Saturday, August 4, 2018

Journalist Are Unsung Heroes

Journalists in the U.S. these days often get a bad rap, some of it perhaps not undeserved. But worldwide, journalists routinely risk prison, harassment or their very lives in order to speak truth to power and shine the light on corruption and criminality of those indulging in mankind's worst impulses. 

They go to dangerous places and asks dangerous questions about powerful, dangerous people and many pay with their lives, leaving behind families who love them, all for little pay, fame or glory. Would I do the same in their shoes? I can't say with any certainty that I would. Which is why I so greatly admire those who choose to do what's right over their own personal safety and too often pay the ultimate sacrifice to uncover the truth in places where Freedom of Speech and Freedom of the Press can get you killed. 

The truth is more powerful than any government, company or individual and eventually, it will not be suppressed. The folks who bring it to bear are truly some of the world's bravest heroes.…/russian-journalists-killed-while-prob…/

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Surgeon General on Fox News - Americans Are Dying From Starvation?

U.S. Surgeon Gen. Jerome Adams named a "Power Player" on Fox News with Chris Wallace this morning. Here are his views on Climate Change and a direct quote: "We know that the science says that man IS having an impact on the climate but we also know that people are DYING from not having JOBS, not being able to FEED THEIR FAMILIES."

I hope the intent wasn't to try to suggest that the USA (Home of the most powerful economy in the world with 5% of the population consuming 20% of world's resources) is struggling so much to feed its population that we can't do anything about climate change.

Do you know anyone in the USA that is literally starving? If so, please do let me know ASAP as I'd like to help. I don't know much about the Jerome Adams or his political affiliations nor do I care. But I know what I saw and he came across as nervous, ill-prepared, ignorant and not up to the task of being our Surgeon General. I hope he simply misspoke and these are not truly his thoughts.
Kids in Haiti

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Journalism. A Brave Choice? Increasingly So.

The next time you hear someone complaining about "fake news" consider that for every politically motivated, hatchet-job hack there is probably at least one real, dedicated reporter risking their life for truth and justice in countries all over the world, some in theoretical democracies I've visited such as, Mexico (13), Philippines (4), and Honduras (3).
Countries with highest numbers of media killings in 2017:
  • Mexico: 13
  • Afghanistan: 11
  • Iraq: 11
  • Syria: 10
  • India: 6
  • Philippines: 4
  • Pakistan: 4
  • Nigeria: 3
  • Somalia: 3
  • Honduras: 3
I think it's safe to say none of these courageous, departed folks were wealthy either. Follow this LINK to read the story.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Lead Singer of The Smithereens Dies

Lead singer of The Smithereens died this week at age 62. It ain’t easy being a moderately successful musician I guess but these guys impacted a lot of music in the late 80s and early 90s.

Was driving to Destin Fla. once in the mid-90s from Nashville & saw them by chance perform for a small crowd at a spot called Florbama I think it was. Happened to see them on the marquee and I pulled over. I was alone and mourning some failed relationship or something I thought was the end of the world in my tiny little self-absorbed world. Don’t recall but I remember I was in a morose mood.

Then I saw these guys. It was literally me and 50 folks at an outdoor patio kind of thing and we were ALL front row as if they were playing a fraternity party or something & half the folks didn’t even know who they were it seemed.

Yet these NJ boys rocked it like it was an arena concert and this was the most important show of their lives and we all had a ball...Band, fans, and bystanders. I got back in my car and got on with my journey a bit lighter and a tad more joyful. A long ago but cherished memory.

They got it. Details matter. Passion matters. Respect the fans & the audience. Don’t take them for granted and they will be loyal. Always give your best or don’t bother. RIP Pat DiNizio. You did at least one good thing and I suspect many, many more.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Verizon Fios Removes Univision. Univision Hints it's the "R" word?

To my amigos outside of the TV business, this is a standard bearer dispute between two large multi-billion dollar media companies. It is happening more and more because as viewership and ad revenue plummet, broadcasters depend more and more on the "retransmission" revenue stream from cable & satellite companies like Verizon, Direct TV, Spectrum, etc.

Disputes like these happen so often these days, most consumers don't even pay attention until it actually affects them. This is business and it's ugly yes, but it's not racist, it's just a stupid, shortsighted and probably greedy business move.

Univision's old owners and management team, (which is today shedding viewers to Telemundo, the internet, etc,) did more to hurt the "diversity" of voices in the early to mid-2000s by insisting U.S. Latinos only spoke, understood and watched Spanish Language TV despite a plethora of research to the contrary.

This dishonest stance prevented or I should say delayed, Latino talent and TV shows getting on mainstream, "general market" TV by years and did way more damage to "diverse voices" than this little dispute with Verizon, a blip on the radar, will ever do.

Fast forward to today and there are more minority and diverse voices on TV than ever before (not to mention OTT - Over the Top and the internet). There are so many voices on TV, internet, OTT, etc. period, that you can barely hear what anyone is saying unless your initials happen to be DJT and you have your finger on the button, then people do seem to pay attention to your every word.

Imagine playing tennis on an ever-expanding but still crowded tennis court with 1,000 other tennis players. That's the content universe today and sadly not much play is getting elevated.

Networks are DESPERATE for attention because ATTENTION = REVENUE.

All that said, I understand how easy it is to think people are treating others differently solely because of "who" they are.

In this environment of 24/7 racism, sexism, and any other "ism" that gets people wound up on CNN and other channels, these terms have basically become TV genres in and of themselves.

Again, this is mostly a symptom of large media companies worth billions, freaking out because they are losing viewers (and hence revenue) and will do anything to try to shock people into watching, including screaming racism and further slicing and dicing the viewing public in any way they can to garner their dwindling share of that divided market.  It's a race to the bottom with no winners, least of all viewers.

Doesn't mean racism doesn't exist, of course, it does. Doesn't mean it's not terrible, of course, it is.  it just means this particular instance is about one color and one color only - GREEN baby GREEN. So don't get your colors all mixed up. 

Sunday, October 15, 2017

60 Minutes Brave Expose on Big Pharma

QUESTION: Why is TV called a medium?

ANSWER: Because when it's well done, it's rare.

Old joke but very proud of 60 Minutes tonight who went up against a huge ad category (Big Pharma), when they broadcasted an expose on Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn sponsoring and congress passing a bill that helped Pharma Companies avoid DEA enforcement and ensure the flow of opioids continue to feed an increasingly addicted nation (many in her home state of TN) resulting in over 200K deaths.


Money of course. So sad how politicians continue to $ell u$ out at every turn. But very brave of 60 Min. to eschew Pharma ads (I counted $0 this week) in order to expose this travesty. Could not have been an easy choice. We need more journalism like this. Thank goodness (and our founding fathers) for the 1st amendment.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Grey - My Favorite Color

WHY IS GREY MY FAVORITE COLOR? That REALLY strong opinion you espouse... could it be the seeds were planted by a foreign government bent on sowing discord here in the US?

That would mean we're being manipulated to argue and be divided politically, among friends, families, etc. by agents of foreign governments (with sadly, probably some help at home as well). Throw in the small % of people who run corporations that own most of the major national media & technology within the USA and you have a recipe for manipulation not seen since the days that most of the populace was illiterate and uneducated and ruled by Monarchs.

What to do?

Respect others' opinions.

If you consider yourself a "conservative", maybe read a "liberal" newspaper like the NY Times or watch a liberal TV show on MSNBC sometime.

If a "liberal" watch Fox News or read the NY Post and see the other side. If a "moderate" do both WITH AN OPEN MIND.

 STOP being railroaded into thinking a certain way just because you live in a certain geography or were “brought up” a certain way.

There's a reason they say you can't imprison the mind. Borders in the brain are self-imposed.

Think for yourself. Humans are imperfect but from Bangkok to Baghdad to Boston, most are good-hearted folks. Give your fellow human a break. Life is grey, it is not black and white. Which is why, grey is my favorite color.