Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Bill, Leslie, and Our Chicken Shit Media

One thing that I’ve always hated about this town is the expectations of our so-called leaders that nobody will ask any tough questions or criticize any of their actions. “Just trust us” seems to be the mantra, no matter how they’ve acted in the past.
It doesn’t help that our local news media tends to never ask any pointed questions, particularly the local television news crews. That’s to be expected, I guess, since it seems like all three channels are entirely staffed by interns.
We saw this in action last week when former Governor Bill Janklow made the rounds to “prove” to anybody who would listen that he did not clip a car in the Hy-Vee parking lot. For somebody who hates the media, he sure knows how to use them to his advantage. Over and over again, he pleaded ignorance (which comes easy to the man) to tapping the car, despite the fact that he moved his truck and trailer two parking spots over after inspecting the car he hit.
My favorite moment, though, was when he was asked by a reporter if he was indeed insured (that was one of the tickets he received). Billy Bob whipped out his cell phone, and called what he claimed was his insurance agent. Handing the phone to the reporter, the “agent” confirmed that he indeed had insurance on the vehicle.
I don’t doubt that’s the case. I’ve received speeding tickets in the past and haven’t been able to locate my proof of insurance. It happens. But a reporter can’t just take the word of whoever was on the phone. He needs to investigate to see if that is indeed the case.
That’s how the media works in this town, although once in awhile I’m a bit surprised. This past week we did have an example of the TV news attempting to do their job. Well, “attempt” is the key word. A reporter was sent by her station to interview Leslie Unruh about the controversial abortion ban, and almost immediately Ms. Unruh reportedly blew up and started ranting and raving about how unfair the “liberal media” is to her. Leslie, that might be a popular subject on talk radio, but nobody (and I mean nobody) can say that KELO, KSFY, or KDLT are liberal. They’re simply not smart enough to have any kind of bias…or intelligence.
Once she calmed down, the interview proceeded without incident. While the blow-up I described didn’t make the air (gutless bastards), Unruh did have a controversial comment about the recent commercial featuring a couple that had to abort one baby to ensure the survival of the second. Her claim was that the commercial was a lie, and that this couple’s story was untrue. She had no proof for this theory; she was just spouting out of her ass.
The station did air this comment, and of course in her mind that was once again proof of a liberal bias. Supposedly, she went up the chain of command at the station, bitching at how wrong it was for them to air this. Note to Leslie – don’t say stupid shit if you don’t want it aired!
Unfortunately, instead of telling Unruh to go screw, the higher ups completely kissed her ass and profusely apologized. Ugh. I can guarantee that their next interview with her will involve absolutely zero tough questions, which is par for the course in this city. The losers are us viewers, who next month will probably enter the voting booth ill-informed to make this extremely important choice. Oh, that’s right – Leslie’s against choice!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

If It's Early, Don't Bother Me!

As most people know, I have my own little routine to start each and every day. I head over to Black Sheep Coffee, and I spend 45 minutes or so gradually waking up with a drink, one of my Ipods, and a book or magazine.
Part of this routine is that I can’t be bothered. I’m not yet ready to deal with people, which is why I love my Ipods so much. I’ll say hello to the regulars and employees, but I’ve been known to move on to another coffee shop if I see certain vehicles that belong to well-known loudmouths.
There is, of course, one exception to this rule. I’m always available to chat with beautiful women. Too bad it’s a rare time that opportunity strikes. But there is one lovely woman, Chantel, that I at times see during this time frame. It’s amazing how quickly I become outgoing and energetic when she shows up.
Last week, I walked into Black Sheep as usual, and with my eyes half-closed handed over my mug to the barrista. Ahead of me in line was this bowling ball mess of a guy, with unwashed, shoulder-length hair and a beard.
I paid him little notice, even when he asked “how are you doing this fine summer day?” Ugh, not only is he talkative, but he’s way too cheery for 7 a.m. “Fine, thanks”, I mumbled, and immediately started unwrapping my headphones.
This idiot didn’t take a hint, though. “So, did you know that this election is going to be the most lopsided in history?” Say what? “McCain is going to get more votes than anybody in history.”
Oh God, he’s chipper and wanted to talk politics? I needed immediate help, and started searching for the Replacments on my Ipod. “You know that I’m right.”
Finally, I responded with a weery “I doubt that will be the case”. Big mistake, as he wanted to debate the issue. I finally stopped and just told him that while I’m not doubting that McCain could be the next President, I highly doubt that it’s going to be by a record-breaking margin (especially give what we’ve now learned about the vice-presidential nominee's parenting and governing abilities).
At this point, I walked away towards the couch that I always use to relax. Oh no, he wasn’t through. He followed me, babbling that while the polls may show Obama slightly in the lead, “do you really think that once in the voting booth, Americans will actually vote for a black?” At this point, I just gave him a glaring “are you fucking kidding” look, and pressed play on the Pleased to Meet Me album. I was done with this clown. Thank God he finally took the hint, and walked over to his computer to read what I’m sure was a white power website.
Everybody clearly has the right to their own opinions, and with the election two months away nobody really has an idea who is going to win. But you don’t have the right to accost innocent victims such as myself. Not everybody wants to talk politics 24 hours a day, especially with those who are clearly on the extreme sides of the political spectrum.
More importantly, I don’t want to talk to anybody at 7 am. So if you see me at that time of day, and you don’t have female body parts, I beg you to just leave me alone. I’d much rather be awakened to the Replacements, Wilco, Radiohead, or any of the other 25,000 or so works of art on my Ipods than some idiotic clem who longs for the days of separate but unequal facilities.

Family Values?