Thursday, September 27, 2007

Sept. 27: Asterisk in; what about Sarandon and Robbins?

Just a followup to the placing of the Barry Bonds ball with the asterisk into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Hall leaders are being awfully democratic about accepting it - a lot more democratic than they were in 2003 to Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins when they cancelled a forum about the film, "Bull Durham" because of Sarandon and Robbins' opposition to the Iraq war:

Will they now be invited back? This piece also refers to the inconsistency:

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Sept. 26: Sloppy, sloppy, sloppy and an asterisk

*Florida to appeal ruling on Jan. 29 ballot measure
I’m sorry to hear that. However, the AP story says
that Gov. Charlie Crist and House Speaker Marco Rubio
plan to work on revised language during next week’s
special session.
Tell you what, fellas: Save the
money, drop the appeal, and just fix the language. Please.

*Who’s sloppy?
The San Francisco Examiner has a story with Katie
Couric’s comments at the National Press Club yesterday
during a Q and A conducted by reporter-turned-academic
Marvin Kalb. Here’s what she said about Dan Rather:

“There were things in there that were quite egregious
in terms of how it was reported,” she said. “And
sloppy work is sloppy work…They did not dot their I’s
and cross their T’s when it came to that story…And our
job is to get right.”

Yes it is, so we won’t mention the ethical problems
with your commentaries, Katie.

*Mistrial in Spector case
Late this afternoon:,0,7325416.story?coll=la-home-center

About juries in L.A. when it comes to celebrities: To
quote Casey Stengel, the late, great baseball manager:
“Can’t anybody here play this game?”

*Getting away from FCAT dependence
Bravo to the Broward School Board, which is trying to
find a way to get back to basics in the classroom and
not have the curriculum be FCAT-prep heavy:,0,6413660.story

Quality learning should prepare students for any test.
And by the way, the state should still untie the knot
between the test, which was created as an evaluation
tool, and funding for schools.

*Ecko against Bonds


Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Sept. 25: Security Reservations, Wimpy GQ and Taxes

*Oh Mr. Bin Laden, you're ready for boarding
Is TSA kidding about this?

How long would it take a terrorist to get around such a system?

*GQ caves in
A link, via Romenesko, to the Politco piece about
Gentleman’s Quarterly being too much of a gentleman to
the Clintons:

Ugh. I hope someone picks up that article. Shame on GQ
– and on the Clintons.

*Florida Democrats don’t cave in
The St. Pete Times editorial says it best:

Maybe a Florida Democrat should be recruited as the
party’s presidential nominee. They seem to have more
guts than the leading party contenders.

Michael Mayo of the Sun-Sentinel also addresses the

*Property tax ruling fallout
Please, Florida Legislature, just make things easier
for yourself and your state and don’t appeal the
ruling by Leon County Circuit Judge Charles A. Francis that struck the property tax
proposal, as currently worded, from the Jan. 29
ballot. You have a special session coming up. Just fix
the language. If you say you want to save Floridians
money, start with yourselves – and fix the language. No more court cases (at least until after the election).

Monday, September 24, 2007

Sept. 24: Guns, Dan Rather and TV lists

*Rudy sucks up
Heaven help Rudolph Giuliani if he ever has to face
the families of the Miami-Dade and Broward County
police officers who have been killed and wounded in
recent months:

He’s not the only one; Democrats have wimped out on
the issue of gun control ever since they decided to
try to court Southern hunters. Hey, Bill Clinton is a
Southern hunter, too, and he signed the Brady Bill and
the assault weapons ban that was stripped away three
years ago.

*Being rather charged up over Rather
Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post makes some good
points about the lawsuit Dan Rather has filed against

It’s time to see a full public vetting of the process
not just of this story, but that CBS News went
through. The division’s slow decline started in the
mid-1980s, when Lawrence Tisch, who owned the network,
started chopping away at employees. Andrew Heyward,
who headed the news division for almost a decade,
completed the disintegration.
Rather, who is a natural reporter, was never cut out
to be a news anchor, though he had the ambition for
the job. However, CBS blew it in its treatment of him
at the end. I’m not entirely sure that it wasn’t the
plan all along for Les Moonves and company to tell him
so long, one way or another, and the mess over the
Bush/National Guard story gave the needed excuse. is now posting a number of Rather’s reports
online. His next one will be an interview with former
Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. Recent ones
focus on Iraq, voter fraud, Somalia and the safety of
the planned 787 plane:

TV critics can rip him all they want, but he ain’t
chasing Britney and O.J. He’s still doing journalism
that’s truly important.

*Happy 40th to 60
Speaking of important journalism, 60 Minutes, now in
season 40 (wow!) still practices plenty:

I don’t agree that the Greenspan interview was boring;
I think it gave personal insight into a man who has
had a great deal of power over the last two decades,
but who many Americans don’t really know.
Scott Pelley is now the “go-to” interview guy, the
role Mike Wallace had for so many years. (I thought it
would be Bob Simon, but the one-time Middle East
correspondent who was a prisoner during the first Iraq
war seems to be going soft.)

*The goat and Wayne Huizenga
I agree with Sun-Sentinel columnist Michael Mayo:
In fact, any number of South Floridians (including me)
probably wouldn’t mind laying claim to inflicting the
curse after the Marlins breakup.

*Television’s top 100
Let’s start some new arguments, as Time magazine’s
television critic does:,,1651341,00.html

The nice thing is (Take a lesson, American Film
Institute) the public’s comments are put right below
the list. Those comments include virtually all of what
he left out.
Omissions included:
1. Omnibus—1950s program that showed the arts and
predated PBS and its programs (Live From Lincoln
Center, Great Performances, etc.)
2. Perry Mason: Set the standard for every legal show
that followed.
3. Bonanza: Gunsmoke may have lasted longer, but this
one set the standard.
4. Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood: The children’s program
that not only made “Sesame Street” possible, but also
proved nice guys finish first, as Fred Rogers did in
gaining the respect of a nation.
5. The Beverly Hillbillies-Not only side-splittingly
funny, but subversive in poking at the upper classes.
6. Get Smart: Terrific spoof of spy movies and shows.
Created by Mel Brooks and Buck Henry, who would go on
to do some other things……
7. Mission Impossible: Good morning, Mr. Phelps, you
have the Cold War down pat. Much better than those
noisy Tom Cruise films.
8. The Fugitive: The greatest chase in television
9. Hawaii Five-O: Went out – way out – on location and
changed the way police shows looked and sounded. There
would have been no “Miami Vice” without “Hawaii
10. All My Children: General Hospital may have gotten
the headlines in the 1980s, but this drama was the one
that started to break taboos.
11. The Waltons: A quiet family drama that captured
viewers’ hearts.
12. The Rockford Files: Answering machines have never
been so much fun.
13. Maude: I know he left out spinoffs, but this one
(from All in the Family) developed a life of its own.
14. Cagney and Lacey: Took the sharpest look at women
and their ups and downs.
15. Murphy Brown: No show ever did a better job of
poking fun at Washington.
16. Designing Women: Ripped away stereotypes and
tackled AIDS, abuse, obesity, plastic surgery and the
challenges of aging.
17. Frasier: Better than Cheers, with a great deal
more heart and scripts that suggested the best in

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Sept. 4: Make Broward sheriff appointed

Broward County Sheriff Ken Jenne, who is making a plea deal, resigned today. Of
Florida’s 67 counties, Broward is the only one that
still has an elected sheriff. That should change.
Because Broward doesn’t have a strong mayor, some
recent sheriffs have used the post as their own
billboard. In Jenne’s case, his business activities also wrecked
what had been a solid two-decade career in public
Jenne was a Broward County commissioner and a state
senator. After the death of Ron Cochran, Gov. Lawton
Chiles appointed Jenne sheriff in 1998 – a serious
mistake. Jenne had no law enforcement experience.
The elected sheriff is a holdover from the days of
rural communities and hand-shaking politics.
Broward’s gotten too big and too complicated to have a head of
law enforcement who does not have the experience to do
the job properly. Certainly, those with law enforcement experience aren't always immune from criticism; Miami Police Chief John Timoney is currently under fire for accepting a year's worth of free car use from an auto dealer. But most police are less susceptible to politics.
There should be a ballot question allowing the sheriff's post to be appointed, and voters should say yes to such a question.