The New Democrat Online

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Sharon Kauffman: ABC News's 20/20 First Episode- 6/06/1978

From ABC News-
This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

"From ABC News- As the lead in to this video said ABC News, was a small player if not joke in the network news business in the 1970s. Th..."

As the lead in to this video said ABC News, was a small player if not joke in the network news business in the 1970s. They basically remained that way until the Iran Hostage Crisis in 1979-80 that launched Nightline with Ted Koppel and their nightly newscast World News Tonight started drawing real ratings then, This Week With David Brinkley emerged in 1981, 20/20 became a hit when Barbara Walters and Hugh Downs, became the anchors of it. ABC Sports with their NFL coverage with Monday Night Football and their MLB coverage with Monday Night Baseball and their college football coverage and a handful of entertainment shows that they had especially in daytime, were really the only hits that the ABC network had. Back then America had two great broadcast networks in CBS and NBC, as far as entertainment, sports and news. With ABC giving you same type of programming, but without the hits and affiliates that the big two had in the 1970s. And being a distant third to CBS and NBC when it came to news, but entertainment as well.

I sort of look at ABC in the 1970s the way I look at Fox today, but with ABC putting a lot more emphasis on news. Fox still doesn't have much if any impact on network news other than their Sunday morning talk show. ABC was trying to be CBS and NBC at least as far as influence and in size, but until Roone Arledge took over ABC Sports in the 1970s and then later ABC News in the 1980s, they were a distant third. Rooney Arledge with Monday Night Football and then Monday Night Baseball and ABC Sports college football, 20/20 World News Tonight, Nightline, This Week With David Brinkley, is responsible for making ABC the powerhouse it is today. With the ability to compete with CBS and NBC, when it comes to entertainment, news and sports. And have the affiliates to be able to do that. Whatever you think of this version of 20/20 and I'll get to that later, this was the start of ABC becoming a force in network news.

It's a damn good thing that Barbara Walters and Hugh Downs, became the anchors of 20/20. Even for 1978 the layout of this first show with two no-name anchors and one of them not even being an American and the other making his living as a writer and not a broadcast journalist and the cheesy music (even for 1978) and covering stories like how greyhounds are treated, just showed you that ABC News wasn't quite ready for prime-time. CBS's 60 Minutes even though they had already been around for ten years at this point, looked so much better and more professional. It looked like a network news magazine show. And not some weekend morning show that mixes in soft stories with a few real news stories and interviews, to make the show look serious. But they were trying and got much better again when Hugh Downs and Barbara Walters, took over the show in 1979-80. And were together for twenty years and made 20/20 the hit that it still is today.
Sharon Kauffman: ABC News's 20/20 First Episode- 6/06/1978

Thursday, September 15, 2016

NBC News: John F. Kennedy on Meet The Press Through The Years

This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

John Kennedy, was perfect for NBC's Meet The Press, because he was so quick. The people there liked him and knew that he could not only answer their questions, but wanted to do it and answer them with depth. Very similar to Bill Clinton or Barack Obama, he was very quick off the cuff and could answer questions with humor. Meet The Press liked interviewing him, because he was likable, popular, well-known and very funny. The 1950s was a fascinating time and JFK was in Congress the whole time as the country was dealing with the Cold War, post World War II economic boom, the early days of the civil rights movement and even American women starting to make important impacts out of the home in the American economy. Meet The Press had female anchors and questioners. There were women in Congress like Senator Margaret Chase Smith and many others. Jack Kennedy was in his thirties and early forties during this decade and had a great future ahead of him if he wanted it. Which is why Meet The Press loved having him on.

Jack Kennedy, was sort of an absentee Representative in the House. Somewhat bored and loved being a bachelor and enjoying the Washington nightlife when Congress was in session. It wasn't until JFK decided to run for the Senate in 1952 that he started taking his job more serious and making his positions known in Congress. There are a lot of things to love about Jack Kennedy and he is my political hero, but he's definitely someone who grew in office. Wasn't a great Representative, but a good Senator at least in the sense that he started taking issues seriously and studying them and not just going to his committee hearings, but knowing the right questions to ask. I don't believe JFK becomes President of the United States on his personal appeal and family name alone in 1960, had he not become a serious Senator and taken his job in Congress seriously and getting on the road and getting his political platform out there.

I'm not sure JFK gets into his politics without his father Joe pushing him. But it's clear that once JFK got into politics and ran for the House in 1946 and was elected he loved it and became a natural campaigner and politician. He gave a great speech, great interviews, knew how to excite and inspirer people. He wasn't a natural public servant and someone who actually loved doing the job that he was elected to do. He tenure in the House is a pretty good example of that. I believe he sort of grew in public service once he was elected to the Senate, especially his second term when he started considered running for president in 1957 or so. But was someone even though had a fairly thin resume outside of Congress and somewhat of a thin voting record and list of accomplishments in Congress, was someone who was great at expiring people and laying out a vision for how America could be even greater and how all Americans could succeed in America.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Associated Press: Today in History For September 11th- Remembering 9/11, 2001

This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review

Just to give you a personal reflection about 9/11. I was working at a movie theater and not happy about it and working the nightshift and disliked that even more. Except for the people I worked with and for and met. I believe I closed the night before and slept in that morning knowing I would be closing again on that Tuesday night the night of 9/11. I woke up early that afternoon and turned on the news and saw I believe ABC News breaking in from their afternoon soap operas to cover these explosions that were happening in New York City and the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia. And to paraphrase what Jack Buck said during the 1988 World Series, "I don't believe what my eyes just saw." I can't believe what I just saw on TV. It must have felt like the way people in Hawaii felt during Pearl Harbor in 1941. That the nation was under attack and what's the next horrible attack that we'll be doing with. I get ready for work and get there I guess about 4 o'clock that afternoon and find out that the theater is close because of the attacks and I had the night off.

There are only two moments during the George W. Bush presidency where I was proud of President Bush and I don't say that lightly or proudly. It's just the way I feel about this President as President. The first one is where President Bush goes to New York City to look at the destruction caused by the attacks and he's giving a speech there and talking to firefighters there. And some people in the audience yell out essentially how angry they are at the people of these attacks. And President Bush literally breaks in with a megaphone and says, "we hear you, the Americans people hear you and the people responsible for knocking down these buildings will hear from all of us very shortly." It was the perfect thing to be said at that point and I believe reflected how most Americans were feeling at that very moment regardless of their politics and party affiliation. Those last four months of 2001 starting unfortunately with 9/11, you could argue was the last time America was united as a country. And President Bush deserves credit for that. Regardless of what you think of him.

I don't live in New York City and I never had. So I can't give you an eyewitness account of what happened in New York during those horrific attacks. But what I can do as an American is tell you how I feel about people responsible for attacking one of America's great cities and one of the great cities in the world. America felt under attack during 9/11. Before that we felt invincible as a country and believe no one would attack us period. Even if they could, because we would destroy them if they did and they knew that. 9/11 changed and changed the national makeup of this country. What goes on in the Middle East and South Asia, can now happen here. Not from another country sending in a plane and hitting us with missiles and bombs, because they would get shot down. But from terrorist hijackers so warped out of their mind and hating America and our foreign policy, that they would hijack a private plane and use it as their suicide attack. Even with innocent passengers on board simply flying to New York, with no say in the matter. And America has never gotten back to pre-9/11 and the few months after that when we were one country even for that short period.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Lisa Rinna: Marilyn Monroe- Things Happen For a Reason

This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review

I've blogged this before and I'll say this again. Marilyn Monroe, wasn't known for saying intelligent things, at least not with people not knowing her personally. She was known as a goddess, dumb blonde, an entertainer, comedian, singer, a wild child with the baby-face of a sixteen year girl and even the personality of one. And except for the dumb blonde she was all of those things. But she was so much more and even those she was immature and lack self-discipline and self-confidence, which is shocking if you just look at her and see that smile, she had this keen blunt way of seeing things for what they are and knowing exactly how to describe them and put things and people in their place. She had a keen sense for commonsense about life outside of her. Even if she didn't show much of it when living her own life. What's she saying here in this quote is not something that makes people think, "I wish I thought of that." Instead it's more like, "I wish I remembered that, so I could see things what they were and take life as it comes and make the best of it."

Things to happen for a reason. Which sounds like a quote from Captain Obvious, but it's so true and if more people just saw that instead of thinking their life is collapsing because they're facing some hardship. It's not whether something for good or bad happens in your life that is key. The question is how does that change you and what do you do about it. Being poor at any point in your life is only a life sentence if you make it one for yourself. You don't improve yourself, you don't get yourself the skills that you need to live your life, you don't make the necessary lifestyle adjustments needed to be able to move up in life and you'll remain poor. Instead of saying, "I hate poverty, so I'm going to do what it takes to get myself out of poverty." And that is just one example and when something positive happens in your life, you should know why and how that happened, so you don't take it for granted and stay on that positive course. Whether you get a promotion at work, get a great girlfriend, whatever it might be.

One way I would describe Marilyn Monroe, is that she has a Ronald Reagan knack of commonsense. (Sorry my fellow Democrats) The Gipper had an ability to put things as they are and put them in a way that anyone basically could understand. That is how someone wins presidential elections with 56 and 59 percent of the vote and wins 93 states in two elections. Because you show strong leadership and layout a vision and character that everyone can understand. Even if they vote for you or not. Marilyn Monroe, was fifteen-years younger than Ron Reagan and politically very different, but she had that same ability of putting things in a way that everyone can understand. And not introduce knew language and facts, but instead remind people of commonsense that almost everyone knows. That perhaps we forgot, because it's so common and perhaps seems so ordinary and perhaps old school and we feel the need to simply be different and fit in with current times. Marilyn was great at putting things exactly as they are and for that reason alone is worth being missed.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Constitution Daily: Olivia Fitzpatrick- Vice Presidential Profile Henry Wallace: The Father of American Democratic Socialism

Democratic Socialist Vice President Henry Wallace-
This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

Henry Wallace, is a very important figure in American politics as well as government and I believe in positive ways for the most part. He was in favor of civil rights, equal rights and equal justice, in the 1940s when very few Democrats were and probably most Americans were. But to supporters and followers of Bernie Sanders and Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein he's their political father. He created the vision that they're currently fighting for. A social-democratic or democratic socialist vision that goes farther than the New Deal of that era and even farther than Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal and Lyndon Johnson's Great Society. He wanted to create a country and government where the central government became the tool to be used to see that no one had to go without anything they needed to live well. Henry Wallace was to the left of Progressive Democratic President Franklin Roosevelt on both economic and foreign policy. And he was FDR's Vice President.

Henry Wallace, didn't believe in fighting the Cold War against Russia. He didn't see communism as some big evil threat to American freedom. Unlike most Progressive Democrats at the time like FDR, Harry Truman and many others. Similar to Bernie Sanders with the Communist Republic of Cuba, Wallace might of founded aspects of communism that he least respected. As it related to economic policy and the welfare state, even as he criticized it for the last lack of human and individual rights. So he certainly wasn't in the mainstream of the Democratic Party back then, or wouldn't be today. Wallace ran third-party for president in 1948, because he couldn't have beaten President Truman in the Democratic primary season. Again Bernie Sanders and Jill Stein, have taken his role as the leader for democratic socialism in America, because there isn't a major party that represents them. They're trying to build that movement in and outside of the Democratic Party.

Thanks to Henry Wallace, you have the emergence of the New-Left if the mid and late 1960s. That had both social-democratic and communist factions in it. That was opposed to the Vietnam War, but the Cold War, the American military and American capitalism. That wanted to create a society where government was bigger and more centralized within the Federal Government. And was used to provide the basic benefits that people needed to live well. Instead of receiving those benefits from their employers, or making those choices for them in the private sector. People like Tom Haydon and Bill Ayers and groups like Students For a Democratic Society and The Weather Underground, represented the New-Left of this era. And flooded the Democratic Party with all of their members and made it possible for someone like Democratic Socialist Senator George McGovern (the Bernie Sanders of his time) to run for president in 1972 and win the Democratic nomination. Henry Wallace, has made a huge impact on American politics and deserves credit for that.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

ABC News: World News Tonight-Colin Kaepernick Refuses to Stand During The National Anthem: Opportunism at it's Worst

Malcolm X, Really?
This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review

In life there are followers and there are leaders. There are trend-setters who would be leaders and there are people who follow whatever the latest trend is who would be faddists. Celebrity culture and pro sports is no different, is a very accurate reflection of this. Celebrities feel the need to be cool to the point they'll follow things and claim to support things that in many cases they don't even seem to understand. Ben Affleck, from a couple years ago where he essentially accused Bill Maher of being a racist, because Maher made critical, but accurate statements about Islam, is a perfect example of this. Even though Islam is not a race, but a religion and Muslims can be anyone of any race, since Islam is not a race, but a religion. With today's social media and broader media culture, things can become hot and go or go viral, in an instant. And when that happens, many celebrities feel the need to be associated with it even if they don't understand what they're associating with. Colin Kaepernick, to me at least seems like the latest celebrity faddist and getting on the Black Lives Matter train.

This is not a debate about whether there's racism and bigotry, as well as oppression in America. Because of course there is and we've had as a nation more that two-hundred years of it. This to me is a debate about whether a multi-millionaire San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick, is the right spokesperson to address this issue. Who'll be paid eleven-million-dollars by the 49ers this season to be there starting QB. A man who has taken advantage of every opportunity he's had in America as an individual to live in freedom and become filthy rich. Oppression in America, again goes back more than two-hundred years starting with American-Indians. And then Africans being kidnapped from Africa and brought over to be the slaves of European-Americans who the land of the American-Indians. To women of all races not having the right to vote in America until a hundred-years ago. To Jewish and other European immigrants, being denied access in America by Anglo-Saxons, simply because their ethnicity and religion was different from English-Americans. To Latinos and Asians as well. With the Japanese, as well as German and Italian-Americans, being kidnapped and forced into concentration camps. Because the U.S. Government saw them as traitors during World War II.

Colin Kaepernick, has been in the NFL since 2012 and has been a millionaire his whole career. America didn't wake up to oppression when the Black Lives Matter moment started in 2014. We've known about it for over two-hundred-years. That is anyone who took and passed American history in high school. Mr. Kaepernick has had all this time to let his thoughts and views be known about racism and oppression in America. And waits till now when the Black Lives Matter becomes popular and not only that, but isn't putting himself at risk here at all. The 49ers won't cut him over this, because standing for the national anthem is voluntary. And the City of San Francisco is a capital of fads and trends and pop culture and leftist hippies who applaud anyone who takes on anyone they see as 'The Man.' If Mr. Kaepernick loses his job this season, it will have nothing to do with the fact that he supposedly took a stand against oppression. But that he once again failed to perform, and the 49ers have another mediocre or bad season. And head coach Chip Kelly decides to go in a different direction as a result.

Colin Kaepernick, showed no more courage in not standing for a national anthem for a country that has given him no much opportunity as someone who is African-American, to be very successful, than millions of teenagers who bought and wore Malcolm X hats in the early 1990s when the Malcolm X movie came out. Claiming to support a man they probably never even heard of before that movie came out. And perhaps don't have much knowledge about who Minister Malcolm is today. Someone who I have a lot of respect for an learned a lot about. What Mr. Kaepernick has done here instead is make a fashion statement. And use the national anthem of a country that's given him so much opportunity to be as successful as he had, has his target and launching point. Which makes him not different from people who eat whatever the latest hit dish is, or where whatever outfit, or claim to be behind whatever the latest movement or celebrity is. So of course he has the Freedom of Speech (even in the NFL) to do what he did. But he's nothing more than an opportunist when it comes to oppression and fashion statements.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Scott Rogers: The Steve Allen Show- Diana Dors Hooray For Love in 1960

This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review

It’s simply not possible for me to see too much of Diana Dors right now and believe me I’ve tried. If I don’t get over this compulsion fairly soon I might seek professional help. She along with Anita Ekberg, Ava Gardner, Liz Taylor, Shelley Winters, are my favorite not just Golden Age Hollywood Goddess’s right now, but my favorite Hollywood Goddess’s right now. Add Angie Dickinson, Marilyn Monroe and Kim Novak to that list. Diana, was so adorable with a hot baby-face, English accent and personality to match.

I’ve seen The Run For Doom which is her Alfred Hitchcock Hour episode from 1962, probably twenty times now. And it’s a very good show, but she makes it great. Simply because of her performance on it. Her presence on it is simply overwhelming by the way she moves and her adorable facial expressions. But keep in mind she was a hell of a lot more than a baby-face goddess with a great voice and personality. She was a hell of an actress and a very funny performer as well. She reminds me a lot of Shelley Winters as far as personality and comedic timing.

Diana could make serious parts look funny and keep people staring at her with her with her add living. Again watch The Run For Doom. Or be the funniest person in the room when you let her go off the cuff. Like she did with Bob Hope, Steve Allen and many others. As far as Hooray For Love, again Diana had many talents. She played a singer nightclub singer/gold digger in The Run For Doom. And in this performance she’s singing Hooray For Love on The Steve Allen Show, (Got me for who that show was named after) Great face, great voice, great body on a 5’6 frame. Tall and curvy, but definitely not too tall and I just wish she lived a lot longer and had a much longer career. Because she was so special.