Suicide and shameful secrets, the changed soldiers of Iraq and Afghanistan, where do you get your news, the old gang at Target Center, and embracing winter.
You've got 3D glasses within arm's reach, right? Good, because the rollout of videos from last weekend's Crashed Ice event in Saint Paul continues today with this 3D video.
There are two days left now before Gary Eichten calls it a career, and although I've written at least two tribute pieces to the man in the last year, I feel compelled to join the (highly appropriate) media tributes to the long-time Midday host. Instead, I'm going to pay tribute to him in a way only Eichten would appreciate -- throwing the spotlight on his colleague who can't stand the spotlight.
One of the pitfalls of radio is the audience only knows the existence of the voices, not the considerable infrastructure behind the scenes. Sara Meyer is part of that infrastructure. This photo, taken by David Brauer today (he was in to interview Gary), is one of the few pictures she allowed to be taken of her. (Update: Sara says she didn't know David took the picture. I knew it!)
Meyer is the producer of Midday and every deserved tribute that Mr. Eichten is getting as he concludes his career, should live in the shadow cast by Meyer as well. For as larger-than-life a person as Eichten is to the audience, Sara Meyer is to this newsroom, too.
She, like Gary, is the model of professionalism and integrity. She, like Gary, is unflappable in the face of mishaps and breaking news. Every guest you've heard on Midday in the last several decades (she fled to Minnesota from her native Massachusetts in
1985 1975), you heard because Sara made the phone calls to potential guests who were smart enough not to say "no."
There's nothing easy about producing a two-hour talk show with multiple guests or live coverage at state political conventions, live broadcasts from the Capitol, or election nights that go into the next morning. The smoother it all sounds on the air, and the more it sounds like the host is doing it himself, the harder a producer is working. The reward is often only the tongue lashing from the would-be caller who couldn't get on the air because he wanted to deliver a speech that had nothing to do with the topic being discussed.
Like Eichten, her passion is politics. She can tell you where most political districts are, and who lost the election in them 20 years ago.
She is not without blemishes; she maintained that Jim Rice belonged in the Baseball Hall of Fame until everyone got so tired of hearing about it, they put him in.
Gary will retire on Friday and the sun will come up by 11:06 on Monday morning. Sara is staying, as far we know. The plans for Midday will not be announced until after Gary's final show on Friday, presumably because the management (appropriately) doesn't want to distract from the spotlight on Gary.
Posted at 2:20 PM on January 18, 2012
by Bob Collins
How big is the Costa Concordia, the cruise ship that hit rocks and capsized last weekend? Really big, judging by this satellite picture from Digital Globe.
(h/t: Jeff Severns Guntzel)
No doubt, the execs at NPR can exhale now that Vanity Fair's long piece on NPR is out. It reportedly has been in the works for more than a year ("National Public Rodeo"),
1) Not liberal enough.
In the process, it's gone decidedly mainstream. True, in story selection and sound, NPR retains a tincture of elite liberalism. (Anyone seeking evidence need only listen to the insufferable "Wait Wait . . . Don't Tell Me!") But as its critics on the left contend (yes, there are lots of them too, every bit as over-heated as those on the right), on NPR these days there's far more comforting the afflicted than afflicting the comfortable. NPR has traded much of its early edginess and eccentricity for reach and respectability, stability, and an almost compulsive inoffensiveness. (When, not long ago, Leon Panetta called Osama bin Laden a "son of a bitch," NPR felt compelled to bleep out the "bitch.") Apart from the occasional stories about gays or Palestinians (and maybe even gay Palestinians), there's precious little on NPR these days for conservatives really to hate. For them, despising NPR and cutting off what amounts to the few pennies it collects from the federal budget has increasingly become more a matter of pandering, or habit, or sophomoric sport, than of conviction or serious policy. The editor of the Weekly Standard, Bill Kristol, once confessed to former NPR ombudsman Jeffrey Dvorkin that he really didn't believe NPR was liberal; he just said so "to keep you guys on the defensive." And that still seems true.
2) Pushed around by Juan Williams:
Three times in our hour-long interview, (Tell Me More host Michael) Martin called Williams "the most skillful manipulator of white people's anxieties that I have ever met." Sure enough, when I asked Williams whether he had spread himself too thin at NPR, he came back at me the next time we talked claiming I'd called him "lazy," a lethally incendiary word in a racial context I'd neither used (the interview was taped) nor implied, nor had ever heard anyone else use or imply. (Williams is quite the opposite of lazy: he's hyperkinetic.) Many journalists are surprisingly thin-skinned: to Williams, just about any criticism is ridicule, and personal, and maybe just a bit bigoted. "There's no way that I could be me and be a phony," he said. "It's just too public, too highprofile. If I was in fact a charlatan who knew nothing and was over-extended and was a pretender, it would just be so transparent."
3) And Juan Williams is asking tough questions at Fox that NPR should be asking:
In the Wall Street Journal/Fox News-sponsored debate among the Republican presidential candidates in South Carolina on January 16, the dilemma was on perfect display. In fact, to those who continue to follow him, Williams's performance gave rise to an interesting sideshow, a debate within a debate. It was Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and Williams was a panelist alongside Bret Baier and two representatives from The Wall Street Journal. The topics ranged from foreign affairs to tax policy to "super PACs," but with a couple of exceptions, virtually every question Williams asked that night dealt with minorities and their problems in an especially troubled economy.
In a hotbed of "states rights," he asked Rick Perry whether the federal government should continue to scrutinize the voting laws of states that have historically discriminated against minorities. He asked Mitt Romney--whose father, he noted, was born in Mexico--whether his opposition to the Dream Act threatened to alienate Hispanics. He asked Rick Santorum if now was the time to address the extraordinarily high poverty rate among black Americans. He asked Ron Paul to acknowledge racial disparities in drug-related arrests and convictions. Whenever a candidate answered that blacks and Hispanics should receive no preferential treatment whatsoever, he received lusty applause, while Williams sat there glumly. Then, in a question that brought hoots of derision from the hand-picked, wealthy, white Republican crowd, Williams accused Newt Gingrich of belittling the poor by suggesting, essentially, that their poverty was their fault: they really didn't like to work. Then, over more boos, he asked it again.
Summary: There's not a lot of "new" in the piece, though it will rekindle previous debates.
If the rumors of his reluctance to play basketball in Minnesota are/were accurate, Ricky Rubio thought the bright lights of the big city wouldn't shine on him if he was stuck in flyover country.
About a month into his first NBA season, the Minnesota Timberwolves "rookie" is getting some serious attention from the coastal media today.
First, the NBA released this highlight reel:
And then Sports Illustrated published a fawning article on Rubio
Rubio is not as strong as Jason Kidd, as quick as Rajon Rondo or as accurate as Steve Nash. But he is no Marko Jaric, either. The flop so many predicted has turned into a phenomenon. Rubio is a giver in a culture of takers, a genuine point guard in a league where the floor generals prefer to chuck. Someday he may need to score 20 a game, lead Minnesota to the playoffs and actually earn the All-Star votes he gets. But the Timberwolves are careful to limit pressure on a player who has already been paralyzed by it. Rubio has been in the NBA for less than a month and already he has rediscovered the alegría he came here to find.
Fortunately, Sports Illustrated did not put Rubio on the cover, which would've soon ended his season .
(h/t: Ben Brown)
Two-hundred Somali cabdrivers in the Twin Cities found out what happens when you protest. They were fired from their jobs at Airport Taxi, Twin Cities Daily Planet is reporting.
The drivers were involved in a protest that reportedly has been going on for at least a decade, lately centering on the amount the drivers are paid for ferrying clients of UCare and Medicaid.
Fisseha Guanje, who's been driving a cab for 13 years and has two kids, said the drivers don't want to join a union. "We just want to sit down and talk to the company owner," he said. Instead, they all got fired for showing up to protest. Guanje is particularly concerned about the $1,000 deposit he made when starting with the company. He's not sure he'll get it back -- and in any case, there is no interest. "They kick you out - no interest!" he said.
Taxis that showed up to protest were slapped with fliers that said, ""Your lease has been terminated and your auto insurance has been cancelled effective immediately."(5 Comments)