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Ak-Sar-Ben Itself Merits Praise Along With King Dick And Queen Suzanne - 10-14-10

Come Election Day, White And Terry Can’t Duck Party Labels Any Longer - 10-07-10

Today, Second-Guessing Other Sports Commentators But Some Thoughts On Current Political Issues, Too - 09-30-10

Gates Gives Somber Non-Political Appraisals Of Iraq, Afghanistan - 09-23-10

At Last, A Prominent Moderate Muslim Speaks Out Against Muslim Terrorists - 09-16-10

Today, It’s All About College Football With Some “As I See It” Commentary - 09-09-10

Danes’ Sensible Approach To Immigration Won’t, Unfortunately, Fly In The U.S.A. - 09-02-10

Mosque Controversy Isn’t About Legal Rights; It’s About Moral Use Of Those Rights - 08-26-10

Time To Answer The Obvious Question: What Chance For Success In Afghanistan? - 08-19-10

Two-Paragraph News Story Offers Scary Prospect For World’s Future - 08-12-10

Outdated Constitutional Language Adds To Today’s Illegal Immigration Mess - 08-05-10

Not Wall Street But Democratic Policy Caused Mortgage Market Crash - 07-29-10

Windfarm Promoters Need More Facts, Less Rhetoric - 07-22-10

Nebraska Democrats’ ‘Find A Candidate’ Problem Began Long Months (Years?) Ago - 07-15-10

When The Subject Is Disasters,Obama Needs A History Lesson - 07-08-10

McChrystal’s Firing Spotlights Afghan War And The Slim Chance Of U.S. Victory There - 07-01-10

Advice For An Egocentric President: “I, I, I” Suggests One-Man Team - 06-24-10

Texas Decision Good For Big 12 But Even Better For The Longhorns - 06-17-10

Europe Is Sobering Up From 'Welfare' Binge; Obama-Led U.S. Moving Toward Similar Crises? - 06-10-10

A New Issue: Does ‘Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell’ Make Military Service Easier For Gays? - 06-03-10

Do State Officials Really Understand The Challenges Faced By Omaha Schools? - 05-27-10

Democrats Continue Cheap Shot Campaign Against Republican Congressman Lee Terry - 05-20-10

Cartoonist Koterba Says It Clearly: Don’t Put All The Blame On Schools - 05-13-10

Citizenship For Immigrants Is Inevitable But Start By Closing The Border - 05-06-10

Punish Wall Streeters If They Deserve It But Liberal Dems Spawned The Mortgage Mess - 04-29-10

Did Legislature, Speaker Mike Flood Deserve All Those Kind Words? - 04-22-10

Tiger Sulks His Way Through Masters— Is Obama Gambling On The Nuclear Issue? Rogue States And Terrorists Won’t Sign Up - 04-15-10

Did Obama/Pelosi ‘Sausage Factory’ Produce A Debt-Increasing Unpopular Health Plan? - 04-08-10

The Stories Behind Some Disturbing Headlines And Some Advice For Avoiding National Bankruptcy - 04-01-10

Four-Vote House Margin Makes Americans Swallow Trillion-Dollar Pill They Don't Want - 03-25-10

Insurance Pays 96% Of Family’s Cost For Seven Years Of ‘End Of Life’ Treatment - 03-18-10

President Angry Replaces President Cool; ‘ObamaCare’s’ Chances Helped Or Hurt? - 03-11-10

Americans To Get ‘ObamaCare’ Even If They Don’t Want It? - 03-04-10

Despite The Headlines, There’s Progress In Curbing Violence In North Omaha - 02-25-10

Corporate Expenditures Bad For Politics Except When They Benefit Liberal Candidates? - 02-18-10

Wind Energy Industry Faced Disaster; V.A. Hospital Not Personal Obama Choice - 02-11-10

Some Remarkable Legislative Comments And Some Questionable Media Performance - 02-04-10

When The Subject Is Nebraska Wind Energy, ‘Green’ Is The Color Of Money - 01-28-10

The “Teddy Kennedy Seat” Lesson Might Benefit Both Democrats and Republicans - 01-21-10

Some Legislative Issues—Like Gambling—Deserve Quick Death But Water Issues Deserve Careful Attention - 01-14-10

Today: ‘Big Daddy’ Government Wrong Again, And How Justified Is Cornhusker Title Talk? - 01-07-10

Dan Neary Worthy Of The Honor--
Today Some Upbeat Comments But "Obama Care" Debate Demands Attention
- 12-30-09

Even Without That Health Bill Vote, Another Term For Nelson Was Questionable - 12-23-09

Let’s Talk Football And Why Nebraska’s Suh Deserved The Heisman - 12-17-09

Image of Immigrants Would Be Helped By Less Cinco de Mayo, More 4th of July - 12-10-09

Image Of Islam Is Badly Damaged By ‘God-Approved’ Slaughter Of Non-Muslims - 12-03-09

Close Call For NU Research, Reputation; Thanksgiving Reminder: Count Your Blessings - 11-25-09

NU’s Reputation And Research Role Are Both At Stake When Regents Vote - 11-19-09

Obama’s ‘Yes We Can’
Changing To ‘Maybe We Can’t’?
- 11-12-09

Review The History Before Renaming A Street; Memories Of Sarah, Our Sweet Senior Dog - 11-05-09

“Socioeconomic Diversity” More Important Then Academic Achievement In “Learning Community”? - 10-29-09

A Visiting Sports Columnist Agrees: ‘There Is No Place Like Nebraska’ - 10-22-09

Might Obama Wish He Had A Chance To Say ‘No, Thanks’ To Early Nobel Prize? - 10-15-09

Don’t Overlook The Variety Of Aid Which Goes To ‘Poverty Level’ Families - 10-08-09

Smorgasbord Today: From UN’s “Nutcake Day” To Obama Performance Here And Abroad - 10-01-09

Must Defense Continue To Cover For Huskers’ Anemic Red Zone Offense? - 09-24-09

'Energizer Bunny' President Continues To Add Proposals For Reform - 09-17-09

Today, Variety: Football, Golf And Why No President Should Televise Himself Into The Nation’s Classrooms - 09-10-09

Massachusetts Gave Kennedy Significant Second Chances - 09-03-09

Obama’s Problem Not Just With GOP
But With A Great Many Americans
- 08-27-09

Tiger Could Use Sportsmanship Lesson—And Less Coverage From Fawning Media - 08-20-09

Gallup ‘Competitive’ Label, If Accurate Long Term, Is Good News Not Only For Nebraska Democrats - 08-13-09

Democrats Go All-Out Negative:
Trash Private Insurance Industry
- 08-06-09

Journalistic Watchdogs Turned Lapdogs When Obama Called That ‘News Conference’ - 07-30-09

Look Back, Mr. President: Opposition Is Catching Up - 07-23-09

Dem Lynch Mob Might Hang President’s Hopes - 07-16-09

Dems Start Oust-Terry Effort In The Political Gutter - 07-09-09

Despite Liberal Media's Views, Nation Better Served By Viable GOP - 07-02-09

A Varied Menu For You To Consider - 06-25-09

Freshman President Learning Some Political Realities? - 06-18-09

Voices Of Reason Raised Too Late To Slow Rush To Wind Power? - 06-11-09

Public Will Be Watching Prosecution Of Three Teen-Age Creatures - 06-04-09

Wealthiest Paying Less, In Taxes?
It’s Simply Not True
- 05-28-09

Notre Dame And Obama
Offer A Splendid Lesson
- 05-21-09

Special-Interest Liberals
Shouldn’t Badger Obama
- 05-14-09

A Surprising Source: Obama
Cites Positive Results of Iraq War
- 05-07-09

Media Transfer Their Love
From Candidate to President
- 04-30-09

Suttle Campaign Subtly Two-Faced? Or ‘Just Politics’? Voters Will Decide - 04-23-09

If America Is "At War
With Islam," It's Self-Defense
- 04-16-09

Seven Iowans Change Marriage
Tradition For 3 Million Others
- 04-09-09

Will Liberal Democrats Continue
Escaping The Verdict Of History?
- 04-02-09

Multi-Focused President
Upsets Even Liberals
- 03-26-09

Richard Nixon—Appropriate To Recall The Good As Well As The Dark Side - 03-19-09

Not Reducing Mortgage Costs; We’re Simply ‘Modifying’ Them - 03-12-09

Fair Warning From NY Times: Obama’s “Breathtaking Plans” Would “Transform American Society” - 03-05-09

A Look At Academy Awards Nastiness, But First A Plug For My Book, “Life With Marian” - 02-26-09

Let’s Not Move Slot Machine Cancer From Iowa Casinos To Nebraska Race Tracks - 02-19-09

Whiteclay Is Wrong Target;
Aim At Alcoholism Problem
- 02-12-09

For The Best “Stimulus” Formula:
Put Economic Recovery First;
“Remaking USA” Can Wait
- 02-05-09

Journalistic Hounds Are Still
In Full Pursuit Of Bush
- 01-29-09

‘First Black President’ Celebration
Shouldn’t Further Distract Us
From Job We And Obama Face
- 01-22-09

‘Adults In Wonderland’
Need To Get Real
- 01-15-09

Advice For Husker Fans:
Rejoice—But Be Realistic
- 01-08-09

Kennedy Dynasty History
Includes Shameful Chapters
- 12-31-08

Today Some Merry Christmas Thoughts But A Few Political Barbs, Too - 12-24-08

This Time It’s Indians
Who Break The Treaty
- 12-18-08

Me? A Grumpy Old Man?
One Reader Thinks So
- 12-11-08

Obama Steers A Moderate Course
But Congressional Democrats Veer Left
- 12-04-08

Too Many "Non-Blessings"
This Thanksgiving Week
- 11-26-08

Let’s Hear More About
The Principal ‘Crisis’ Victims
- 11-20-08

Color-Blind Issues Voting
Showed No Turn To The Left
- 11-13-08

Election Made History
But Big Questions Remain
- 11-06-08

Today, A Choice of Topics:
Politics Or Football—Or Both
- 10-30-08

Splitting Electoral Votes Good Idea? Then Why Do 48 States Reject It? - 10-23-08

Dems Take 11th Hour Low Road
In 2nd Congressional District Race
- 10-16-08

Another Government “Welfare Program,” Bargain Mortgages, Caused The Crisis - 10-09-08

Words Can Lose Their Meaning
When A Government Program Is Involved
- 10-02-08

—Have We Learned This Lesson?— Crisis Results When Individuals, Encouraged By Financial Institutions, Try To Live Beyond Their Means - 9-25-08

Bonds To Build Four-Lane Highways?
Where Would The Money Come From?
- 9-18-08

Today, a Large Load of Political
Commentary After a Brief Plug For
My Book, ‘Life With Marian’
- 9-17-08

Major News Media Look Bad
In Non-Coverage of
Edwards’ Sex Affair Story
- 9-11-08

Disadvantaged Students Can Be
Helped Without Discriminatory ‘Affirmative Action’
- 9-04-08

My Favorite Olympic Champion?
It Wasn’t Michael Phelps
- 8-28-08

Will Chinese Get Away With
'Out Air Is Clean' Scam?
- 8-21-08

Windmills, Solar Won't Do It;
Time To Get Real On Energy
- 8-07-08

I Doubt That God or Jesus
Have Heavenly Money on Either Team
- 8-07-08

‘Pop Star’ Obama Lacks Experience,
McCain Lacks Clear Campaign Strategy
- 7-31-08

Top Athletes Should
Know When to Quit?
- 7-24-08

Would Odor of Politics
Taint Fire Chief Choice?
- 7-17-08

Will Hospitality, Qwest Center
Lure Swim Trials Back to Omaha?
- 7-09-08

Omaha Stars Again
On National TV Stage
- 7-02-08

Omaha's CWS Reputation
Gets New "Rave Reviews"
- 6-25-08

S.D. Vote Could Lead
To National Abortion Battle
- 6-18-08

Don’t Let Niobrara Go The Way
Of The Republican And The Platte
- 6-11-08

Voters Didn’t Impose Term Limits
To Rid Legislature of Chambers
- 6-04-08

“It’s Our Turn” Pitch Might
Not End With Hillary Defeat
- 5-28-08

Prime Nebraska Political
Battleground This Year:
2nd Congressional District
- 5-21-08

The 'Browning' of America:
How Far Will It Go?
- 5-14-08

Obama ‘Stumbling’ To Victory? - 5-08-08

"Does Homebuyer Bailout
Reward the Irresponsible?"
- 4-30-08

"Was McCain, Not Clinton,
The Real Winner in Pennsylvania?"
- 4-25-08

"Cleaner Skies Advice For Gore:
Pressure On China, More Nuke
Power If Jane Fonda Will Allow It"
- 4-16-08

"Why The Big Fuss Over
Tiny Gasoline Cost Increase?"
- 4-09-08

"Quietly, Nebraska Yields
All-Public-Power Status"
-  4-02-08

"Obama’s ‘Historic’ Speech Left
Big Questions Unanswered "
-  3-25-08

"Overweight Moore Produces
“Sicko,” Finds An Ally In Creighton Doctor"
-  3-19-08

"Bush Sings, Praises Press
At Annual Gridiron Dinner"
-  3-12-08

"Obama Would Be Least
Formidable Opponent For McCain"
-  3-7-08

"‘Charisma’ Not Always a Good Thing" -  2-27-08

"Could Citizen ‘Packing Iron’
Have Stopped Von Maur Killings?"
-  2-20-08

"Obama’s Style Without Substance
Exciting, But Is It Presidential?"
-  2-13-08

"Barack Obama and John McCain:
A Major Contrast in Egos? "
-  2-07-08

"‘First Black President’
Emphasis Wouldn’t Help Obama"
-  1-30-08

"Kimball Lauritzen: Think of Her
As Joyous on Some New Dawn"
-  1-23-08

"What 'Tough' Election Contest
Was Ben Nelson Talking About?"
- 1-16-08

"Overhyped New Hampshire
Offsets Overhyped Iowa"
- 1-10-08

"Coach Bo Now Well Welcomed;
Time to Start Thinking of NU Wins"
- 1-2-08

"Words of Jews Most Moving
To Me This Christmas Season"
- 12-25-07

"AT LAST: TALK OF PREVENTION
JOINS MOURNING OVER KILLINGS"
- 12-19-07

"Killer Is Getting Just What He Wanted;
Let's Add Anger and
Action to Our Sorrow"
- 12-12-07

"Bo Brings Emotional Fire to NU Job;
Scary News: Huckabee Gain in Iowa"
- 12-05-07

"Callahan Outclasses Loudmouth Critics;
Tom Osborne Treated Him Fairly"
- 11-28-07

"A Thought for Thanksgiving Day:
Tell Them You Love Them"
- 11-21-07

"Callahan Critics: Is Loss to CU
The Only Way to Satisfy Them?"
- 11-16-07

"Crybaby Fans, Sports Commentators
Distracting Players From Their Job?"
- 11-09-07

"Did Bob Kerrey’s Decision Avoid
the Likelihood of Defeat?"
- 11-02-07

"Nosy Congress Makes
Three Bad Calls"
- 10-26-07

"Is This The Way to Run UNL´s
Athletic Program?"
- 10-19-07

"Right Decision Could
Help Both Fair, UNL"
- 10-12-07

"Stop Trying To Make God A Republican" - 10-6-07

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As I See It
Harold W. Andersen is a retired Publisher and Chief Executive Officer of the Omaha World-Herald Company. Full biography.

A number of you have told me that you don’t look forward to reading the column on your computer screen. That’s not necessary if you have a printer. Print out the column and take it with you to the breakfast table or wherever else you choose to read printed material. (You can also call up past columns in case you missed them.)

And, if you haven’t already done so, let us know your e-mail address so that we can send you a weekly reminder when a new column is available.

First, a reminder:

Attractive, hardbound copies of “Life With Marian”—a book which a good many readers have said they would be interested in owning—are still available for purchase (for $22.50) at The Bookworm in Countryside Village.  If more convenient, you can now also send a check payable to Harold W. Andersen for $26.66 (includes tax and postage) and mail to me at P.O. Box 27347, Omaha, NE, 68127.  A copy will be sent by return mail.

Media Transfer Their Love
From Candidate to President

April 30, 2009

It's no surprise that President Obama is getting predominantly—very predominantly—friendly treatment from much of the nation's news media as he ranges across the American political landscape, proposing "Yes, we can" solutions to issues large and small.

Why should the majority of the media give objective treatment to President Obama when, after all, Candidate Obama was their man? It's closer to idolatry than balanced, objective journalism, not surprising in view of the friendly treatment Obama has received from the beginning of his candidacy.

Some current examples:

As Obama's 100th day in the White House approached, the news media began to ask questions about Obama's feelings in regard to his 100-day performance. First reaction from the White House was to downplay the 100-day importance: It's a media-hyped effort to turn just another day into something worthy of special news coverage, White House staff said.

But the White House reaction quickly changed to: If the media want to ramp this 100-day business into something special, why not take advantage of it?

The result, for one example, was what a New York Times reporter described as "sophisticated management of the news media," with such image-building as providing Slate, the liberal on-line magazine, exclusive access to inside-the-White House photographs taken by Obama's official photographers.

Time Magazine seized a similar opportunity, putting out an edition devoted largely to "Behind the Scenes Photographs" taken during the first 100 days. This Time Magazine pictorial tribute to Obama was the result of the White House giving a Time Magazine photographer exclusive permission to roam the White House taking pictures which, predictably, placed Obama in a favorable light.

The only one of 13 pictures (some of them two pages wide) not featuring Obama was a small photo focusing on, of all things, Obama's breakfast one morning. (No, no—not Obama at breakfast. It was a picture of what Obama ate that morning. Cheese and crackers and a pear, in case you're interested.)

Few Tough Questions Asked

Another break which sycophantic media supporters give to the president as he bounces from issue to issue: Very often, the president's views are quoted, but questions aren't asked or at least aren't reported: Two recent examples:

The president lectured university executives on keeping tuition costs in check and called on universities to take similar steps as the University of Maryland's four-year freeze on the price of tuition. A New York Times news story included no indication that university officials had been asked for their side of the tuition story.

In another of his innumerable public appearances, Obama urged greater emphasis on wind-generated electricity. Neither he, nor the story reporting his plug for wind-generated energy, made any reference to the fact that only generous tax subsidies make windmill electricity practical, since its cost is greater than that of electricity generated by coal-burning plants.

No reference, either, to the fact that windmill electricity doesn't replace the need for coal-fueled electric plants to step up production when the wind isn't blowing consistently enough to replace coal-generated electricity.

No mention by Obama either that the coal industry is working hard and reportedly with some success in developing what a recent World-Herald editorial described as "new clean-coal technology, including gasification and carbon capture and storage."

And how about some attention to the obvious subject of more nuclear-powered electricity generating plants? When was the last time you saw a news story pursuing Obama's views on this subject? (One must keep in mind, I suppose, that Jane Fonda wouldn't approve of more nuclear-powered plants.)

So Far, Free Pass On Afghanistan

But perhaps the area in which friendly journalists are giving Obama the freest pass in terms of news coverage is the failure to point out that recent developments in Afghanistan—especially where Al Qaeda and Taliban strength spills across the border into neighboring Pakistan, making increasingly difficult an already difficult task—successful pursuit of the war to which Obama is committed in Afghanistan.

I have in front of me four stories with headlines like these: "U.S. analysts foresee Pakistan splintering into terror havens." Or "Pakistani Peace Deal Gives New Clout to Taliban Rebels."

In none of the stories is there any significant discussion of the highly significant new barriers which these developments pose to success in what may come to be known as "Obama's war" as the fighting in Iraq came to be known as "Bush's war."

As in the case of the American efforts in Iraq under George W. Bush, I believe efforts to bring a better life to a nation's people while ending safe haven for terrorists have merit.

But I also believe that President's Obama's task will prove the greater and has less chance to succeed.

History records no successful intrusion into Afghanistan by outside powers—including first the British Empire and later Russia.

* * *

'My Daddy Was A PBR'
Hardly Merits Presidential Praise

It seems to me the national office of Phi Beta Kappa was stretching pretty far to gild the PBK image in a recent issue of the organization's national magazine.

Featured prominently was a picture of former President George H. W. Bush, President Barack Obama and former Presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, taken when outgoing President George W. Bush entertained the presidential group in the Oval Office after last November's election.

Under the picture the caption said: "All of these presidents—past, present and future—share a Phi Beta Kappa connection."

The facts are that there were only two PBKs in the group—George H. W. Bush, elected a member at Yale University in 1948, and Bill Clinton, in Georgetown University's 1968 PBK class.

George W. Bush was included in PBK's overgenerous definition of a Phi Beta Kappa "connection" because his father had been elected to Phi Beta Kappa. Obama was included because his father, Barack Hussein Obama, Sr., was elected a member of PKB at a branch of the University of Hawaii in 1962. And Jimmy Carter became an honorary member at Kansas State University in 1991.

For an organization that prides itself on the intellectual capacity and academic achievements of its members, two for five doesn't rate even a passing grade in terms of claiming a significant "Phi Beta Kappa connection" for presidents or any other slice of American society.

* * *

"Take Me Out To The Ballgame"—
If You Can Afford It

I've observed in this space before that those mega-million dollar contracts for professional athletes obviously aren't paid for by the team owners but by the fans—including the father who figuratively has to go to the bank for a loan to afford to take his two kids to a ballgame.

The high price of being taking yourself "out to the ballgame" came to mind again when I read in The New York Times that the cost of a suite seat behind the dugouts and home plate in the new Yankee Stadium is $2,650 a game.

Two Sundays later, a Times columnist, after attending a Yankee/Red Sox game in Boston's ancient, legendary Fenway Park, had kind words for the Fenway Park experience and referred to the new Yankees Stadium as "a certain South Bronx monument to excess—best known in its young life for a home team clubhouse that is more of a penthouse, a jet stream right field (there have already been a lot of wind-aided homeruns to right field in the new stadium), and empty cushioned seats that promise to be a continuous and televised reminder of a grand and greedy overreach."

* * *

Light Rail System—
Need Or Expensive Toy?

Turning to Omaha's upcoming municipal elections: Let's not waste any more journalistic enterprise and candidates' time on whether Omaha should start planning a light rail system.

I don't believe there is any evidence at all that such an expensive novelty is needed in Omaha.

City Council candidate Chip Maxwell put it well. He said that a light rail system "sounds exciting" but there is no proof there is a demand for it.

Maxwell believes other methods of transportation are more efficient and less expensive and, besides, the city can't afford a light rail system.

I say "Amen!" to Maxwell's appraisal.

* * *

"Doctor Marian's" Prescription

A sudden outburst of pinched-nerve-related pain down my right leg—the worst I've ever experienced—has led me to a chiropractor's office. Marian called to make an appointment.

"It's either pain relief, amputation or divorce," she told the nurse who answered the call.

We're both hoping that extreme measures won't be necessary, of course. I'll let you know how the story unfolds.

# # #

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