The bottom of the news
The late Fulton Lewis, Jr., a pioneer broadcast journalist featured dailyon hundreds of radio stations nationally for three decades, ended his newscasts thusly: “That’s the top of the news as it looks from here.”As a youngster, I hung on his words, amazed at his courage, conviction and introspective dissection of the day’s news. Millions of others did, too.My observations on today’s news run counter to the adjectives used to describe Mr. Lewis. My meanderings are mere musings, requiring no courage, minimal conviction and optional introspection. I’ll admit up front: It’s the bottom of the news as it looks from here..We are in awe of happenings in Egypt. Hopes for freedom soar there with the exit of deposed President Hosni Mubarek. Celebrations seem unending. What if this had occurred 25 years ago, when the song “Walk Like an Egyptian” was number one on musical charts? Since dancing assumes participants’ ability to stand, some of the celebrants would have had to “sit this one out,” or first sleep it off..Texas Governor Rick Perry, guarding the state’s “rainy day fund” like grizzlies shield their cubs, has calls for everything but square dances.College leaders squirm at his suggestion that they develop $10,000 baccalaureate degree programs, and there are assorted groans from heads of other state-funded programs gathered en masse at the state budget trough.Most of ‘em are ready to tap the “rainy day fund,” fearing--perhaps rightly so--that the governor has a broken rain gauge..What do they do on a rainy night in Rio? The late Bing Crosby popularized this song in 1946, referencing the big Brazilian city.But, in tiny Rio Vista, Texas--rainy or dry, day or night--they snicker about pronunciation of their town’s name. Generally, folks born and raised there call it “Ryyyy-O Vista.” Newcomers are more likely to say “Reee-O Vista.”During a recent TV newscast, an anchor headlined a news story from “Ryyyy-O Vista,” then switched to an on-the-scene reporter who claimed to be in “Reeee-O Vista.” Old-timers applauded for a few seconds before sitting on their hands..City brass in Dallas must be grateful that big Super Bowl stories overshadow some of their current “goofs.” First, it was discovered that they “framed” the wrong mayor when they unveiled a photo gallery of former mayors nearly a decade ago. An astute old-timer recently claimed that the picture of the late Mayor Woodall Rodgers wasn’t him at all! And now we learn that there are two kinds of ceremonial “keys to the city”--one for notables upon majority vote of the City Council, and a lesser one for presentation as individual members see fit... Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway decided to give one of the “minor keys” to Michael Vick, a professional football star destined to be burdened the rest of the way with the baggage of a felony conviction for grizzly dog-fighting operations. The award presentation was captured on a camera phone. Then, in that brief slippage ‘tween cup and lip, the news hit TV screens, then news racks.The action didn’t sit well with the mayor, several council members and a big chunk of citizenry. The brouhaha, now boiling, may cause the “honoree” to enlist lawyers to help him give it back.Upon hearing the news, Mayor Tom Leppert looked like he’d been hit full in the face with a blivet. (A blivet is 10 gallons of garbage in a five-gallon bucket. The word is not in the dictionary--yet. With so many opportunities for use, it will appear soon. “App” made it this year.).City leaders promise to review the current policy. My prediction? They’ll ditch second-tier key awards. Future key recipients will be survivors of council votes.There’ve been various news slants on this story. Minutia is magnified, of course, because the keys don’t open anything. The city won’t have to change its locks--at the dog pound or anywhere else.Besides that, Dallas has always had keyless entry. For some, though, it might take keys to get out..Look for the Texas Rangers, defending American League champs, to brag about parking for their games costing only 1% of the amount charged for spaces exactly the same size at the Super Bowl.And they’ll offer humongous refunds for bona fide patrons who don’t have seats for all innings--even extra ones. Like the dismissed coach who claimed to be leaving the way he came in--fired with enthusiasm--I sign off. “That’s the bottom of the news as it looks from here.”Dr. Newbury is a speaker in the Metroplex. Send inquiries/comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Phone: 817-447-3872. Website: www.speakerdoc.com.