Sunday, November 13, 2011

Rick Perry Draws a Blank

While I'm not a Rick Perry supporter, I could not help but feel sorry for the Texas governor after a debate mishap for the ages. How could something like this happen? What was he thinking? Will his presidential campaign ever recover? There are understandably lots of questions after Rick Perry's monumental mental meltdown. This may well be the all-time presidential debate gaffe. You would think Gov. Perry should be able to recall the Department of Energy. Perry is not alone dealing with the so-called "senior moment". But drawing a blank though is not just reserved for those who are aging. Losing one's train of thought, is high on the list of speaking fears. Embarrassing as it was, Gov. Perry has done a good job of making light of his forgetful disaster. Going on Letterman and other shows, to demonstrate that he can laugh at himself. Perry has probably salvaged some of his dignity by demonstrating a sense of humor, instead of panic. But he still may have irreparably damaged his chances to win the Republican nomination. Perry has struggled with answers and performance in previous presidential debates. This latest and most horrifying outing only confirms what many have worried about Perry - that he is not up to the job of being President. The best way to guard against making a gaffe like this, is preparation and practice. Not doing so risks your own potential "Rick Perry Moment."

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Silence Not Always Golden

Let me start by saying that I am thrilled that Tiger Woods is healthy and was not seriously hurt in that accident outside of his home the other night. I selfishly want to see him continue to lay waste to his peers, because I am a huge Tiger Woods fan.

Tiger Accident

But that said, there are still some things I’ve heard and read about this accident that seem to defy common sense, and because of that, the old reporter in me is overriding the fan.

Making it worse is the fact that we have heard nothing from Tiger. This story is begging for a response from the world’s greatest golfer.

As I write this, it has been more than 48 hours since the accident happened and there are still significant unanswered questions about what now appears to be a bizarre domestic incident. But Tiger Woods has said nothing to anyone, not even the police to adequately clear this up.

For me the smoking gun is the report that the air bags in Tiger’s Escalade didn’t deploy, which unless there was a major malfunction, means the vehicle was not traveling very fast at all when it hit the fire hydrant and a tree. And you have to wonder how do you hit a fire hydrant in the first place - unless you are greatly distracted or enraged?

Further you question how Tiger actually got his busted mouth and was knocked unconscious from what is being called a minor accident.

The other suspect detail is that Tiger was trapped in the SUV and his wife Elin, in the house, heard the noise from the accident and upon seeing Tiger trapped had to use golf clubs to break out the car’s rear window to get Tiger out.

The timing for this could not be worse. It happens just as the tabloids are screaming that Tiger is having an affair. And the generally reliable TMZ is reporting that Tiger and his wife Elin, were arguing about that alleged affair just before the accident.

It is certainly possible that an angry wife dealing with rumors of an affair could do a lot of damage with a golf club. I’m not saying that’s what happened but most of us would understand if it did.

Obviously, I am speculating. But what else am I left to do? I’m human and celebrities, even the ones I like, are fair game to wonder about. We all do that.

I want to be wrong about all of my doubts, but what we know about this accident is coming from everyone but Tiger Woods and his wife.
And that is never good.

With millions of dollars in endorsements on the line, a reputation to protect, and a legacy to leave, Tiger Woods has a lot to lose by mishandling this incident.

Indeed silence is not always golden.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

They Reported You Decide

Sean Hannity Uses Glenn Beck's Protest Footage
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Once again, Comedy Central's Jon Stewart makes the real newsmen look either incompetent or even worse devious. On his Daily Show, Stewart embarrassed Fox News by proving that most of the video used in a news story about a conservative rally was actually from video taken weeks earlier. Stewart suggested with good reason that the "mistake" was deliberate, and designed to make the rally look bigger than it actually was, which plays into the widespread frustration that Fox News is not a real news organization but a conservative mouthpiece.

In response, Fox News host Sean Hannity later admitted the video had errors but implied that the mistaken editing was inadvertent. Mistake or no, I'm hoping that eventually even the staunchest Fox News fans will see through the network's ideological charade.

Friday, September 25, 2009

No Apology Necessary

University of Tennessee men’s basketball coach Bruce Pearl is funnier than most coaches. But one of his recent jokes fell victim to political correctness. Resulting in a quick but perhaps unnecessary apology.

The other day Pearl, with perfect comics timing, joked about how he deals with the various cultures of the players he coaches.

"I've got a tough job. I've got to put these guys from different worlds together, right?" Pearl said. "I've got guys from Chicago, Detroit ... I'm talking about the 'hood! And I've got guys from Grainger County, where they wear the hood.''

You can clearly hear the laughs. Was the audience wrong for laughing? Or was the joke just painfully funny?

Other questions also come to mind.

Can we joke about the klan? Why should Pearl have to apologize for a joke about racism?

I suppose its all in the context. Had Bruce Pearl been a comedian doing the very same joke in a comedy club in Tennessee he would have gotten huge laughs. Even the father of one of the white players says he didn’t find the joke offensive. He said it was just a joke.

Bruce Pearl is a smooth, glad-handing guy with jewish roots who has worked the south with ease. If anyone knows how to balance the racial and ethnic confusion that we live in it's Bruce Pearl.

We are far too politically correct these days. Jokes are meant to collide with the truth.

Sometimes the truth needs to be laughed at.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Ernie Harwell: Still Living

I don't live in Detroit but I know about Ernie Harwell. He is 91 years old yet only a couple of years retired as the longtime, captivating voice of Detroit Tigers baseball. Ernie had a way of making any game seem special and interesting. It's probably why he lasted so long.

Sadly, the other day Ernie revealed he had inoperable cancer. While cancer after age 90 doesn't seem overly cruel, you never want to see a friend go away.

Clearly understanding the moment, Ernie Harwell extemporaneously addressed the microphone and his audience for perhaps the last time.

He eloquently found the right words.

For now I won’t say goodbye. He’s still living.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Kanye West Apologizes

Kanye West appeared on the new prime time Jay Leno Show Monday night to publicly apologize for his classless, idiotic, interruption of Taylor Swift's acceptance speech at MTV's Video Music Awards the day before. West is trying to undue the damage done to his image and reputation for embarrassing Swift at the nationally televised awards show on Sunday. I, like most people who saw what he did, was appalled by West's actions. But I must say West did the only thing he could do to own up to his mistake - he said he was sorry. And he said so as quickly and as publicly as possible. What do you think - did he appear remorseful to you? I certainly hope he means what he said on the Leno show. I've also included the clip from Sunday's awards show below.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Steve Jobs Returns!

The founder of Apple made a rare public appearance the other day. Steve Jobs, who is famous for his keynotes and product launches, announced a new iPod video camera. Pretty good product as most Apple innovations are these days. But it wasn’t the iPod that was compelling. The remarkable thing about Steve Jobs' iPod presentation is that he was presenting at all.

Jobs had taken a leave of absence to focus on his health. Some wondered whether he would ever return to the company. Others were uncertain that he would live. He returned to work this summer, but had not been seen publicly until now.

At his keynote this week, Jobs quickly addressed the elephant in the room - the question on everyone's mind-What's up with his health?

“I’m vertical, back at Apple. Loving everyday of it..”

Jobs is recovering from a liver transplant.

He was wearing his trademark blue jeans and black turtle neck. But his clothes were falling off of him. So no, he didn’t look well. Fighting cancer does that to you.

But he was back. And that's the best statement Steve Jobs can make.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

President Obama's National Address to Students

Controversy surrounded the president's speech to students long before he ever gave it. Many wondered if President Obama would "indoctrinate" children with a partisan political agenda. As it turned out the president's speech at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Virginia just a few miles from the White House, was far from controversial. Obama urged kids to stay in school and work hard. Even Newt Gingrich, a potential Obama rival in the next election, applauded the speech. What do you think?

Monday, September 7, 2009

Dick Cheney: So

It was one of those ..“did he really say that?” moments. During an interview with ABC News, Dick Cheney suggested he didn’t care what people thought about the war and the way we were fighting it.

He was asked a question that referred to a poll in which most responded that they were against the war in Iraq. Answering bluntly, Dick Cheney just said “SO”.

It was powerfully and unmistakably Dick Cheney. Cheney scares some people. Yet he almost always makes his point. You might not like him. You might not agree with him. But you certainly hear him and understand him.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Chris Brown on Larry King Live

"I am ashamed of and sorry for what happened that night and I wish I could relive that moment and change things, but I can’t. I take full responsibility for my actions." Those are the words of singer Chris Brown on CNN's Larry King Live, discussing his brutal assault on his then girlfriend, singer Rihanna.

Do you believe that he is sincere? What do you think he should have said?
Brown, who pleaded guilty for the battering of Rihanna, was sentenced to 5 years probation, and lengthy community service and labor. What more should he do or say to atone for his crime?

Monday, August 31, 2009

Randy Pausch's Last Lecture: A Presentation Classic

Randy Pausch died from cancer last year. But he leaves a legacy of accomplishment and hope despite dying at such a relatively young age. The late college professor has attracted millions of viewers online to view the final speech he gave at Carnegie Mellon University. This speech has come to be known as the Last Lecture. It is a presentation classic.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Why Do You Want to be President ...?

On the day that one of the great liberal leaders, Senator Edward Kennedy, is laid to rest, I'd like to go back to the career defining interview that he had with CBS News correspondent Roger Mudd.

This was 1979 as Edward Kennedy was beginning his campaign for president. It is an understatement to say things didn't go well.

Roger Mudd asked Senator Kennedy why he wanted to be president. Kennedy's aimless response helped cripple his bid for the White House.

Nonetheless, Kennedy rose above this famous communications failure to become America's foremost lawmaker.

Also, you can link here to a post about Senator Kennedy's speech at the 1980 Democratic National Convention. Many believe this speech was Kennedy's finest public moment.