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WTTG-TV reporter Tucker Barnes "immersed himself" in toxic sea foam as part of his storm coverage.

Here they come, all the critics mocking the news coverage of Hurricane Irene, the storm that seems to have made some cynics think it was all about politics and Nielsen ratings.

I for one am grateful for every member of a”team coverage,” well, perhaps with the exception of the Fox reporter who announced, “It doesn’t taste great,” after “immersing himself” in sea foam, a polite term for bacteria-laden sewage pouring onto the coast line, presumably a result of the storm.

I think the critics may still not know how to navigate the new world when 100 channels and even more websites all  cover an important story.  Add Twitter to that and you have something that feels like the decibel of hysteria, but that’s a quantity issue, not a quality one.


That’s just one indictment from my pal Howie Kurtz who I agree with more often than not. But today, even in hindsight, I can’t agree cable news or the nets put the story “on steroids” or that their reporters gave “Category 5 performances.” Read the rest of this entry »


Steve Jobs resigns as Apple CEO

The news that Steve Jobs resigned as Apple CEO today, however one prepared for the inevitable, still came as a swift punch in the stomach. Especially coming on the heels of the August 10th announcement that Steve Jobs’ Apple surpassed Exxon Mobile as the most valuable (publicly traded) company in the world, worth over $337 billion.

As we all know, Jobs, along with Steve Wozniak, founded the company in his parents garage when he was just 20. Along the way he was fired from his own company, publicly humiliated, and eventually rehired. He’s always said getting fired launched a new phase of creativity, “The heaviness of success was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again.”

Although I have joked that getting fired helped me replace the heaviness of success with the lightness of hunger, Steve Jobs has been my secret inspiration for years, especially after his extraordinary commencement speech to Stanford University.

It is worth revisiting today:

June 12, 2005

I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I’ve ever gotten to a college graduation. Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That’s it. No big deal. Just three stories.

Read the rest of this entry »


The U.S. Treasury did not default.  Gabby Giffords returned to Capitol Hill and rallied her House colleagues on the importance of unity. And it looks like our grandchildren will be paying off our nation’s debt. Good news breaking all around  (at least for many of us who have been supporting adult children and have no problem learning they may one day have to do the same.)

Will checkbook journalism go the way of Joe Camel?

Ever an optimist, I am a great believer in our flawed institutions and the flawed people who run them.  After all, during my lifetime I’ve seen the most radical reforms. Among my favorites:  big Tobacco brought to its knees, forced to pay $368 billion in health-related damages and retire Joe Camel. That was right up there with the break up of the Bell Telephone monopoly and the fall of communism.  

In the realm of  anything is possible,  it now appears Ben Sherwood is saving ABC News — if not its ratings, at least its integrity.  Swimming fiercely against the current, the new ABC News boss has announced the end of the scandalous practice of writing large checks for competitive news interviews under the guise of “licensing fees” for photos or video. See? If you wait (or live) long enough, the things you care about the most will turn out okay. Read the rest of this entry »