This and That from Here and There
In an era when too many people get their “news” from facebook and twitter postings, the loss of a real reporter is sad indeed. It is especially sad when the reporter is working on an investigative piece for 60 Minutes. Bob Simon tragically died in a car accident this past week. He was a passenger in a livery vehicle that got into an accident. The two drivers were not seriously injured.
The Bill Moyers web site ran two interesting videos as a way of telling us about the journalism of Simon. When Simon was based in the Middle East he questioned the connection between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda that others were trying to make. Simon also shows regret he did not more thoroughly investigate the Bush administrations claims regarding 9/11 in his 2002 story. We now know he got the facts while the talking heads were spewing opinions on the Sunday morning talk shows. He was a real reporter who lived to see an era when so-called news people are only offering opinions.
Gary Owens also died this past week at the age of 80. He had a long and extensive career in radio and television. He was the voice of many cartoon characters and announcer to many shows. If you can picture him in your mind without looking for his picture on the internet, then you probably know him from his best known role as announcer on the ground breaking television show Rowan and Martin’s Laugh In (1968 to 1973). The entertainment website Variety lists his many credits here.
Jon Stewart is doing something that David Letterman and Craig Ferguson are doing, walking away from highly successful television jobs. At age 67, it might not be a surprise that Letterman has had enough of the grind, but Stewart is just 52 and reigns supreme on The Comedy Channel. Can you remember who hosted the Daily Show before Stewart? Probably not. Stewart helped give the channel a wide audience and launched the careers of a variety of “reporters.” Someone will have big shoes to fill there.
Major League Baseball would like to get more run scoring and speed up the game. The obvious problem is the fact that those two ideas did not go together very well. One area of discussion is the strike zone. Now that MLB has umpires who are calling the actual strike zone more consistently, MLB doesn’t like the result. Yahoo Sports reported the story:
Sam Smith had a big night at the Grammy awards taking home 4 of the little trophies, including Song of the Year and Record of the Year (How are these different?) for “Stay With Me.” Does it not seem strange that the song won any award when it is a rip off of Tom Petty’s 1989 “I Won’t Back Down.” Petty’s lawyers didn’t back down and they reached a settlement back in October which did not come out until January. Now Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne, formerly of ELO, get song writing credits. Smith also had to hand over royalties to Petty and Lynne as co-authors. At least Petty took the high road in his comments. “About the Sam Smith thing. Let me say I have never had any hard feelings toward Sam. All my years of songwriting have shown me these things can happen. Most times you catch it before it gets out the studio door but in this case it got by.”
Benedict Cumberbatch, a frequent target of gay rumors on some entertainment sites, the ones I read anyway, married Sophie Hunter on Valentine’s day.
Alex Rodriguez has rejoined the Yankees and will make 61 million over the next 3 years. Do you think he will sue the Yankees for the additional bonus money they are going to refuse to pay him if he meets certain milestone achievements?
Hunter Hayes had a good week. No, he did not win a Grammy for Invisible, but he did get to host some “premiere” Grammy events online prior to the broadcast and he did get to be in the company of big name stars. We talked about Hunter last Sunday on SERENDIPITY (teepee12.com) and you can find that article here.
Here’s the Tom Petty rock classic. If you know the Sam Smith song, you will find you know this one too:
Notice the big name stars backing up Petty on the video.