Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Say what?

*Saw an elderly tax protester carrying a sign that said, "No to government health care." Medicare, too, big guy?

*Media outlets of all sizes and types aren't able to cover nearly as many events as in the past because money is tight and staff is scarce. Explain that to a guy who wanted to know why the Freeman didn't have a reporter or photographer at Saturday's local tax protest and he wants nothing of it. Media bias, he cries. The managing editor patiently and in detail tries to explain otherwise, citing examples of other stories that have regrettably gone uncovered. (The publisher also writes that the protest wasn't overlooked, given the amount of space the weekend editor devoted to the demonstration in Washington.) Liar, comes the retort. This is where we are in today's world: The extremes on both sides yell loudest, get more attention than they deserve and disproportionately influence public opinion.

*Serena Williams isn't the first tennis player to scream vulgarities at an official. (Remember John McEnroe, whose bad behavior was rewarded by high-profile TV assignments?) Nor will Serena be the last. But she didn't really try to deny saying what we all heard her say, did she?

*Then there's rapper Kanye West, who stole a heartfelt acceptance speech moment from young country singer Taylor Swift on the MTV Music Awards in an unacceptable display of rude behavior that fortunately drew jeers from the audience. Then he goes on Jay Leno's new show and, near tears, apologizes. Pardon me if I'm not moved. After all, West is a repeat offender.

*Speaking of Leno, other than the humor injected by guest Jerry Seinfeld, the now-primetime funnyman stuck with the vanilla, barely-a-chuckle show that amazingly brought him higher late night ratings than David Letterman. If that's for you, enjoy. For me, it's must-not-see-TV.

*Our long, national nightmare is almost over. At least the nightmare of those of us who for decades have been forced to look at the eyesore former Utility Platers building on Washington Avenue in Kingston. The demolition team is at work, already knocking down a less-objectionable former medical building on the corner of Washington and Schwenk Drive. Utility Platers site is next as the way is cleared for a new CVS drugstore. No matter what you think of CVS, there can't be much dispute that it will be a visual improvement.

*I made my first trip to the new Yankee Stadium determined to hate it. Yes, I'm one of those who didn't want to see the old place come down. But, alas, the new stadium is spectacular in nearly every way.
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