Blogs > City Editor's Blog

By Jeremy Schiffres, Daily and Sunday Freeman, Kingston, N.Y.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Taking a jab at TV news

In my previous entry, I commented that TV news went from being honorable in Walter Cronkite's heyday to "dreadful and embarrassing today."

The JibJab clip below, though a bit dated because it's two years old, simply reinforces my point. You'll laugh - and probably cry.


Saturday, July 18, 2009

The way it was

If nothing else, Walter Cronkite's death on Friday at age 92 should remind us of how honorable and revered TV news was in his time and how dreadful and embarrassing it is today.

In Cronkite's era, TV news was about providing reliable and relevant information. Now it's little more than a venue for spreading rumors and gossip.

I mean, seriously, it probably won't be long before Nancy Grace gives up her nightly Michael Jackson rants on HLN and starts speculating about what drugs Cronkite took before he died, whether his doctors are to blame for demise and who will get custody of - oh, I don't know - his house plants.


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Saving the best

At first I was angry that American League Manager Joe Maddon chose New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera to pitch the ninth inning of Tuesday's baseball All-Star Game instead of the Los Angeles Angels' Brian Fuentes, who has the most saves in the Majors so far this year. (And remember, I'm a longtime Angels fan.)

But then it occurred to me: Rivera was well-rested, having not pitched at all over the weekend as his overpaid, overrated team dropped three straight games to the Angels. Fuentes, on the other hand, might have been a bit tired from shutting down the Bronx Bummers in the final inning of the Friday and Sunday games.

So you go, Mo! Enjoy the fact that you picked up the save in a game that didn't mattter. My guys will concentrate on winning the ones that do.


Sunday, July 12, 2009

Meaningless records

New York Yankee Alex Rodriguez hit his 569th and 570th home runs on Saturday, moving up to 10th place on the list of all-time home leaders, ahead of Rafael Palmeiro.

In other words, one steroid-using cheater passed another.

Someone tell me why I - or anyone - should care, or take these "accomplishments" seriously.


Friday, July 10, 2009

Only in Albany

Let me see if I have this right:

State Sen. Perdro Espada, a Bronx Democrat, stabs his party in the back a month ago by joining the Senate's Republican caucus — giving the GOP control of the chamber in the process — in return for a ledership post in the new majority.

Thirty-one days later, he jumps back across the aisle, returning the Democrats to the majority, and is given the leadership post (Senate majority leader) in return.

In my world, the rough equivalent of this would be quitting my job as the Freeman's city editor with no advance notice, going to work for, say the Poughkeepsie Journal, and then agreeing to come back to the Freeman a month later — but only on the condition that I be made managing editor or publisher.

That's not the way things work in the business world. And they shouldn't work that way in government, either.


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Al be darned

For a moment there on Tuesday, I was ready to declare the Michael Jackson memorial service the perfect tribute.

It was understated; never gaudy, garish or glitzy; never over the top.

The musical performances by Usher, Stevie Wonder, Jermaine Jackson, Mariah Carey and others were sincere and powerful.

The all-star treatments given to "We Are the World" and "Heal the World" were exuberant, even joyous.

The brief but heart-wrenching statement by Jackson's 11-year-old daughter, Paris, was unforgettable and is sure to become the most-rerun video clip from the event.

And the sight of Jackson's casket being wheeled in by his brothers and former Jackson 5 bandmates is an image that will endure for years to come.

But then the Rev. Al Sharpton goes and blows it by saying to Jackson's children, during an otherwise stirring eulogy, that there was "nothing strange about your daddy."

Excuse me, Al? Did you sleep through the last 25 years? In case you did, here are a few highlights of Jackson's life during that time: A best-friend chimp named Bubbles. Sleeping in a hyperbaric chamber. An estimated 25 plastic surgeries, including procedures to lighten his African-American skin color. Living on an estate with an amusement park and a zoo. Sharing his bed with young boys. Two accusations of child molestation - one leading to a reported $20 million settlement, the other to a circus-atmosphere criminal trial. Dangling his infant son over the railing of a hotel balcony. Putting masks on his kids when taking them out in public. And, oh yeah, dying at age 50 after, according to most accounts, years of being addicted to various drugs.

Nothing strange, Al? More like nothing but strange.

Praise the man all you want, Rev. Sharpton. But at least tell the truth.


Thursday, July 2, 2009

Pumped up ... and down

Driving from Kingston to the town of Ulster (and back) this morning, I was struck by the wide disparity in gas prices - not just between competing chains, but even at pumps owned by the same company.

Of particular note: The Stewart's Shop at Lucas and Catskill avenues was charging $2.75 a gallon for regular unleaded, while the Stewart's at Boice's Lane and Morton Boulverad was charging $2.61 and the Stewart's at Albany and Foxhall avenues was at $2.60.

Also, the QuickChek at Washington Avenue and Sawkill Road was charging $2.65 while the one on Albany Avenue was at $2.59.

I don't get it.