Tag Archives: CNN

Now that I’m no longer anchoring a newscast, I’d like to recommend those that are worth watching. That is, if you have the time.


Walter_Cronkite_on_television_1976A long time ago Walter Cronkite proposed CBS air an hour-long evening newscast. The most-trusted man in America believed thirty minutes just wasn’t enough time to get it all in.  Americans were getting shortchanged. Walter believed Americans would watch an hour newscast.

The network didn’t listen to Walter. The broadcast networks still air half-hour newscasts and there still isn’t enough time and too much to cover.

But Americans watch hour-long newscasts.

If Walter were alive and still working today, he’d probably be anchoring at CNN, PBS, or perhaps Al Jazeera America.

These newscasts fill sixty minutes, or they’ll go longer if the news merits, and for the most part they stick to the facts and leave the opinions to their interviews.  Occasionally, CNN goes overboard on its advocacy journalism and may slight some stories in favor of the sexy ones. If you like a lot of flashy graphics, orchestration, and in-your-face anchors, you might fall asleep watching the PBS NEWS HOUR. It’s straightforward with the facts, but it can be a bit dry at times with its low-key presentation. And don’t be surprised if PBS airs fewer stories in an hour than what a broadcast network would typically air in a half-hour. But the issues/stories PBS covers are done so thoroughly. (The analysis from experts alone can go for ten minutes or so. That’s an eternity at the networks.)

Al_Jazeera_America_LogoAnd then there’s Al Jazeera America. I know. When you tune in the first time you wait for the anchor to shake his or her fist and shout, “Death to America.” It’s nothing like that.  The anchors include John Seigenthaler, formerly of NBC News, and Ray Suarez from PBS, and from what I’ve seen so far, the newscasts and other programming have been fact-based, in-depth, and have shown no bias or favoritism. And unlike Fox or CNBC, Al Jazeera doesn’t blame one U.S. political party for all what’s wrong in America and the world.

If you haven’t checked out these newscasts, give them a sample, and tell me what you think.

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A summer tradition worth starting


I caught this on CNN’s website and want to pass it along to every guy and girl–preferably in high school, but college works, too.

So there are these five guys, teenagers, who go on a road trip, a weekend at one of the guy’s parent’s mountain cabin. It’s 1982. Hot, not a cloud in the sky, John Cougar singing a little ditty about Jack & Diane drifts across the lake to the boat dock, where the guys decide to pose for a group shot.

Five years later, they returned to the lake, set up the camera on self-timer and pose again.

Now, it’s 15 years later, hair starting to thin and gray, and as they admit, their shirts stay on now, as they mug for the camera.

Now, it’s the summer of 2012, 30 years on, and the guys have returned to the lake for what became a tradition, a picture of five friends who’ve kept in touch after all these years.

I wish I would have thought of this when I was a teenager. I think of friends from high school and college who I have since lost touch, despite youthful promises that we would never.

 The guys at the lake say the scheduled photo shoot probably kept them together. I suspect it also motivated a few diets and sit ups in the weeks before the trip.

 Every teenager should start this tradition, a summer group shot of your group, your gang. And every one of you promises to reunite at the same spot every five years, until there’s no one left to push the button on the timer.

Want to see the 30 years worth of pictures from the lake? Click here.

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Do you comment?


Tina Corliss Dragoo this weekend posted on the KNDU Facebook Wall, “This page is becoming a bunch of hate mongers.”

Tina I think was responding to a comment I didn’t see personally, but I presume a website manager had deleted (KNDU’s Facebook policy is that all comments are pretty much fair game, except profanity. One *!*X and you get the del button).

99.99 percent of FB Fans are good souls with diversified opinions. It’s just some people are a bit raw in their approach, the cantankerous yet lovable uncle of the family, you might say.  But Tina makes a good point. Or maybe it’s an observation. Tina, like the rest of us, sees through a minority of transparent people whose comments reveal a lot more than their words.

And now, I’d like to comment about commenting.

Occasionally, alright, just about everyday, I’ll read a story on KNDU.com and KNDO.com or another news website (CNN.com is my homepage)and I’m tempted to respond in the comment section. Usually I don’t, however.

First, on the KNDU and KNDO websites, it’s not my role to editorialize or grandstand my opinions. Just because I anchor a newscast doesn’t give my half-baked opinions any more weight than your half-baked opinions. If I have factual information that may add some perspective, then I’ll post. Otherwise, I keep a low profile.

Second, as you have probably noticed, some comments come from people with their minds made up, and nothing is going to change that. Not a change of facts or circumstances (President Obama could cure cancer and some people still wouldn’t support him, while others would back him regardless).

And of course, some comments are ugly, vicious indicators of some people’s hate, prejudice and bigotry (Not so much on our FB or website, but some threads on CNN and other global websites can be downright *!*X scary).  And I don’t want to be part of that. So I don’t comment.

And third, Garrison Keillor once offered this philosophy I try, but too often forget to apply in everyday life: “Never pass up an opportunity to keep your mouth shut.”

I have found that bit of quid works best at the dinner table on Thanksgiving. 

Have a good weekend. See you in the morning on Northwest Today.

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