Daily Archives: May 28, 2012

Photo-op of him wiping tears at war memorial over, Golfer in Chief goes on yet another outing with his boy friends


Shh! No girlz allowed!

And ditches reporters after he completes his round. So far as I can tell, Obama, Mister “Equity for Women at Augusta” has never played golf  (or basketball) with a girl.


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First Obama loses primary to an incarcerated felon, now Princess Liawatha faces a primary challenge from a complete nobody

Harvard mascot

Tales from the tipi: Elizabeth Warren is expected to lose at least 15% of the voters at next month’s Massachusetts Democrat primary to the heretofore unknown Marisa DeFranco , forcing her into a primary in the fall. Oh, what a tangled web we weave, ….


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Remembering Mike Wallace

Despicable Pig, Mike Wallace

A reader mentions Morely Safer in connection with today’s report that an MSNBC talking head dismissed the concept that  US. soldiers killed in battle are “heroes”. Safer, the reader says, once claimed that he’d act to protect US soldiers from a North Vietnamese ambush “because I’m an American first”. I believe the reader has confused Safer with another 60 Minutes correspondent, Mike Wallace (Safer is in fact a Canadian) who answered that question exactly the opposite way: he’d let the soldiers die. Lengthy excerpt below, but it reveals exactly who and what Mike Wallace was.

Then Ogletree turned to the two most famous members of the evening’s panel, better known even than Westmoreland. These were two star TV journalists: Peter Jennings, of World News Tonight and ABC, and Mike Wallace, of 60 Minutes and CBS.

Ogletree brought them into the same hypothetical war. He asked Jennings to imagine that he worked for a network that had been in contact with the enemy North Kosanese government. After much pleading Jennings and his news crew got permission from the North Kosanese to enter their country and film behind the lines. Would Jennings be willing to go? Of course, he replied. Any reporter would—and in real wars reporters from his network often had.

But while Jennings and his crew were traveling with a North Kosanese unit, to visit the site of an alleged atrocity by U.S. and South Kosanese troops, they unexpectedly crossed the trail of a small group of American and South Kosanese soldiers. With Jennings in their midst the Northern soldiers set up an ambush that would let them gun down the Americans and Southerners.

What would Jennings do? Would he tell his cameramen to “Roll tape!” as the North Kosanese opened fire? What would go through his mind as he watched the North Kosanese prepare to fire?

Jennings sat silent for about fifteen seconds. “Well, I guess I wouldn’t,” he finally said. “I am going to tell you now what I am feeling, rather than the hypothesis I drew for myself. If I were with a North Kosanese unit that came upon Americans, I think that I personally would do what I could to warn the Americans.”

Even if it meant losing the story? Ogletree asked.

Even though it would almost certainly mean losing my life, Jennings replied. “But I do not think that I could bring myself to participate in that act. That’s purely personal, and other reporters might have a different reaction.”

Ogletree turned for reaction to Mike Wallace, who immediately replied. “I think some other reporters would have a different reaction,” he said, obviously referring to himself. “They would regard it simply as another story they were there to cover.” A moment later Wallace said, “I am astonished, really.” He turned toward Jennings and began to lecture him: “You’re a reporter. Granted you’re an American” (at least for purposes of the fictional example; Jennings has actually retained Canadian citizenship). “I’m a little bit at a loss to understand why, because you’re an American, you would not have covered that story.”

Ogletree pushed Wallace. Didn’t Jennings have some higher duty to do something other than just roll film as soldiers from his own country were being shot?

“No,” Wallace said flatly and immediately. “You don’t have a higher duty. No. No. You’re a reporter!”

Jennings backtracked fast. Wallace was right, he said: “I chickened out.” Jennings said that he had “played the hypothetical very hard.”He had lost sight of his journalistic duty to remain detached.

As Jennings said he agreed with Wallace, several soldiers in the room seemed to regard the two of them with horror. Retired Air Force General Brent Scowcroft, who would soon become George Bush’s National Security Advisor, said it was simply wrong to stand and watch as your side was slaughtered. “What’s it worth?” he asked Wallace bitterly. “It’s worth thirty seconds on the evening news, as opposed to saving a platoon.”

After a brief discussion between Wallace and Scowcroft, Ogletree reminded Wallace of Scowcroft’s basic question. What was it worth for the reporter to stand by, looking? Shouldn’t the reporter have said something ?

Wallace gave a disarming grin, shrugged his shoulders, and said, “I don’t know.” He later mentioned extreme circumstances in which he thought journalists should intervene. But at that moment he seemed to be mugging to the crowd with a “Don’t ask me!”expression, and in fact he drew a big laugh—the first such moment in the discussion. Jennings, however, was all business, and was still concerned about the first answer he had given.

“I wish I had made another decision,” Jennings said, as if asking permission to live the past five minutes over again. “I would like to have made his decision”—that is, Wallace’s decision to keep on filming.

A few minutes later Ogletree turned to George M. Connell, a Marine colonel in full uniform. Jaw muscles flexing in anger, with stress on each word, Connell said, “I feel utter contempt.”


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Other than Rosanne Barr, who watches MSNBC?

VFW slams MSNBC host who claims he’s uncomfortable” calling dead soldiers “heroes”.

“I don’t want to obviously desecrate or disrespect memory of anyone that’s fallen, he said, “and obviously there are individual circumstances in which there is genuine, tremendous heroism — hail of gunfire, rescuing fellow soldiers and things like that. But it seems to me that we marshal this word in a way that is problematic.”

I’m tempted to call him an ignorant slut but I’d hate to have my advertisers boycotted.


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Getting grumpier each year

Just let the Old Greenwich Memorial Day parade get along without me for the second year in a row. I used to attend because it’s one of the few vestiges of  town life as I remember it growing up and because it afforded the opportunity to see those acquaintances whom seeing once a year was just right. Lately, I’ve decided that even once a year is too often. Maybe I’ll go next May and see whether three years is the magic number.


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Favorite Albums

Just pop (and jazz, if that’s your thing). We’ll leave out classical in the interest of putting some boundary to this. Here’s a bakers dozen, again in no particular chronological order or genre:

Mary Chapin Carpenter                            Stones in the Road

Joni Mitchell                                                 Blue

Iguanas                                                           Super Ball

Sub Dudes                                                      Primitive Streak

John Prine                                                     In Spite of Ourselves

Graham Parsons                                         Grievous Angle

Traffic                                                              Traffic

Jimmy Buffet                                                Fruitcakes

10 Years After                                             Undead

Paul Simon                                                     Graceland

Rolling Stones                                              Beggar’s Banquet

Beatles                                                            Sargeant Pepper

Neal Young                                                  After the Gold Rush


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