Thursday, January 22, 2009

Jan. 22: Sniglets About....Well, a Whole Lot Of Things

By Sylvia Gurinsky

A lot to talk about today:

*President Barack Obama is bringing in the first team to deal with Afghanistan (Richard Holbrooke) and the Middle East (George Mitchell). The question is how quickly they can undo eight years of incompetence, dishonesty and threats.

*I can't say I'm surprised that Caroline Kennedy withdrew from consideration for the U.S. Senate seat from New York vacated by Hillary Clinton. I'm only surprised it took this long. The entry of Kennedy, an extremely private person, into this dog-and-pony show only made sense on the basis of her wish to serve after the election of Obama, whom she strongly supported.
She can find a way to provide that service in some fashion, and likely will. Hopefully, that will let the vision of her discomfort in the public eye fade.

*The fact that Nielsen calculated that 38 million viewers watched the inauguration ceremony on Tuesday - 3 million fewer than Ronald Reagan's first swearing-in in 1981 - shows that Nielsen needs to change the way it does its calculations.
People went to public places - such as the Arsht Center and Gusman Concert Hall in Downtown Miami - to watch the inauguration. They also went online. In fact, it's possible more people watched the inauguration online than on television. Back in 1981, TV was the only game in town. That's no longer true.

*The Florida Legislature will not consider a measure this year for a referendum in Broward County to make the election for sheriff nonpartisan. It's just as well. There shouldn't be an elected sheriff, period. Broward is the only county in Florida that still has elections for the post.
These aren't frontier days. Law enforcement needs to be professional to the very top.

*A correction: The WTVJ-Channel 6 reporter whose name I've been chasing the last two weeks is Gary Widom. He's a pretty good reporter, but still bungled the Arab-American reaction in the Israel rally story almost two weeks ago.

*Finally, some applause for Alonzo Mourning, who is retiring after a stellar 16-year career that included Olympic gold, an NBA championship and a life-saving kidney transplant.

Mourning's most important work is helping the underprivileged, which he does with his wife, Tracy. On Tuesday, they went with a group of children from Miami's Overtown neighborhood to the inauguration. He isn't retiring from that. Thank goodness - and thanks, Zo.

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