Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Newspapers Online - 1981 Style

Today, both newspapers and television stations are struggling, largely due to competition from news delivered on the Internet. But 28 years ago, it was 1981, and KRON-TV in San Francisco had this report about how a few newspapers were starting to be available to download the text onto a computer. A harbinger of things to come:

The Day The Music Died

Fifty years ago, February 3, 1959, a plane crash near Clear Lake, Iowa took the lives of three popular music stars. Buddy Holly, J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson, Richie Valens, and pilot Roger Peterson. Waylon Jennings gave up his seat to Richardson, who was not feeling well and was running a fever. Valens had reached overnight success with the hits La Bamba and Donna. Richardson's mega-hit, Chantilly Lace, had been all over the radio in 1958. Holly, best known for songs such as Peggy Sue and That'll Be The Day were on a tour to promote their music when tragedy struck.

In his song American Pie that became a huge hit in 1972, singer-songwriter Don McLean referred to the day of the crash as "The day the music died". It was so long that the single version had to be in two halves on the "A" and "B" sides of the 45 RPM record. That song also was one of three that I always kept handy back when I was a radio disc-jockey, as the 8:33 length made it the perfect song if you had to make a lengthy trip to the bathroom before the song ran out. What were the others, you ask? In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida by Iron Butterfly, which ran an amazing 17:05 on the album version; and the rock classic of the 70s, Stairway to Heaven, at 8:02. Stairway is still one of my all time favorite songs.

Change We CAN Believe In

Until his final hours in office, George W. Bush couldn't think of a single mistake he made in office. That shouldn't have been a hard task. But today, after a rough day with his nominees' tax issues, President Barack Obama said, "I screwed up". Wow! A man willing to admit his mistakes and take responsibility for them. This is the kind of ethical change we needed in Washington!

From an MSNBC story HERE:
“Today was an embarrassment for us,” Obama said. He said he was “angry,” “disappointed” and “frustrated with myself” over the Daschle episode.
But the president claimed credit for appointing hundreds of “top notch” executive branch officials who have no tax problems.
The president continued:
Obama added, “I’ve got to own up to my mistake. Ultimately, it’s important for this administration to send a message that there aren’t two sets of rules, one for prominent people and one for ordinary folks who have to pay their taxes.”
Some of President Obama's detractors have accused his supporters of idealizing him into some kind of "messiah". Yet here we see an honest, ethical man with the ability to admit to his mistakes. That is something we haven't seen in the White House since perhaps Jimmy Carter or Gerald Ford.