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The Tentacle


April 29, 2010

Belated Thawts

Norman M. Covert

Spring has been a long time coming. The primary symptom of my Cabin Fever from the long winter’s night has been media overload. Getting into the sunlight replenished my deficiency of Vitamin D, but clarity in local and national events is like the weather – partly cloudy.

 

Weblogs, print, radio, and television are clearly immune to my turning down the squelch knob. A colleague commented a few years ago that he doesn’t listen to radio, watch TV or read newspapers. He just doesn’t care. He does care what special food, drink and ambiance he will share with his wife.

 

I cannot change my thirst for information, but the abundance of news and commentary amounts to a virtual reprise of the bombing of Dresden or Hiroshima in billions of words, not split atoms. It is difficult to distinguish real reporting from the suck-up press to which we have been subjected since before the 2008 election.

 

Embarrassment for my once-proud profession grows as the national and local media continue to make excuses for failed governance.

 

There are fibs, lies, little white lies, half truths, misstatements, outright deceptions, premature elicitations, eliding, eluding, falsity, fantasy, fatuosity, frivolity, flirtation and precious little illumination (gasp). So-called reporters are writing the majority party’s talking points with “Fair and Balanced” derided.

 

When the oxygen gets through, we realize what fools many were to let themselves be snookered by campaign rhetoric. Interesting that the “kool-aid drinkers” continue making excuses in the face of emerging facts from the fog on increased costs of Obamacare (who knew?), or the failure, for instance, of the TARP bailout, General Motors and employment legislation.

 

The One’s campaign promise of no new taxes makes former President George H. W. Bush’s oft-derided declaration, “Read my lips,” a mere faux pas. Recent clarifications are that such things as the Value Added Tax (VAT) are just being considered.

 

I am reminded of another great line? “Wait for it! Wait for it!”

 

Stoking The Crystal Ball

 

November’s Congressional elections could attract high numbers of voters considering local and national fervor to put the genie back in the bottle. No longer the “Silent Majority,” some Frederick people were not lulled into surrendering to the stampede of provisions in The Constitution and Bill of Rights. They have helped change the November equation.

 

The local grass roots leadership that emerged to arrange the first Tea Party rally downtown last year never slowed. Their seminars, rallies, bus trips to Annapolis and Washington and savvy efforts have forced better media coverage of their efforts to keep the candle of truth burning. They continue to rattle local progressives and other Democrats.

 

We first heard about all this through the energetic effort of now Commissioner Blaine Young. The names Mark Kreslins and Joshua Lyons have become almost household names here. The latter two have become the voices of clarity on law and the Constitution with the addition of the group known as “We Surround Them.”

 

The original group’s synergy has swept in a huge following with Constitutional information seminars touted as among the most erudite presentations in the country.

 

Speaking of Mr. Young, he has been everything expected to those who urged his appointment to the Board of County Commissioners. He’s the perfect foil for Commissioner John L. (Lenny) Thompson. We’ll see if anything gets done.

 

Also worthy of praise is Del. Charles Jenkins, (R., 3B), whose former seat Mr. Young now occupies. Delegate Jenkins did all the right things in the 2010 General Assembly, earning high marks in his first foray in Annapolis. He was no Katzenjammer Kid, as www.thetentacle.com colleague Roy Meachum once described then first-year county delegation members Sen. Alex X. Mooney (R., Frederick/Washington) and Del. Joseph R. Bartlett (R., Frederick Dist. 4A).

 

Delegate Jenkins’ appointment must be one of pride for our neighbors in Washington County, who’s Republican Central Committee forced his appointment, shaming the Frederick GOP. Our group continues to forget it is supposed to be the good guys and not inept to the point of self destruction.

 

Mr. Young has been no shrinking violet on the dais at Winchester Hall, neither has it slowed his momentum with the successful afternoon weekday conversation/comment show on WFMD-AM930. He does appear to be in transition in anticipation of his expected run for election in November.

 

Curious that the station played another of its local citizen “talk back” bits a few days ago, airing the same talking points about forcing Mr. Young off the air. It must amount to stirring up the masses and must bring a smile to Mr. Young’s face.

 

The recorded comment seemed to be from one of the same Amateur Hour political hacks, whose media blitz scheme was intended to intimidate WFMD, Mr. Young and all his advertisers.

 

The cabal’s effort failed, mostly because Mr. Young is so successful at selling his time to local advertisers. The law does not prohibit his employment and he reveled in the attention. Apparently his listener numbers reached new heights with the added exposure.

 

It didn’t take more than a few hours at the outset of the assault to identify the perpetrators. They have name recognition hereabouts and include Democrat Party/no-growth activists. Commissioner Kai Hagen quickly denied any role in this Gong Show. “Yes,” he said, he helped organize the no-growth group whose leadership appears on the email senders list.

 

Another well-known activist was caught with her name on the email sender roster. “Not me” she begged, throwing her friends under the bus. She did admit to having helped draft the email, saying that’s as far as she went. With that cleared up, she could go back to her union teaching job.

 

The Chicago-Mob playbook didn’t specify to these thugs that you must wield the blade carefully. They didn’t expect their own jugulars to bleed daylight. Such is the state of political thuggery when integrity is stifled.

 

We send congratulations to Myron Randall for his Frederick News-Post being named newspaper of the year in Maryland by the press association. His young designers do a bang-up job with the attractive rotogravure-like front page. It continues to have a first-class photography team and terrific local sports section. I’m a regular reader of Nancy Luse’s food columns and wish some reporters could emulate her excellent writing.

 

It isn’t clear from this desk that foregoing a Monday edition could actually be saving any money, but it seems the “Monday Advance” has just been separated from the Sunday commentary with a new tag line. Then again, I still marvel at former Publisher George B. Delaplaine’s ability to sell the same newspaper twice a day for so many years by changing the flag to “The News.”

 

I am not disappointed in my Monday copy of The Hagerstown Morning-Herald, except that it took some time for the News-Post circulation team to get my paper to me the first few weeks. I usually have to look for it on the edge of the street. Perhaps the News-Post has amortized its business decision in the delivery deal with their colleagues up I-70, a new collegiality within the fourth estate.

 



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