deadlines amuse me

exploring how the world works and why it works that way …

Archive for October 2006

Should reps in Congress get the credit for district dollars?

leave a comment »

Members of Congress like money. They revel in it, because money is a measure of power and effectiveness.

They like raising it, because they need it to get elected and stay elected.

They like getting credit for money that flows back to the district — because that’s how they believe the voters measure how well they’re doing their jobs.

A favorite tactic of members of Congress during election season is giving themselves credit for those important dollars (or is it pork?) flowing back home. Watch the ads. The incumbents stand on their records, which include claims of “I brought a gazillion dollars back to the district.”

My District 29 congressman, the Hon. John R. “Randy” Kuhl, has done exactly that. His claims ought to be examined in detail, and although it’s hard work, there are ways to do that. You can do it with your representative’s claims, too.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Dr. Denny Wilkins

October 20, 2006 at 4:27 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

A Cronkite for children: Christopher Glenn, RIP

leave a comment »

I remember Christopher Glenn. Even as a young adult, I watched him do “In The News” for CBS’ Saturday children’s programming.

He died Tuesday, and his way of doing the news may no longer exist in today’s journalism. And his way was simple and clear. [Read CBS staff remembrances.]

There’s a telling point in a Romenesko letter by by Jeff Houck of the Tampa Tribune:

Before there was Linda Ellerbee, there was Christopher Glenn.

I remember that in between my of sugar-soaked bowls of cereal and endless Saturday morning cartoons, Glenn would come on to deliver his segment “In The News” in his resonant, mellifluous voice.

After hours of mindless drivel, (“The Hudson Brothers Razzle Dazzle Show,” anybody?), Glenn would give kids the headlines on the top stories of the day. Nothing heavy – it wasn’t like he was dropping footage of Vietnam body bags on us. It was just enough news so that we could understand what our parents were talking about. He didn’t dumb it down, he didn’t put on trendy clothes or attempt to speak in slang; he just sat at the regular anchor desk and simplified it so we’d understand. He was like a Cronkite for kids.

Years later, I’d see him on a stray news update segment in prime time (Remember those?) or hear him doing radio news and it would totally take me back.

Glenn’s style and technique was a perfect example of how to deliver news to kids without losing substance – or dignity. [emphasis added]

Now, if only someone cared enough to try. I can’t even fathom CBS’ cousin Nickelodeon dropping an adult into the middle of “Fairly Odd Parents” to read headlines so they can grow a few news consumers.

Written by Dr. Denny Wilkins

October 18, 2006 at 5:12 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

A no-no: Using children as cover at press conference

leave a comment »

Follow the bouncing Foley ball to a disgusting end:

Republican congressman Mark Foley writes e-mails sent to a 16-year-old who described them as “sick, sick, sick …”

He gets caught. Foley’s campaign blames his Democratic opponent, Tim Mahoney, for outing him. Democrats and Republicans alike shout throw the bum out. Foley resigns. Then begins the Nixonian chorus: Who knew what and when did they know it? Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Dr. Denny Wilkins

October 3, 2006 at 3:12 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Political ads swallow local TV air time

leave a comment »

Political campaign spending on local television is likely to hit $1.6 billion in this election cycle, says trade mag Broadcasting & Cable.

That means, as I’ve posted earlier, viewers will be subjected to waves and waves of attack ads. But what is this ad blitz’s impact on local commerce? Says B&C:

[The $1.6 billion] exceeds initial forecasts of $1.4 billion and approaches the $1.61 billion spent in 2004, a presidential-election year. “Candidates may have more money to spend than there is time to buy,” says Evan Tracey, COO of CMAG. [emphasis added]

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Dr. Denny Wilkins

October 3, 2006 at 12:27 pm

Posted in Uncategorized