Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Say goodbye to Greg and Eliot, two opposites

I took the day off from blogging yesterday to celebrate Sue and my 36th wedding anniversary. We spent the day working, her on a number of free-lance writing and editing projects, me covering the Development Commission for the New Haven Independent and attending a meeting of the Jewish Historical Society. Whoever said retirement is boring is nuts.

It's also March Madness, college basketball's playoff season. Mazel Tov to the top-ranked Connecticut women Huskies, who took the Big East regular season and playoff championships. UConn men, ranked in the top 20 nationally, are seeded fourth in the men's Big East, which started today (March 12, 2008) with Villanova tromping Syracuse. Tomorrow, the UConn men play. Then it's on to the NCAA championships, with both the men and women having a chance to win it all. The women are ranked first in the nation, and will probably be a top seed, while the men will be seeded lower, depending on how they do this weekend.

Page 1

The New Haven Register laid off its last Hartford reporter, Greg Hladky, yesterday and then had the chutzpah to feature a weekend story by him on its Web site. I guess they thought they could sneak it in before the word got around that their Capitol Bureau chief, who was, truth be told, the only Capitol Bureau reporter for the Reg and the other Journal Register Corp. dailies in the state, had been given his walking papers.

So now readers of the Register, the Bristol Press, the New Britain Herald and the Torrington-Winsted paper will have to get their Hartford news from the wires.

Greg Hladky had been around the Capitol Bureau for decades, covering the news and representing the Register on public television panel shows, as well as other radio and television panels. He knew where the bodies were buried, had the trust of the movers and shakers and printed the truth.

His steady hand will be missed in a paper that has not lived up to its traditions in the past couple of decades. I remember times when the Register and the Journal-Courier were the best of the best, covering stories like the tornados that wrecked the area around Bradley International Airport and smashed parts of Hamden a decade or so later.

The best of luck to Greg. As I told him in my comment on the Independent story about his layoff, he'll look back on this as the best thing that every happened to him professionally. Now he can go to work for a newspaper that doesn't think that it is scooping itself by putting stories on its Web site before they appear in the paper. That's what sent the smart city editor, David McClendon, fleeing to Michigan to work for Mickey Hirten, a guy who knows how to run a paper and keep good talent.

Greg, there are many really good papers out there. I know one of them will snatch a talent such as yours quickly. In the meantime, take a vacation and count your blessings.

Page 2

Gov. Eliot Spitzer of New York finally packed it in today, less than a week after The New York Times ratted him out for patronizing a high-priced call girl to the tune of $80,000 over a period of time. His wife looked as if she had aged a decade in the few days since he fessed up.

Politicians in New York pay hardball, and he could not have lasted a month if he tried to keep his office. The good folks in New York will put up with crooks, dummies and wackos, but they suffer hypocrites badly and Spitzer put himself in the lead of that hit parade by preaching clean and acting dirty.

Page 3

I wish I had the good sense to keep out of this one, but Geraldine Ferraro, who was the first woman to run for vice president and who is now in the middle of a race war, has put her foot squarely in Hillary Rodham Clinton's mouth.

She said that Barack Obama would not be where he is if he were not black. She's got it ass backwards.

Barack Obama is where he is because black people can smell victory. They can see the first African-American who has a real chance to be elected president and, no matter their politics, they are proud of that. Who can blame them?

Talk about you've come a long way, baby. I remember being in fifth grade and my teacher, Helen Sheehan, who I am sure is gone to her reward, explaining that the one black girl in the class was as clean as smart and as good a person as the rest of us.

Skip forward about 50 years and here we have a black guy running for president and the main rap on him is that he may be too smart, too intellectual and too much of an idealist.

People whose presidential aspirations have been represented by the late Shirley Chisholm and the Revs. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, people who didn't really have a chance, are now seeing a man who really, really has a chance to make it.

Of course, they take pride in that, no matter whether they agree with his politics and views or not. How can they not? Yes, a black television commentator will smile a bit with pride when mentioning his name.

If that's what Geraldine Ferraro meant, well then, she's not wrong and she needed to say it better.

If not, then she needs to shut up.

I still think Clinton will made a better president, but I won't go into mourning if he wins. I'd vote for him before McCain, who seems to be channeling George Bush (both) and promises to continue economic policies that has all our savings going down the rat hole so that oil speculators can enrich themselves at our expense.

Page 4

I see the Israeli movie "The Band's Visit" is playing at the Criterion Theater in New Haven and is probably available in other places across the nation. If you haven't seen this wonderful flick, which was mentioned as possible best foreign firm but lost out because it had too much English in it, see it.

Until next time...

No comments: