Dem Lynch Mob Might Hang President’s Hopes - 07-16-09
A Varied Menu For You To Consider - 06-25-09
Notre Dame And Obama
Offer A Splendid Lesson - 05-21-09
Upsets Even Liberals - 03-26-09
‘Adults In Wonderland’
Need To Get Real - 01-15-09
This Time It’s Indians
Who Break The Treaty - 12-18-08
Me? A Grumpy Old Man?
One Reader Thinks So - 12-11-08
Top Athletes Should
Know When to Quit? - 7-24-08
Omaha Stars Again
On National TV Stage - 7-02-08
Obama ‘Stumbling’ To Victory? - 5-08-08
"‘Charisma’ Not Always a Good Thing" - 2-27-08
"Nosy Congress Makes
Three Bad Calls" - 10-26-07
"Right Decision Could
Help Both Fair, UNL" - 10-12-07
"Stop Trying To Make God A Republican" - 10-6-07
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.
NEXT WEEK, LOOK FOR TWO COLUMNS AVAILABLE AT WWW.HAROLDANDERSEN.COM – ONE WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 17TH AND ONE THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 18TH.
WE WILL SEND INTERNET REMINDERS ON WEDNESDAY AND THURSDAY MORNINGS.
September 11, 2008
If you aren’t already sickened by the performance of John Edwards—former United States Senator and 2004 Democratic nominee for vice president of the United States—in carrying on a sexual relationship with another women while his wife was fighting a battle with cancer, you might be interested in learning how the self-satisfied editors of The New York Times handled the story.
To The Times’ credit, the newspaper does offer each Sunday a “Public Editor” column in which a paid staff member critiques the way The Times has handled various news stories.
“Public Editor” Clark Hoyt’s criticism is usually rather gently worded and usually is accompanied by a defensive reply by one of The Times’ editors. In the John Edwards case, however, Public Editor Hoyt was rather sharply critical.
As you may know, the “love child” story broke in what The Times considers a sleazy publication, The National Enquirer. The story was there to be investigated, but The Times made only a half-hearted effort to get the facts. Finally, weeks after the story had broken in The Enquirer, when Edwards confirmed it in an ABC news interview, The Times—and other major news media—could ignore it no longer.
Public Editor Hoyt wrote that before the ABC interview, “The Times did not try to verify it beyond a few perfunctory efforts, which I think was wrong.”
A Times editor responded that Edwards wasn’t a major political player at the time, and The Times and other news media were busy pursuing a report that John McCain had a romantic relationship with an influential lobbyist.
But Public Editor Hoyt pointed out that (1) when the National Enquirer broke the story, Edwards was still very much a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination and (2) The Times was busy trying to verify the rumor about John McCain and the lobbyist—a rumor that The Times vigorously pursued and reported but “did not convincingly establish (as) the truth.”
Public Editor Hoyt said he would not have published the unconfirmed McCain/lobbyist story.
Stay tuned. From now until Election Day in November, I’m sure you will observe a continuing flow of examples of the different standards by which The New York Times and most of the rest of the national news media cover Democratic candidates and Republican candidates.
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A letter from the Nebraska Humane Society sets forth the society’s answer to a proposed city ordinance which would ban the pit bull breed from legal ownership in Omaha. The Humane Society opposes such a ban and offers these alternatives:
Once a dog is deemed to be potentially dangerous, owners would be required to spay or neuter the animal, micro-chip the dog or attend behavior (that’s presumably dog behavior) and responsible pet-ownership classes and muzzle their dog while outside the confines of their home or yard.
Any owner convicted on three separate occasions of non-compliance with the city’s animals laws within a 24-month period would lose their animals and not be allowed to own another animal for two years.
Owners would be forbidden to tether dogs.
The reasoning behind the “anti-tethering ordinance” is that “it has been proven time and again that tethered (chained or tied-out dogs) have a much greater tendency to become dangerous.”
Some questions arise:
How would you determine “once a dog is deemed to be a potentially dangerous dog”? Does he or she get to bite someone before being deemed dangerous? The whole point of the concern about pit bulls is that some people consider all pit bulls “potentially dangerous.”
And as to taking dog-ownership-privilege away from “reckless owners” for 24-month periods, the Humane Society suggests that this is “the three-strike rule.”
Some people would prefer at least a one-strike rule or, in the case of pit bulls, a no-strike rule.
* * *
I’ve never kept count, but I would estimate that in an average month, Marian and I receive 20 or so—a conservative estimate, I believe—letters relating to contributions.
Some simply ask for funds, some ask for more funds than we have already given during the calendar year and, increasingly, some ask us to “save the date” for some future evening out at a “gala” for which we are asked to contribute anything from a $150 ticket up to a “corporate sponsorship” up to $25,000.
(A good many fundraisers seem not to know that Marian and I are not a corporation and that I no longer have an executive position with any corporation.)
The mail recently included what I believe to be a record in “save the date” notices. Marian and I have been invited to attend in person or at least send a contribution (the amounts range from $150 for a single ticket to $25,000 for a corporate sponsorship) for an event will be held next May.
* * *
On the one hand, I keep encountering people who say they miss my column as it appeared in print on the pages of The Omaha World-Herald.
On the other hand, most of those former print-version readers don’t know that I am still writing a weekly column, which appears on the internet each Thursday morning on the website named simply www.haroldandersen.com. Such former print readers say they are pleased to learn of the electronic version of the column and say they will take a look each week.
Several such readers brought up the subject during a cocktail hour conversation at the recent Ak-Sar-Ben King and Queen’s party. All the participants said they especially miss the occasional reports on the doings of Marian and the world’s three most lovable cocker spaniels.
I wrote last week about Marian driving with her convertible top down and my instant interpretation of that fact: Marian had an appointment with the hairdresser the next day.
Today a report that the cocker spaniels are all doing very well indeed.
Charlotte (sometimes referred to as Charlotte the Scamp) the youngest, continues to chew into small pieces any piece of paper she can find lying on the floor, on a chair, in a wastebasket or anywhere else. Otherwise, she is quite well-mannered.
Claire, whom we frequently call “Curly” because—need I explain?—she has somewhat curly hair on her head and neck, continues to come, invariably, when she hears me sneeze. Sometimes she is in an adjoining room but hears the sneeze and comes running, placing both paws on my lap and, of course, getting an immediate backrub. Sometimes we call her “Nursie” because of Marian’s far-fetched notion that she is concerned about me when she hears me sneeze. My explanation is that she knows she will get a welcome backrub.
Sweet Sarah, the oldest dog at 13 ½, is losing her hearing but not her health. Marian and I, for obvious reasons, totally understand and are quite willing to gently shake her awake when it’s time for the three dogs—currently most often referred to by Marian as “Wild Women of Prairie Avenue”—need to be called for dinner or to go outside and “be good girls.”
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