little to do with the news business, but his battle with testicular cancer in the mid 1980s. He leads the reader though his various surgeries, and chemotherapy regimen, until his victory over the cancer.

It was while he was recuperating that he made the decision to leave Tulsa and head for another arena. Watching television, he couldn’t help but notice that his on-air replacements were doing good work at the station. Sources at the sation told him that they had signed contracts and wouldn’t be moved out of anchoring positions anytime soon. Accordingly, Losure contacted his agent, who began a job search. CNN Headline News had an opening - would he be interested?

The rest, as they say, is history. Five Seconds to Air tells the story of what it was like, creating a network from the ground up. The book relates the days when Ted Turner, CNN’s owner who lived in the on the premises  for a time, wandered the building in the mid-morning hours in his bathrobe.

Losure also gives his views on the state of modern television journalism, with its over-reliance on focus groups and consulting firms. Losure left Headline News in 1997, and now makes his living doing corporate videos and taking on speaking engagements.

He has some criticisms to make of the current direction CNN has found itself in, and his views can make us take just a little closer look at the news business.

rsdrake@cox.net

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