Saturday, February 11, 2006


I'm sure that media savvy people know the answer. But I don't, even after searching Google. And I miss him. He sounded so contemplative, usually serious but often with a touch of wry.

Now, his place at 10 p.m. on CNN has been taken by Anderson Cooper, a younger newsman with sure star power. Nothing against Anderson Cooper; he is engaging and intelligent, and has great hair. But sometimes the program seems to have taken a turn for the worse.

For decades, we have looked down on local news programs for their constant attention on sensational news - murders, fires, abductions, etc. On some nights, Cooper's show seems to spend forever presenting stories on such events as the murder of a wife and child in Massachusetts, allegedly by the husband. This is a step down from Brown's program, approching the level of local news shows.

So, much as I like Anderson Cooper, I really do miss Aaron Brown, his serious mien and his soothing voice. And that's not just because he made it so easy to drift off into sleep.

Friday, February 10, 2006


On ABC's “This Week", Ken Mehlman, Chairman of the Republican National Committee
took after Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton. Since the Senator is a frontrunner for her party's nomination for President in 2008, the Republicans have been off to an early start in trying to tear her down.

Referring to Clinton’s remark that Congress now seems to be run as a plantation, Mr. Mehlman said that the Senator seems to have a lot of anger. He then pointed out that historically Americans don't elect angry people. Apparently, he cannot remember Lyndon Johnson and a number of other presidents.

Some have opined that this comment singles Senator Clinton out since she is a woman and tries to cast her as a shrill woman. However, such Republican attacks have been gender neutral. During the 2000 Bush campaign one of the major themes in attacking Senator John McCain was that he had a tendency to rise to anger.

But why shouldn't a candidate, and all of us, be angry? Look at what we have to be angry about: runaway deficits, wanton tax cutting, ill-advised and poorly executed
war, invasion of privacy, misleading information or falsehoods about WMD, global warming, and budget issues. Despite the clever trumpeting of the terrorism issue by Karl Rove and President Bush, it is completely mystifying that the American people
did not reject Bush in 2004.

I suggest that the slogan for each Democratic candidate in 2006 and 2008 should be that "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore"

Wednesday, February 08, 2006


50 years ago, 30 years ago, 20 years ago, could it be imagined a funeral for a black
woman attended by four presidents, several senators, many dignitaries, and a host of celebrities including the ultimate host, Oprah? That’s what we had yesterday with the funeral of Coretta Scott King. Maybe the crowds, the pageantry, and the media attention were in part a make-up for lesser appreciation given for her husband, Martin Luther King Jr. But there was no doubting the sincere respect for Mrs. King evidenced during the ceremonies.

What an event! Glorious singing by choirs and soloists, moving tributes, anecdotes, both touching and humorous. The six-hour service, held in the vast two-tiered sanctuary of the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, was attended by 15,000 inside with tens of thousands gathered outside. The services included performances by Stevie Wonder, Michael Bolton, and the gospel stars CeCe and BeBe Winans.

One of the first speakers was President George W. Bush, who delivered warmly a well-written speech. His father’s speech included several casual remarks appreciated by the audience. This audience gave a standing thunderous ovation to former President Bill Clinton. Speaking without notes, Mr. Clinton began by saying, "I'm honored to be here with my president and my former presidents." Then he paused briefly and gestured toward Mrs. Clinton, apparently suggesting that he wanted to say future president, too. The crowd cheered.

Other political moments were directed at failures of the administration of President Bush. Gibes included President Carter’s reference to wiretapping and references by others to Katrina, continued poverty in our country, and the myth of weapons of mass destruction.

Some have complained about the “politicizing” of this funeral. But this was much more than a funeral. It was also a coming together for our country, it was an uplifting tribute, it was media event marking a change in eras, it was an American celebration.