Favorite

My own hall of fame 

Dear Rich and Famous Persons named Stephens and Hussman and others associated with a foundation named for Don Reynolds, all currently or formerly graced with substantial and valuable holdings in Arkansas newspapers:

Please allow me to begin by quoting myself from my blog -—that’s brummett.nwablogs.com — the other day. Then, I have a proposal.

Here goes, quoting myself, only for the convenience of establishing context:

“Well, it looks like the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame is going to get another hundred grand in taxpayer money from the General Improvement Fund for — well, whatever the heck it wants. This is not a public agency. The appropriation doesn’t even restrict the expenditure to development of the outfit’s museum displays under eternal development in the Alltel Arena, a potentially worthwhile tourism purpose — but one that could be funded by this cultural committee handing out grants from real estate transfer tax proceeds, the ones they don’t want the homeless to get for housing. This bill just hands over a hundred grand to a group that exists mostly to honor aging ex-Razorbacks with an annual cocktail reception. The outfit now has a foundation to raise money privately, but that mustn’t be going too well, thus the taxpayers are forced into the breach. Sen. Mary Anne Salmon of North Little Rock filed the bill, and, just now on the phone, didn’t exactly overwhelm me with reasoning to justify such an appropriation. She got asked to put it in. The museum would be in her town. It’s ‘Arkansas.’ Blah. Blah. Blah.”

With that, gentlemen, here’s my proposal: We need an Arkansas Newspaper Hall of Fame with an accompanying Hall of Fame Museum, ideally housed in the River Market somewhere between the Old State House and the Clinton Presidential Center.

We continue to hear that newspapers are threatened with extinction by this Internet madness. Surely we could and should endeavor, in light of that, to preserve newspapers’ heritage.

Our state happens to be blessed with rich newspaper history. The first newspaper west of the Mississippi River was started here, then, in 1958, copped a Pulitzer Prize for brave reporting and editorializing on the Little Rock integration crisis. Then, in the 1980s, it got embroiled in a great newspaper war and ended up getting killed by one of you, who, frankly, is kind of famous in his own right for being a local guy who won a newspaper war with the corporate giant, Gannett, to which the aforementioned prize-winner paper had been tragically sold.

I envision an inaugural class posthumously installing William Woodruff, Spider Rowland, J. N. Heiskell, Harry Ashmore, Orville Henry, John Robert Starr and myself — well, except that I would still be alive, presumably. I’m hoping to get this thing up and running in three years, at which time I would be 56. I feel pretty good at the moment, knock wood.

I offer to get out of this columnizing business at the appropriate time to serve full-time as executive director and board chairman of the Hall of Fame and curator and board chairman of the accompanying museum. I propose to do so at a salary that will depend on how much I can wrangle out of the Legislature through the General Improvement Fund in 2009.

No, we will not be a state agency or represent any vital purpose for taxpayers, but that doesn’t seem to make a damn. I’ve had two legislators say they’d put in a bill for me, if for no other reason than to get me out of the columnizing business. I’m thinking $200,000 ought to cover my opening salary, benefits and travel, so long as I don’t travel much.

Here’s where you come in: If I can land that two hundred grand from the taxpayers, would each of you commit to endowing these enterprises with whatever sums are necessary to secure suitable office and museum space and underwrite the costs of amassing materials for exhibits, and the erection thereof, and for our annual drunk, by which I mean installation ceremony?

If so, I promise to get y’all enshrined the second year.

Favorite

Sign up for the Daily Update email

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

More by John Brummett

  • Obstruction is the preferred conservatism

    Is there greater conservative virtue in opposing federal health reform, period, or in saying it ought to be implemented locally instead of from Washington in the event we are unavoidably laden with it?
    • Oct 5, 2011
  • A fate not quite as bad as prison for Lu Hardin

    There is no crime in being overly and transparently solicitous for the purposes of aggrandizement and personal political advancement. That's simply acute neediness, a common and benign human frailty.
    • Sep 28, 2011
  • Can we talk? Can we get anywhere?

    Dialogue is good. It would be even better if someone would venture off script every once in a while.
    • Sep 21, 2011
  • More »

More by Max Brantley

  • We have met the enemy: The open line

    The open line with a dose of Trump and other unhappy news.
    • Jul 15, 2018
  • Welcome to the United States, children

    Recommended reading: The New York Times' report on the conditions for the hundreds of children being held in detention since they arrived at U.S. borders seeking asylum. There are many rules and they included no touching of other children, not even a hug for a little brother or sister.
    • Jul 15, 2018
  • Bills arrive for petition campaigns, including term limits

    Filings are expected next week on the campaigns to put a minimum wage increase and casino gambling expansion on the November ballot. One other campaign reported financial information last week
    • Jul 15, 2018
  • More »

Latest in John Brummett

  • Gone to the DoG

    We're now longer carrying John Brummett's column in this space.
    • Oct 12, 2011
  • Obstruction is the preferred conservatism

    Is there greater conservative virtue in opposing federal health reform, period, or in saying it ought to be implemented locally instead of from Washington in the event we are unavoidably laden with it?
    • Oct 5, 2011
  • A fate not quite as bad as prison for Lu Hardin

    There is no crime in being overly and transparently solicitous for the purposes of aggrandizement and personal political advancement. That's simply acute neediness, a common and benign human frailty.
    • Sep 28, 2011
  • More »

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Let's vote

    • And while we're at it lets get a vouchers for private schools initiative on the…

    • on July 14, 2018
  • Re: Punishing the poor

    • Then maybe the congress will give up on the unsustainable socialized medical insurance fiasco that…

    • on July 14, 2018
 

© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation