Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Save Brian Williams

Hey, have you heard, news anchor Brian Williams was caught in a lie! There’s plenty of clamor out there for the guy to be fired, but I say ‘Leave the guy alone.’ Really, everyone doesn’t need to be fired every time they do something dumb. Sure, there’s a credibility issue with Williams, but let the viewers decide for themselves if that’s a problem.

Let’s say, for example, that I’m tuning into ESPN SportsCenter for an update on the day’s sports action. If I’m just tuning in for some visual highlights, I don’t care who’s commentating, I’m just there to be entertained. If, however, I’m tuning in for scores and statistics of the day’s action, you know - facts, credibility at that point is integral to why I’m watching.

Brian Williams and NBC news have been exposed. If the viewers are merely tuning in to be amused by a few visual highlights of the day’s action, Williams and NBC remain in play. If, however, viewers want to be informed, they can decide for themselves if another news program provides a better product.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Fruit Roll

It was a bright spring morning in 5th grade and I was surrounded by a couple friends enjoying a grand laugh. It’s an incident I look back on with humiliation.

It was morning recess and my classmates and I had been released onto the playground. I was a little fellow and the blacktop seemed immense, barely could one fathom having to walk from the school building to the far end of the playground. But there was no need to venture so far, three pals had approached me with an offering.

“Would you like this fruit roll,” asked a classmate.

Fruit roll, absolutely I wanted it. Sticky to handle and you’d hope it would peel easily from the wax paper, but a delicious treat regardless. “Yeah, sure,” I responded.

It was already unwrapped from its individual packaging and clinging tightly to said wax paper. It peeled off neatly and I took my first bite. Its flavor . . . I couldn’t immediately place the fruit. This was not grape, not apricot, nor strawberry. Additional bites yielded still no clarity.

“How does it taste,” asked one smiling chum.

“A little sour, but good,” I answered.

“What flavor do you think it is,” asked another.

“I don’t know, is it cranberry,” as I finished it off.

“We don’t know, we found it on the ground over there,” pointing to the galvanized steel perimeter fence.

“No, you didn’t,” I said hopefully. But the hilarious laughter of the three ended any naïve doubt. The grand laugh was at my expense.

A sense of doom enveloped me. What did I eat? How many days had it been on the ground? How many days had it baked in the sun? How many bugs had already eaten their fill before I just finished off their left overs? How much bacteria did I consume?

The bell rang. It was time to line up and return to class. My belly felt unsteady, but it held.