Southern expressions, Harold Ford Jr. and the truth from the New York Times

Folks from the North may look down on the those who live in the South as hicks, but there’s nothing like a country witticism to sum things up. I was watching Hardball with Chris Matthews who was interviewing a couple of folks from Washington about the Bush Administration. It seems the President mentioned that his brother Jeb would make a fine president. The question was raised by Matthews if Jeb could beat Hillary and the response from one of the guests was
“He would beat her like a rented mule”. You know, you don’t have to be from the country or from the south to understand that line and if you don’t get it, you just don’t get it.
Covering news in the south, mainly outside the city of Memphis, means you’re exposed to such witticisms on a frequent basis.
I’ve heard about “toad stranglers ” and “gully washers” to describe heavy rainstorms to “light a shuck” meaning to leave in a hurry. I’ve heard more than one person remark about an unusual event that “they had seen everything but a dry river baptism, but that they had never seen anything like that”. You got to love the South. I will miss Turner South when the big change takes place at that cable channel later this year and it becomes Fox Sports South Deux.
Senatorial candidate Harold Ford Junior managed a few minutes at the end of the Hardball segment. He still impresses me as cool under fire and is quick on his feet. I like Harold and think he has a lot of potential and have liked him ever since I literally first ran into him at his father’s federal trial in Memphis in the late 80’s or early 90’s. I was trying to get on the elevator with his father after the verdict was announced and accidentally bumped into his mother. Junior, who was in my opinion, helping to physically run interference for his father, admonished me to show some respect for his mother. I muttered an apology and continued on my mission for a sound bite which I didn’t get. Harold Junior had a presence even back then.
And I was watching a TIVOed edition of The Colbert Report, on Comedy Central. Colbert does a great send-up of Bill O’Reilly. Toward the end of his show, Colbert does an interview segment and his guest Tuesday night was Frank Rich, the former theatre critic for the New York Times who writes op-ed pieces periodcally. Colbert was making a remark about the blogosphere and the pending demise of newpapers. Rich basically acknowledged that remark as being true and that television news wasn’t far behind. I bet Art (head of the NYT) loved that comment.
Maybe I should go ahead and dump my New York Times stock before it tanks any more than it had.

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3 Comments on “Southern expressions, Harold Ford Jr. and the truth from the New York Times”

  1. Average Guy Says:

    My favorite southern expression comes from Jed Clampett of the Beverly Hillbillies. “That girl is so ugly when she goes swimming they’re skimming ugly for two weeks.”

    Regarding newspaper and TV news demise — yes and no. Newspaper and TV news will have to change. The advantage both have is their local brand. We’re local content providers and the delivery platform will not matter. Demise is too strong a term. Evolve is more accurate. There will be some organizations that go away. The leaders who find a way to get their content to the viewers/readers how they want it, when they want it will thrive.

    The GM

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Joe:
    To pad what the GM stated, giving the weather has even evolved. The flip cards, magic markers and even Dick Williams’ magic tricks gave way to a newer, colorful and obviously more entertaining format. Not to mention arousing! (Can anyone say WEATHERGASM?
    Wonder if anyone remembers Al Kengott and the 13 “moving” weather?
    News providers will evolve but never actually go away.
    QUOTE FROM FLORIDA: “She is so ugly that when she stands on the beach, the tide won’t come in.”
    …..JD

  3. mike Says:

    Television news is a long way from going. The internet infrastructure isn’t there yet, nor are there enough home computers able to handle the video streams in numbers enough to be profitable.

    When the technology merges and the internet is broadband everywhere (like in Korea) and enough folks have powerful enough computers, it’ll happen. You’ll have to be able to watch whatever internet-streamed program you want on a regular television-sized monitor in the middle of the room, though. Sitting at a desk in the corner of the room with a 15 or 17 inch monitor ain’t gonna cut it.

    Watch for television news websites (and internet-only news sites) to offer a kind of RSS feed of their videos, then for a TiVo-like service to find and pluck the ones you’d like, or the whole programs. You come home, turn on the TV, fire up the internet-TiVo list and hit GO.

    Newspapers, on the other hand, are going soon. They are fading away just as the general interest magazines did. Anyone remember the Saturday Evening Post? Collier’s? Time and Newsweek? Newspapers’ only advantages are local focus (until local news websites grow up), depth of reporting and convenience / portability. When newspapers give up on the pretense of timeliness and start allowing stories to not be reported until they can be analysed deeply, then they’ll find their new niche.

    Newspapers as we know them will go away, as Top40 AM radio did. We still have AM radio but it’s got new, and still profitable, uses.


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