Current North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory once said reporters aren’t capable of understanding his economic plans.
“This is too complex for journalists,” the Asheville Mountain Xpress quoted McCrory. “They don’t have economics degrees; they’ve not been in business.”
Raleigh News and Observer executive editor John Drescher didn’t try to be polite: “Confidence is not a bad thing. But might McCrory, like some agent in Mayberry long ago, have overestimated hisself a bit? Based on his news conferences and public comments, McCrory is not exactly a Ben Bernanke-level economic thinker.” McCrory’s degrees from Catawba College are in political science and education. As for business experience, he was a mid-level manager at a regulated utility (Duke Energy), never making corporate-level decisions. That’s what prompted a member of his own party, Sen. Bob Rucho of Mecklenburg County, to once say, ‘If Pat had real business experience, he would not make such a poor policy decision.’”
More picking on journalists
An interim superintendent in a Greater Jasper school district twice in a public meeting several years ago said he didn’t recall telling a reporter (A-E) plus two school principals, a guidance counselor, the district athletic director and a social studies teacher about the elimination of the school mascot at a meeting he called. He had rhetorical egg on his face after this reporter’s rebuttal and the school board president’s emphatic statement that nobody approved changing mascots.
The then-new school superintendent who replaced the interim investigated the facts and found that A-E’s Evening Tribune article and those attending the meeting the interim had called were accurate. Remember the old journalist maxim applies everywhere: Never cross somebody who writes for an enterprise that buys tons of newsprint and barrels of ink and is read by thousands.
Congress will pay itself as the government shuts down
Any reader surprised at their greed and lack of empathy?
Anyone who’s shocked at that potential outcome hasn’t been paying attention to Congress for the past few decades.
No matter that the government may run out of cash in January: representatives will still find enough financial loopholes to pay themselves. Folks who depend on food stamps, unemployment checks, pay for federal work: tough ‘taters, folks.
Remember Howard Beale, the television anchor in the film "Network" who started shouting “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it any more” and urged everyone to open their windows and shout that slogan to the heavens? Too bad Peter Finch and the fictional Beale aren’t around to start a groundswell of common sense against politics as usual on Capitol Hill. Head for your windows, Finch fans and common sense supporters.
You’ve heard of Ghost Writers, of course. A small Washington Post theatrical page ad Feb. 25, 1952 offered the services of "ghost artists:" "Too busy to paint? Call Ghost Artists. We paint it, you sign it."
The idea of ghost artists caught news media interest, a report about the company went over the wire services and appeared in newspapers nationwide. The ghost artists were said to be earning lucrative fees from executives who wanted to impress their friends. Satisfied clients included military men, government officials, doctors, businessmen, and a Wall Street broker who commissioned an entire exhibition in order to break into "arty circles."
The Post devoted an editorial to the organization, concluding, "After some reflection, we can't see anything morally amiss about this proposal. Nobody thinks it scandalous when a Washington hostess invites a few politicians, diplomats and syndicated newspaper columnists to dinner and then turns the responsibility for feeding them to a professional caterer. Why should we shake our heads if someone wants to hire a private gallery and invite friends to admire pictures somebody else painted?"
The concept didn’t impress everyone. One correspondent to the Post declared, "This is a sad commentary indeed on the manners and mores of the Nation's Capital!"
Education reporter Al Bruce writes a weekly column for The Evening Tribune.