(Television History and Trivia)




Victor Edward Swanson,


    The material provided on this page is a service of Victor Swanson and The Hologlobe Press.  The material may be used freely by a person, if the person does not use the material for commercial purposes.  The material may be used by persons employed in the media, such as staffers of radio stations, but persons employed in the media must announce that the material has been taken from the Web site of The Hologlobe Press, the main Internet address to which is www.hologlobepress.com.  Of course, the material is provided for fun.

- - - T.H.A.T., Edition No. 55 - - -

    In the 1970s, as a student at Wayne State University, I provided guidance in the ways of radio at a student-run radio station to people who ended up in the radio business in the Detroit area and other cities, though how much help that I provided might be debated.  In the early 1990s, I taught writing skills to new staffers at AAA Michigan in the broadcast department, and some of what I taught were lessons that I had learned through my studying Modern American Usage (you should see the document entitled Writing Advice, which exists at the Web site of The Hologlobe Press and which may be reached by hitting this link: Writing).  A few years ago, I was doing a lot of research at The Mardigian Library of the University of Michigan in Dearborn, Michigan, and, for a short while I was acquainted with a gal from Vietnam, and we talked about various subjects, and I ended up teaching a bit of writing to her and ended up helping her put together a resume and a cover letter so that she could apply for jobs, and I have not been in contact with her for at least two years, but, in a way, I am treating this edition of T.H.A.T. as if I were teaching her--in this case, teaching her about television news.  Really, though, this edition touches on radio and television since the two are linked, and one way in which they are linked is some people or entities own or operate not only television stations (or television outlets) but also radio stations (or radio outlets).

    By the way, the gal from Vietnam was named Chau.

    I begin with talk about a woman named Karen Dinkins, and one reason that I bring up the subject of Karen Dinkins to Chau is Karen Dinkins worked at AAA Michigan in the broadcast area for a short while when I was at AAA Michigan.  On Friday, October 3, 2008, on page 8D of the Detroit Free Press, I saw a story written by John Smyntek that talked about Karen Dinkins (Smyntek, John.  "Names & Faces: 'WWJ Fires Partisan.'" Detroit Free Press, 3 October 2008, p. 8D.).  In the story, John Smyntek noted that on Sunday, September 28, 2008, Karen Dinkins was working for WWJ-AM (Detroit, Michigan) as a reporter (she had been with the station for about 13 years), and one job that she did on that September day was to report on a presidential rally (at the Detroit Public Library, Detroit, Michigan), and while she did her job, she wore a T-shirt that promoted Barack Obama.  In the story, John Smyntek presented information that hinted Karen Dinkins was unaware a reporter should not wear a T-shirt promoting a particular politician at a campaign rally.  After I read the story, I knew she had exposed herself as a bad reporter and journalist and should not be trusted on any political story that she were ever to do in the future.

    In 1977, I finished studies in "radio-TV-film" (receiving a degree in Bachelor of Arts) from Wayne State University (Detroit, Michigan), and I would end up doing broadcasting work for several decades; by 1977, I had already been collecting information about television for five years--a collection that would have by late 2008 over 120,000 index cards with information about television.  During 2008, I watched newscasts by ABC-TV, CBS-TV, and NBC-TV (the newscasts were CBS Evening News with Katie Couric, NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, and World News with Charles Gibson), and, during 2008, I did research of published articles about  Barack Obama (which, for instance, resulted in my adding new sections to a document entitled THOUGHTS AND PIECES OF LOGIC for the individual woman and the individual man, which can be reached by hitting the link provided at the end of this document).  My research and knowledge about journalism made me come to the conclusion that ABC-TV, CBS-TV, and NBC-TV did the American public a disservice by what they did and did not report about the financial crisis of 2008 and about Barack Obama, and, in fact, ABC-TV, CBS-TV, and NBC-TV showed how their standards are about as high or as similar as those of Karen Dinkins.  For example, ABC-TV, CBS-TV, and NBC-TV did not do any specials, such as a one-hour special, about how the financial crisis of about the late-mid-2008 came to be, which should have noted how Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae had been the spark of the whole mess and how executives of both government-sponsored entities had ties to Barack Obama; however, Baraba Walters was able to reflected on her life in a one-hour prime-time special entitled Audition: Barbara Walters' Journey on ABC-TV, which was shown on May 7, 2008, and had Charles Gibson as the interviewer, and after Tim Russert, who was the host of Meet the Press on NBC-TV, died (on June 13, 2008), NBC-TV spent an hour of prime-time air time to cover the life and career of Tim Russert through a special called Tim Russert Tribute, which was shown on Friday, June 13, 2008, and the one-hour special began at 10:00 p.m. eastern daylight time (incidentally, after Dan Rather left or was forced to leave CBS-TV as the anchor of the CBS Evening News with Dan Rather on Wednesday, March 9, 2005, CBS-TV offered viewers a one-hour prime-time show about Dan Rather, which was entitled Dan Rather: A Reporter Remembers and which was shown on March 9, 2005 (it was repeated many months later)).

    Here is an aside reminder: The financial crisis had roots that can be traced back to 1977, and the financial crisis was underway in 2007 while the housing market was already in a decline (at the end of this document you will find a link to THOUGHTS AND PIECES OF LOGIC for the individual woman and the individual man, which has some information about how the crisis was sparked by, for example, government-sponsored business entities).

    It was individuals that made up or controlled CBS Evening News with Katie Couric, NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, and World News with Charles Gibson during 2008, and I can argue well that the individuals involved in producing the three weeknight news shows have "like minds" ("Like minds get together" is one thing that I talk about in THOUGHTS AND PIECES OF LOGIC for the individual woman and the individual man).  If a person were to do research in at least Broadcasting and Cable (a weekly media trade magazine) over the last ten years to see how people have changed jobs in the broadcast field, the person would see how people have jumped among the three networks and how there are ties among the staffers of the network newscasts, and, in a way, the researching would show "like minds get together."  "For the record," I report who were the main staffers or reporters involved with CBS Evening News with Katie Couric, NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, and World News with Charles Gibson during 2008:

     CBS Evening News with Katie Couric:
        Anchor: Katie Couric
        Some reporters: Dean Reynolds (who covered the Obama campaign)
                                 Chip Reid (who covered the McCain campaign)
        Special reports: Jeff Greenfield (senior political correspondent)
        Executive producer: Rick Kaplan
        Associated with CBS-TV: Bob Schieffer (host of Face the Nation)

    NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams:
        Anchor: Brian Williams
        Some reporters: Kelly O'Donnell (who covered the McCain campaign)
                                 Lee Cowan (who covered the Obama campaign)
        Executive producer: Alexandra Wallace
        Associated with NBC-TV: Tom Brokaw (host of Meet the Press)

    World News with Charles Gibson:
        Anchor: Charles Gibson
        Some reporters: David Wright (who covered the McCain campaign)
                                 John Berman (who covered the Obama campaign)
        Executive producer: Jon Banner
        Commenting: George Stephanopoulos (host of This Week with George Stephanopoulos)

    Of course, the people who were on the news shows were beholden to other people--the managers of the news divisions or upper-level executives of the broadcast companies and even the heads of the parent companies of the broadcast companies.

    Oh, by the way, remember: A sister network of NBC is MSNBC, and, in September 2008, people were questioning MSNBC for having Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews involved in helming any election coverage because of their perceived left-leaning personas and they were sort of demoted ("Shake-up at MSNBC."  TV Guide, 22 September 2008, p. 9.).

       Here are other events or reasons that the members of the three newscasts have to be dismissed as useful journalists for the individual.  The three news shows did not do clear reports that noted Barack Obama had communistic beliefs and had ties to such individuals as Saul Alinsky (by having studied the methods taught by Saul Alinsky) and William Ayers (once a member of the "Weathermen" or the "Weather Underground," which was a terrorist group, for instance, in the 1960s), but the news people did do reports about one of Sarah Palin's daughters being pregnant, though she was only 17 years of age.  People saw how Charles Gibson did an interview with Sarah Palin (which aired on September 11, 2008, and September 12, 2008, at least) in a way that was confrontational and how Charles Gibson did not use the same style of interviewing on Barack Obama and Joseph Biden (Sarah Palin was running as the Republican candidate for vice president of the United States of America, and Barack Obama was running as the Democratic candidate for president of the United States of America, and Joseph Biden was running for vice president of the United States of America).  On September 25, 2008, CBS-TV offered viewers an interview of Sarah Palin by Katie Couric, who, for one, pressed hard on Sarah Palin, such as by asking Sarah Palin about what U.S. Supreme Court rulings she disliked, and Katie Couric did not do a similar style interview with Barack Obama and Joseph Biden.  The news shows never made it clear Barack Obama's wish to have a "civil national security force" in the country, which would be well funded, and how such a force might end up being made up of the thug-type people that make up Louis Farrakhan's "Nation of Islam" organization (in the 1940s, Adolph Hitler (who headed Germany) had the "SS" military force and the general German force, and Saddam Hussein had his elite force and his average regular force).

    Here, I only note one statement that Barack Obama made that the news shows downplayed (to see other statements made by Barack Obama, you should see the document entitled Political Lessons for the Individual Woman and the Individual Man in the United States of America, which can be reached by hitting this link: Lessons):

    On Sunday, October 12, 2008, a man (informally known as "Joe the Plumber") in Toledo, Ohio, asked Barack Obama if Barack Obama's tax plan was going to tax him more, and Barack Obama said, "It's not that I want to punish your success.  I just want to make sure that everybody who is behind you, that they've got a chance for  success too.  My attitude is that if the economy's good for folks from the bottom up, it's gonna be good for everybody...I think when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody."  (Kapp, Bonney. "Obama to Plumber: My Plan Will 'Spread the Wealth Around.'" FOXNews.com, 13 October 2008, p. NA.)

    "Spin"--this is the term that defines the process of trying to present information that "whitewashes" other information about a subject or event or gives a misleading interpretation of some type of event or subject, and it is very likely news people, who are experienced at hearing "spin" material from politicians know how to use "spin" effectively, and if the news people talked about in this edition of T.H.A.T. were pressed into talking about the idea of Barack Obama or the idea of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, the news people would very likely use "spin."   "Spin" was used greatly in relation to Joe the Plumber (the subject will be covered a bit more later in this document).

    The news people of the news shows noted in this document have a lot of options open to them in their effort to "spin" in the future the bad that is publicly known about Barack Obama, who has links to the problems of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.  The news people could say that they had no evidence of Barack Obama's true nature--especially if should come out later that Barack Obama is terribly bad.  The news people could say that all the ties between Barack Obama and such people as William Ayers and Tony Rezko were circumstantial and that some of the facts about any connections between Barack Obama and such people as Tony Rezko and Williams Ayers came from unreliable sources.  The news people could say that the conservative radio talk-show community was presenting a smear campaign in league with the John McCain/Sarah Palin campaign, funded by big business interests, and the news people were not going to become a part of the smear campaign.  The news people could say that they refuse to comment on any allegation since the allegations are unfounded.  News executives can say, "We stand by our people, our staff."   The news people can say that it was up to the Republicans to show up Barack Obama, if they thought Barack Obama had to be shown up.

    Oh, in contrast, people of the Fox News Network did bring to light Barack Obama's ties to communists and socialists, and I give two big examples.  On Sunday, October 5, 2008, the network gave viewers Barack Obama and His Radical Friends, which was hosted by Sean Hannity, and, on Sunday, October 19, 2008, the network presented Barack Obama and His Radical Friends 2, which was hosted by Sean Hannity.  Both shows were really special editions of Hannity's America, which was airing and airs regularly at 9:00 p.m. on Sundays.

    It must be remembered the show entitled This Week with George Stephanopoulos (of ABC-TV) regularly presented in 2008 (at least) a segment called "Sunday Funnies," which used clips from such shows as The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (of NBC-TV), Jimmy Kimmel Live (of ABC-TV), The Dave Letterman Show (of CBS-TV), The Daily Show (of Comedy Central), and Real Time with Bill Maher (of HBO), and the comments often focused on U.S. President George W. Bush, U.S. Senator John McCain, and Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin, and the jokes were designed to ridicule, but little ridicule if any was given to Barack Obama.

    Consider some information that may be a precursor to other statements to come.  On Thursday, October 30, 2008, Tom Brokaw (of NBC-TV) was a guest on The Charlie Rose Show, which is a PBS-distributed weeknight talk show hosted by Charlie Rose, and, for example, a few days later, Rush Limbaugh provided some text from the PBS-associated show on his Web site (related to The Rush Limbaugh Show, a syndicated radio show), and I provide here some of the text (as it was presented on the Web site):
    Charlie Rose: "I don't know what Barack Obama's worldview is."
    Tom Brokaw: "No, I don't either."
    Charlie Rose: "I don't know how he really sees where China is."
    Tom Brokaw: "We don't know a lot about Barack Obama and the universe of his thinking about foreign policy."
    Charlie Rose: "I don't really know.  And do we know anything about the people who are advising him?"
    Tom Brokaw: "You know that's an interesting question."
    Charlie Rose: "He is principally known through his autobiography and through very aspirational (sic) speeches, two of them."
    Tom Brokaw: "I don't know what books he's read."
    Charlie Rose: "What do we know about the heroes of Barack Obama?"
    Tom Brokaw: "There's a lot about him we don't know."
    When you look at the text, , which I did hear as audio presented on The Rush Limbaugh Show, you have to wonder why--only about  five days before the election--these two men made such statements.  Should they not have known what Barack Obama is through research over the past months and months?  Should they not have done research to find out what Barack Obama is for the sake of the American public?  Could they be lying, already really knowing what Barack Obama is?
    The material that was presented through their talk is evidence that they are useless and dangerous to the individual in the country and deserve no praise, as are all the people in the television business who failed to do work to show to the public what Barack Obama is--so much like a hard socialist.  (To see the names of other persons involved in news and the names of only some other persons who promoted Barack Obama for president, you should see the document entitled Political Lessons for the Individual Woman and the Individual Man in the United States of America, which can be reached through this link: Lessons.)

    Let me change the subject somewhat in this document for a few paragraphs.

    On Tuesday, October 7, 2008, I happened to see the first episode of a half-hour weekly television program called Earth Factor Asia.  It was shown on WCMU-TV, Mt. Pleasant, Michigan.  The episode was about Hong Kong, and two of the reporters were Rob McBride (who also received a "director" credit) and Jim Laurie.  The host was an Asian-type gal named: Lorraine Hahn, who also did reporting.
    The Earth Factor Asia, which was sponsored by the Nobile Group Charity Foundation Ltd., was originally set up as a six-episode series that focused on environmental issues in Asia, especially China (the series was given segments on Korea, India, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore).  The executive producer of the series was Jim Laurie, who spent about 25 years doing international reports for ABC News and NBC News.  The company that produced the series was Focus Asia Productions, and some of  the other persons involved with the series were Chris Dobson (who was the producer), Colleen Leung (who received a "segment producer" credit), Christopher Bedyk (who did camera work), and Cheuk Yan Kwok (who did camera work).
    Okay, guys, here is a "looker alert": Lorraine Hahn is a handsome woman or can be described as a cutie, and I would rather see her hosting a newscast than see Katie Couric hosting a newscast.
    You have to keep in mind I do not give a review of Lorraine Hahn, who is based in Hong Kong, in relation to her knowledge or honorableness or her political beliefs, such as whether or not she is a communist or a socialist, and, by the way, I do not know the real reason why the program--focusing mostly on China and environmental issues--has been put together and has been pushed into the United States of America.

    The final subject that I have to cover for Chau is the subject of "spin" in relation to radio broadcasting and Detroit, and, for my talk, I provide an example focusing on Mitch Albom, who is currently a columnist for the Detroit Free Press and who works as a broadcaster for WJR-AM (he does a weekday shift from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and other work (I have to note that he has written books, and some books of his have been turned in to made-for-TV movies, and one of the movies was Mitch Albom's "For One More Day", which was from Harpo Films, which is Oprah Winfrey's company (Oprah Winfrey heavily promoted Barack Obama for president of the United States of America)).  It was on Sunday, October 12, 2008, that a man who has been informally named "Joe the Plumber" asked a question of Barack Obama, and the question dealt with Barack Obama's proposed tax increase (should Barack Obama become the president of the United States of America).  "Joe the Plumber" was a fairly tall man and was bald (being a guy, I say that he was not cute or handsome, et cetera).  Barack Obama answered the question with this statement: "....It's not that I want to punish your success.  I just want to make sure that everybody that is behind you, that they've got a chance for success too.  My attitude is that if the economy's good for folks from the bottom up, it's gonna be good for everybody...I think when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody."  I have to describe how much garbage that the statement was and is and how dangerous that the statement is.  For example, define what "...if the economy's good for folks from the bottom up..." means.  It is nonsense thought.  I say that the idea of having the federal government decide how to "spread the wealth around" is dangerous to the individual and is at the very least "socialism"--an ideology of nonsense.  The statement would get analyzed and debated, and I can show how, very soon after the statement was made by Barack Obama, many radio people and television people used the idea of "spin" to lessen in the minds of listeners or viewers how dangerous and garbage the statement is.  For instance, many people began to attack the man who had asked the question, and many people began to downplay what Barack Obama had said (or did not mention Barack Obama's statement), and some of the things that the people said were that "Joe" was not the man's real name and that he owed taxes (in the U.S., some people use their true middle name more often than their first name, and "Joe" is "Joe the Plumber's" middle name).  Let me show through explanation that, in this case, the facts about "Joe" were useless information or are useless information.  The man could have been a thief, a sloppy dresser, a smoker, a lover of hot sauce, a drunk, a nude dancer, a "plant," et cetera, and all the information about him is useless information, since the question could have been asked by anyone.  The media's attack on "Joe"--a private citizen not running for president of the United States of America--is a part of my explanation.  Barack Obama's mind is so ingrained with communistic and socialistic thoughts, that he finally slipped and showed his true colors when talking with Joe the Plumber.  At some point, I would say to Chau, "Do you know more about Joe the Plumber than Barack Obama?  I do now know more about Joe the Plumber than Barack Obama--because of how media people did heavy investigation it seems to me to get so much bad data about Joe the Plumber and report it and did not do heavy investigation it seems to me about Barack Obama, who was running for the president of the United States of America (Joe the Plumber was running for nothing).  The persons that pushed the idea that Joe the Plumber was the main story or that what Barack Obama said was to be forgotten since it was related to a question asked by someone who was not perfect were defective and bad for the individual, since the persons were "spinning" out bad information that was keeping you stupid and dumb about Barack Obama or what Barack Obama is.  Mitch Albom did spin to make Joe the Plumber look bad, such as through his radio show on WJR-AM (on Friday, October 17, 2008), and through an article in the Detroit Free Press on Sunday, October 19, 2008, which was entitled "An Average Joe can't fix America's pipes" (Albom, Mitch.  "An Average Joe can't fix America's Pipes." Detroit Free Press, 19 October 2008, p.1B).  In essence, the attack by Mitch Albom on Joe the Plumber was "character assassination."  I say, "Mitch Albom should have left the subject alone or said nothing about Joe the Plumber, though Mitch was rooting for Barack Obama, who has made statements that a person would expect to be said by only a communist or socialist.  As an individual, Chau, you cannot trust him on political matters in the future, since he was working to cover up what Barack Obama is.  Mitch Albom's offense is too serious.  Some things must never be forgotten for your safety and for the safety of our children.   Detroit has a problem with too many dropouts, as it has had for many years.  A lot of high schoolers in Detroit drop out and never graduate, and it could be argued well by me that Mitch Albom--through what he said about Joe the Plumber--helps keep people in Detroit stupid.  Think about it.  Think about how he gives out misinformation!"  In addition, I can report that I heard a man named Bill Bonds, who is a famous former television newscaster in Detroit, praise Mitch Albom's column about "Joe the Plumber" as one of Mitch Albom's best while doing an interview with Frank Beckmann of WJR-AM on Tuesday, October 21, 2008, and I say, "Do you understand the praise is more nonsense and more spin and shows the uselessness of Bill Bonds (who, by the way, had really made a name for himself by being aligned with Mayor Coleman Young (of Detroit) in the 1970s, when the decline in Detroit started).  Slogans might sound nice, but the slogan "Is it just me or has common sense become all to uncommon?" (which is used at the opening of Mitch Albom's program) is a useless thought and is nothing more than "flap doodle."  Here is a commonsense question: "What would you think of being heavily investigated after asking a simple question to a presidential candidate and what would you think about those persons or entities that tried to make the answer to your question unimportant, especially when the answer showed the ugliness of the mind of the candidate?  Some errors of a person cannot be forgiven, especially when lives can end up being enslaved physically or mentally.  What Mitch Albom said hurts you and each individual.  Yes, you can choose to listen to him or read his material, and you can even laugh at him, but do not praise him or look up to him.  Forget about him.  He is expendable as a source of worthwhile thought.  He is expendable to you!  He promotes--either through ignorance or conscience will--what members of your family, such as your parents, hated!"

    By the way, on Thursday, October 30, 2008, Mitch Albom made a note on his radio show about how John McCain made a campaign stop on October 30, 2008, and how John McCain made an announcement, there, that Joe the Plumber was in the audience, but Joe the Plumber could not be found in the audience, and Mitch Albom put down John McCain for making the announcement and using Joe the Plumber as part of John McCain's campaign, and Mitch Albom even noted John McCain should give it up, not likely to win any way, and, on Friday, October 31, 2008, Mitch Albom covered the subject of Joe the Plumber again.

    Mitch Albom and Karen Dinkins are two reasons Detroit is a dead city--It is a city in which people, especially youngsters, are being kept stupid by some members of the media and by others who are in a position to influence minds.

    In the end, after my trying to help Chau and teach Chau, we would go about our separate ways, and whether or not we would ever talk again would never be known, because so goes life.

Stay well!


copyright c. 2008
Date published: November 10, 2008

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For further reading, you should see the document
    AMERICA for the individual woman and the
    individual man, which can be reached by
    hitting this link: Thoughts.
For further reading, you should see the document
    LOGIC for the individual woman and the
    individual man, which can be reached by
    hitting this link: Logic.
For further reading, you should see the document
    entitled Political Lessons for the Individual Woman
    and the Individual Man in the United States of
    America, which can be reached by hitting this
    link: Lessons.