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It’s Their Responsibility

There are many events that people can point to that can be said to have changed the world and altered the course of history. The introduction of the first automobile completely changed how we traveled and suddenly places that took hours, or even days, to get to could be driven to in significantly less time. The advent of the internet completely changed the way people communicated and suddenly people in other parts of the world could exchange ideas, and do business, in ways they never could before. These types of events made the world seem smaller and in some ways made the world better and in other ways made the world worse.

Automobiles did make destinations more accessible and greatly sped up the delivery of critical items such as food and clothing to all parts of the world but people are also killed by automobile drivers every day. The exhaust created by so many cars in the world is often blamed for causing a dangerous shift in our atmosphere that is said to be destroying our planet. The internet has become a haven for criminals attempting to steal the identities of unsuspecting victims and those preying on the naïve tendencies of our children. For every good thing to a history altering event there is always a drawback and that can be said about the media as well.

The press has been blamed for glorifying terrible events in order to sell more newspapers or gather more television viewers. During the Viet Nam war people would turn in to the news to see footage of troops being killed or battles raging in villages where troops and civilians were all in the line of fire. People became fascinated with this kind of news coverage and the press enjoyed a resurgence during the Viet Nam war. But the problem for the press was that they only had a half hour slot in the evening to gather in their viewers and get their point across. The advent of the 24 hour news network changed that.

Today there are several networks dedicated only to news and so people that are looking to become well informed can tune in to their favorite 24 hour news channel to see the stories of the day and get their updated information. The press on television 24 hours a day is a great thing for people that want information in detail at all hours of the day and it also helps the media solve the problem of how to reach that audience that does not have the time to tune in to the national news at 6:30pm Monday through Friday. But the press also has a huge responsibility when it comes to reporting the details of major news stories all day long and it seems that the media is still using their 24 hour podium to glorify tragedy.

Ever since the 24 hour news network was created war has become a regularly televised event. People may start becoming desensitized to the horrors of war if they are constantly watching it on the television 24 hours a day. Horrifying events like the shootings at Columbine High School in Colorado become ways for less stable people to get their 15 minutes of fame because they know the 24 hour news networks will uncover every detail about them after they have committed their horrible act. The concept of 24 hour news networks seems an ideal way to keep the public informed but without the press taking any responsibility for what they report and how they report it the 24 hour news networks could also be a source for tragedy as well.

Things on Television We Can Do Without

Television clutters our lives with many things we just don’t need. As a public service, to simplify our lives, I’ve made a list of television shows and channels that we can absolutely do without.

Here is the list:

Meerkat Manor

Meerkats are critters of the mongoose family that might eat a small snake or two to prove it.

Other than Rudyard Kipling’s Rikki-Tikki-Tavi from The Jungle Book, little of interest comes from the mongoose family. I doubt that a meerkat would tangle with a full-blown cobra like Riki did.

To save yourself from bordeath (that’s another of my invented words and means “death by boredom”), go to and read Kipling’s story. Don’t come back to this article. It doesn’t get any better.

What! You came back?

Meerkats teach their young how to eat a scorpion by removing the stinger and then letting them kill it. They are very sexy and have a new batch of kittens every other month or so. Like lions, they kill young not of their own mating.

Carlos is a “playboy” meerkat starring in Meerkat Manor on Animal Planet. He fights and mates with every female he finds.

That’s all that any sane person would want to know about meerkats.

Are these scrawny “rats” really as interesting as our human soap operas?


I’m tired of meerkats.

They remind me of people.

If you must, learn about meerkats at

Religion Television Channels

I just got a call from Nate at Omaha Steaks®. I told him I got a call yesterday from the company while I was making a chocolate cake for my Idaho grandkids. Also, they called me last week.

I didn’t need any steaks so I asked him about the weather, hoping it was colder in Omaha than her in temperate Southern Idaho. It was and that made me feel good. I prefer other people to suffer in the cold.

I told frequent caller, Nate, that it was in the low forties here yesterday, an Idaho heat wave, and that I didn’t need a coat.

He was very jealous and said that he would give his right leg for such balmy weather.

It was zero in Omaha–and my step-mother-in-law lives there!

Let’s see–religion channels.

Why should I pay the cable company for these channels?

All they want is more of my money.

When I block out the Spanish-language channels, the religion channels, four of the five news channels, and the C-span channels, I have nothing left.

I’m getting ripped!

I guess there are folks that like to stay glued to a religion channel. One channel would be enough being on only between 1:00 a.m. and 4:00 a.m. every other Sunday.

I told you not to come back to this article. It doesn’t get any better!

The TV Guide® Channel

I hate this channel and the brainless twirps that never go away.

The worst are Joan Rivers and her daughter, Melissa, and their red carpet gabbery with celebrities that I don’t know from Adam (“gabbery” is another of my new words).

They just reviewed number 1000. What a waste!

I will say this for Joan Rivers: she is the only success I’ve seen in plastic surgery.
Take a look at her at

Madison Michelle is on the TV Guide® Channel. If you turn her name around, you will have her real name. Clever girl that Michelle! See her clips at

I couldn’t find a good pic of MM but I found pics of the “real” MM at–4569/marilyn_monroe.htm?ui=70DF24B185E849D4AFFE3B2DAC9BD23D

With so much clutter on the TV Guide® channel, it is almost impossible for an old man like me to find out what is happening on the other channels. With our Cable Company, who claims to just love us, there are two channel listings flashing by at the bottom of the page instead of the full page we use to have.

We old folks are easily distracted and we always miss what we are looking for. So when that happens, we have to wait and wait for the channel guide to whip by again.

I’ve sent e-mails to the cable company asking for my old full-page television schedule back but they ignore them.

They don’t really love us.

I’m going to get a dish!

Texas Hold’em

As I said in one of my popular articles on, poker is NOT a sport so keep it off the sport’s and travel channels and put it where it belongs–on the religion channels.

There is nothing as tedious as the TV poker shows. They are aced out by billiards, bowling, and wrestling. Of course, curling buries them six-feet deep.

Hey! I liked Canadian football before our American football lobby got them cut.

How dare the Canadians have a more exciting game then ours?

Cooking Shows

Now really, how many darn cooking shows do we need?

I say we stick with Rachel Ray, who can not bake, and let it go at that.
(Her sister can bake but thank goodness she doesn’t have a show.)

Don’t you get tired of, “Now we’ll let that simmer for a while” during the Polident® commercial, and “Ummmm!”

Rachel has her own big time show now. Read about it at her colorful site:

Travel Shows

Travels shows come in a variety of forms sometimes showing us the yachts, houseboats, and homes of the rich folks. There is nothing more stifling than taking a tour of a yacht by a rich matron who is absolutely bored out of her mind. “Each of our lady guests has her own solid-gold bidet.”

I learned one thing on one of those yacht shows. They buy the great yacht with which they soon become bored and can not unload at a profit–so they keep it. But do they sail it across the ocean?


They have their captain sail the thing across the rough Atlantic to the Mediterranean. They fly over, ride their boat on the Mediterranean, and then fly home leaving the captain to face the rough seas again.

Great economics when they could rent a yacht in about any port in the world!

Let’s stick with Samantha Brown.

Samantha can be sexy. See her pic at

The News Channels

One good news channel would be enough. The existing ones should be called the Old News Channels because they play the same stories copied from other news channels over and over again–even the wording.

If there is a hot news item, I go over to MSNBC to see what is going on. With the other channels, I sometimes have to guess.

Movie Channels

The rule of thumb is you either get a good movie with commercials every two minutes or a bad movie without commercials (where a commercial break would be welcomed).

Okay, there are exceptions but you have to hunt for them–but don’t try to do that if you have cable and that blasted TV Guide Channel. (Look in the newspaper. After taking a course at your local junior college on Interpreting Newspaper Television Schedules in Your Area you might be able to find a movie that your cable company caries–fat chance.)

Wait! My wife had a question. “If we omit that list of yours, what do we watch?”

I said, “Read a book!”

She said, “What is this I have in my hand, a tomato?”

I was going to mention the Spanish channels but you’ve got the idea.

Hasta la vista!

Marilyn Monroe, Madison Meredith, television, news channels, religion channels, Samantha Brown, Rachel Ray, Joan Rivers

Media Training 101: Mastering the Television Interview

As I travel around the world I always enjoy sampling the media in different countries.

Even if I don’t speak Thai, Bahasa or Mandarin, watching local news services always provides a unique insight into local culture.

I was recently watching a story on a new biotech company on Channel News Asia in Singapore. The story had interviews with both the China-based CEO and biotech venture capitalists in Singapore.

One of the visual images that struck me was how professional, persuasive and powerful the Chinese CEO looked compared to the Singapore interviewees.

The simple difference was the Chinese CEO was wearing a dark suit jacket whereas the Singpore-based talent simply had on a tie and white shirt.

Attention to detail like this can make or break your image and ability to persuade others.

Here are the Top 10 Tips for TV Interviews:

1. Avoid the phrase “I think”

This phrase weakens the impact of your message and sound bite. It adds no value and should be avoided.

2. Always wear a dark jacket for business interviews

Always have on hand a dark jacket to wear for TV interviews. This will give your body shape conveying confidence, credibility and charisma.

3. Avoid white shirts without jackets

A white shirt without a jacket is going to make your head look like a pale, washed out balloon floating around the screen. Avoid this unless you have a great tan or dark complexion.

4. Lean slightly forward towards the camera

That great Western Australian-born TV communicator, artist and inventor of the wobbleboard, Rolf Harris was a master at creating intimacy with viewers by subtle changes to the angle of his head in relation to the TV camera.

Leaning forward slightly will give you more presence and intimacy, as well as making you look thinner.

5. Avoid looking directly at the camera

Having been a TV weather presenter, looking directly at a TV camera to deliver messages is a really challenging skill.

Avoid looking directly at the camera unless you’re a seasoned pro.

6. Look at the interviewer

Look directly at the journalist to avoid ‘wandering eyes’ syndrome. Looking around furtively will make you appear shifty and untrustworthy.

7. Always control the background visuals

Control the background of your TV interview with the message you want to convey. Your logo flashed up behind you for 7 seconds can be worth upwards of $50,000 in free branding.

8. Work on your “quotable quote”

Your media message must be succinct, memorable and to the point.

9. Avoid milk, caffeine and alcohol

Milk will clog up your mouth and caffeine and alcohol will dull your senses and make you want to go to the toilet.

Stick to water and make sure you are fully hydrated.

10. Practice

Nothing is known to improve your skills more than rehearsing, practising and then reviewing your performance.