Thursday, August 05, 2010

"The Times, They Are A-Changin'", But first, a response statement, from me, the writer of this here blog!

A lot of stuff going on, gang.

Conversations about the possible repeal of the 14th Amendment and why.

The California Gay Marriage ruling.

The possible Mosque being built near Ground Zero.

Our upcoming departure from Iraq.

Shaquille O'Neal now with the Celtics.

Brett Favre is going to....Well who really knows what Brett Favre will do besides providing more drama?!?

A review of a film that it took me more than 26 years to finally see!

A list of mind boggling "How much The Times Are A-Changin'".

How you can get a new book titled, "I Love Radio".

And speaking of RADIO...

Here comes that response statement I alluded to in the above headline, but first, a little background...

As long time readers of this blog know, what we mostly write about here are political topics. And these topics are read and commented on (to me) by readers all over the country. And in different parts of the world. In fact, the vast majority of you readers don't live where this blog is written which is in the Los Angeles, California area. We also write a little about entertainment stuff because a lot of people have some interest in that as well. Once in a while I might tell a story about that occasional new show business job I was lucky enough to get and very rarely, I will write about something I happen to know a lot about. And that is anything having to with radio.

During my long career in radio coupled with more than a decade's worth of television experience doing (in no particular order) Major Market Top-40 Drive Time work, Major Market General Information Talk, Drive Time work, and Major Market Sports Talk and Television Anchor work, not to mention numerous radio and television "specials" and the television chat shows I hosted and co-hosted, I learned a few things.

And I learned these things from the very best in the business. Some have said to me that they believe I have worked side by side with more Radio Hall of Famers and Pulitzer Prize winners than anyone. Not in the same building(s). Side by side.

And I have worked for the very best in the business. Whether they were "talent" or "bosses", they all had one thing in common. They were hard-asses to their core. There was one way to do things. The "right way". And your number one priority was to always "Protect the Show". And yeah, you better get all the commercials on, too.

Before I go any further with this, let me be crystal clear about something; I'm NOT in the Radio Hall of Fame. I would have to buy a ticket to get into the building. Same deal with the Pulitzer Prize. Full disclosure....Okay....I am a member of two city Halls of Fame, but when I was given those honors, I believed they couldn't find anyone else to show up for the ceremony and in those days, I was known as a guy who would attend envelope openings. You know, like what KRTH's Shotgun Tom here in L.A. does.

But I digress.

What prompts this little story telling I'm doing is the reaction I've gotten to a small story about KABC radio and the Dodgers that I wrote in this blog on July 14. One person from those organizations wrote some comments to me about that story, but the only reason he knew about the story was because I sent it to him.

A couple of days ago, my good friend and LARadio.com Publisher/Owner, Don Barrett printed a copy of that story for his readers. I didn't know he was going to do that, but Don doesn't need my permission to do that.

This 3-weeks old story has resulted in Don's assistants having to do extra work so they can fit in all of the outraged KABC and Dodger supporters who are out there. I mean, it's the radio version of the Tea Party crowd and as Democrats have learned, you don't want to get those Tea Party people riled up atcha. The next thing you know, Sarah Palin will be here doing her Momma Grizzly Bear act and the guy she's gonna be lookin' to bite, is ME!!!

Lord have mercy!

Now I'm going to pause for a second and with an "I'm guilty" smile say, is this the longest lead-in to what this is really about that you've ever read?

Did I hear someone say, "Cut to the CHASE!!!"?!?

I'm not going to do a word for word regurgitation of what Don Barret printed a couple of days ago and what I wrote in this blog on July 14. Feel free to find the story here or you can go to LARadio.com, read the story and then read the comments from all those people who are mad at me.

A couple of months ago, I wrote my first story about a problem I heard on a Dodgers broadcast. In both stories, I focused on one individual because of the "title" he has. It's a title that if not ceremonial in nature, is a title that gives him the responsibility and authority to implement measures that would limit the possibilities of the mistakes that were made. Or to immediately correct those mistakes. And if the man with the title would like to know how to do that, I'd be happy to tell him if he calls me. And you know what? I would never tell anyone he did call me. My word is "golden" and no one knows how "golden" my word is better than a guy who I currently get information from over there. It's an easy, guaranteed to work solution for a mistake and it can be a preventive measure for a possible mistake.

I'm hearing a lot about how what I wrote was, "no big deal, etc."

Look, I know that things are different now compared to when I was working in that business. Salaries are being cut multiple times in a year, more and more work is being required, none of it is fair and now you gotta hear from somebody that a loudmouth blog writer who used to be a loudmouth radio and television guy is bad-mouthing you.

You and your friends say, in unison, "It ain't FAIR!!!"

And my response to that is, "You're RIGHT!"

But ya know what? Things weren't fair when I was flyin' high, either. But as I stated at the beginning of this piece, the legends I learned from were all hard-asses, job wise. And I became one of those guys. Still am. A hard-ass, job wise. And when I see it or hear it, I give no slack to mediocrity.

And now we go to the stuff we USUALLY write about!

LIKE THIS:

The 14th Amendment as it pertains to automatic U.S. citizenship for children who are born here to parents who are illegal immigrants. Arizona Senator Jon Kyl is the latest to get on board with the idea of eliminating that guarantee from the 14th Amendment and I sincerely hope it happens. You long time readers know that I've been griping about this forever. Allowing children who are born here to parents who are illegal immigrants gives those illegal immigrants a gigantic "sympathy card" to play when they are arrested and about to be deported.

CALIFORNIA's GAY MARRIAGE RULING!

A Federal Judge named Vaughn Walker overturned the ban on same-sex marriage, which was Proposition 8 yesterday.

That means that gay and lesbian couples can legally get married.

Yes, I know that this ruling could be overturned by the Supreme Court.

But just for the sake of argument, what if it isn't overturned?

I will admit that when I was much younger, the idea of what we used to call "Queer" folks getting married to each other, was to me, flat out disgusting. Hell, the idea of them being behind closed doors, was disgusting enough! But those queers gettin' married to each other? Good God, almighty! The world is comin' to an end!

I don't feel that way anymore.

I don't understand (for example) how a guy is attracted sexually to another guy, but you know what? I don't have to understand it because I just happen to not be "wired" that way.

And please don't give me the argument that "Gay" is something you can "catch". It ain't a disease, folks. It's just the way some folks were born. And for those who choose to throw religion into the mix while objecting to folks who are gay? If we are to believe there is an almighty being (God) who's our maker, can't we accept the fact that he or she made gay folks, too?

THE MOSQUE IN NEW YORK!!!

Man, oh man, oh man.

Look, I believe in religious freedom, etc., etc. I really do. But the idea of putting a Mosque at "Ground Zero" where all those people died because of Muslim murderers is something that causes one word to come out of my mouth; YUCK!!!

Yeah, two other words come to mind, too; HELL, NO!!!

IRAQ!!!

Ah, yes. The country that had absolutely nothing to do with 9/11. The country that we invaded, got Saddam Hussein executed and promised Iraqi citizens a new and better life because of nation building and new elections.

Less than a month from now, we will have all of our troops out of there except for 50,000, who will be staying there to act as peace keepers, I guess. But there is no elected Iraqi government in place and nation building? What nation building?

Hmmmm.....We went there based on lies....The first wave of troops were fitted with bulletproof vests that were in fact vests that were very receptive to bullets and armored vehicles that provided protection to no one. Recently we've learned that our bean counters lost track of the billions we were supposed to get from oil money to help pay for some of what we did there.

All in all, a very successful operation, huh?

TWO SPORTS ITEMS!!!

Shaquille O'Neal is now a member of the Boston Celtics. 2-year deal, worth about 3 million.

Brett Favre? He's pretty much the NFL's Drama Queen, isn't he? "I'm retiring, I'm un-retiring, I might show up in September, blah, blah, blah!"

Long time blog reader Patrick Gallagher told me it would be like this. The Vikings will continue to kiss Favre's ass because they need him on the field so they can get a new stadium. And Favre is milking this in a way that is making farmers everywhere, envious.

ENTERTAINMENT STUFF:

If Jennifer Lopez is really going to be a new judge on American Idol, that is suhhh-ch a great hire!!! Still gorgeous, still very talented and she has charisma with a CAPITOL "C"!!!

I'm still hoping that one day she'll make another movie with George Clooney.

A film I waited 26 years to see:

When "Once Upon A Time In America" came out in 1984, I didn't see it in a theatre, but I did buy the 229 minutes version.

I'm told that three versions were made. A much shorter version that bombed at the box office, a longer version and the 229 minutes version which everyone says is the best version.

I don't know why I never ripped the cellophane off the cover and watched this film before a few days ago, but the bottom line is, I'm very glad I saw it.

This was directed by Sergio Leone, a man who became famous making Westerns, but Western, "Once Upon A Time In America", isn't.

It is a story about struggles. Lots of struggles. And the performances of Robert DeNiro, James Woods, Tuesday Weld and Elizabeth McGovern are off the charts terrific. As is the young version of the Elizabeth McGovern character that was Jennifer Connelly's first big screen role.

Yeah, this film is 229 minutes long. But near the end of the film, to myself I said, "I'm really glad I watched this!"

If you've never seen it and have the opportunity to buy or rent "Once Upon A Time In America", I strongly recommend that you do. You will thank me for recommending this film.

A PLUG FOR A COUPLE OF FRIENDS OF MINE.
MIKE HORN AND CLAUDE HALL!!!

Mike Horn is the owner of CRN which stands for Cable Radio Network. You can hear it all over the world. The operation is based in beautiful Sunland, California.

In addition to owning CRN, Mike Horn also does a couple of air-shifts on CRN. File that under the category, "Once a ham, always a ham".

Mike and I have often talked about possibly doing something together there, but the timing has never been right. But this past Monday, on an impulse, Mike asked if I would like to join him on his 4 o'clock show that afternoon. It's a talk show. No topics are off limits and with a smile, my answer was, "Sure!"

This was the first time I had ever been in a studio with Mike and for me, this turned out to be an absolute blast. We talked about the 14th Amendment, Lindsay Lohan, Charlie Sheen, Iraq, the Dodgers, the Angels, he asked me to make predictions on who would be in the next World Series and a whole bunch of other stuff. It was the fastest hour of radio I've ever been a part of. Oh...The World Series predictions? I gave myself an "out" by saying I might change my mind in a few days, but right then, while admitting I was hoping for a miracle performed by the Dodgers, I picked Atlanta and Texas to play in the next World Series.

There's a lot of good programming on CRN. My friend, the actor Robert Conrad has a show as do a number of other friends of mine. If you would like to know more about CRN and how you can listen to this great station, click onto www.crntalk.com

CLAUDE HALL!!!

I've written about Claude in a previous blog. He is a long time friend of mine who did me a big favor more than 30 years ago and he probably doesn't remember because he has done lots of favors for radio people. And you know what, I'm not going to tell him what the favor was. He doesn't need to remember it, but I'll never forget it.

Claude Hall was a champion-er of up and coming radio people for the many years he was at Billboard Magazine. During those years he wrote a radio column that was called, "Vox Jox" that was read by everyone in the radio business. The second most read radio columnist couldn't be found on a map.

Once again, I'll use my made up word, "champion-er" and tell you that he spotted Don Imus as a radio star when the I-Man was working in Stockton, California. I think that was the I-Man's first radio job.

Over the years, Claude Hall celebrated the successes of many and predicted the successes of many others while asking for nothing in return. He currently writes a weekly column for Radio Daily News which can be found at www.rdn.com

The friendships Claude Hall has in the radio business is a veritable "Who's Who" of broadcasters.

Claude Hall has written a new book, "I Love Radio". I mean, that is sooo the "perfect" title for a book written by a man who has had a love affair with radio and the people in radio for more than 50 years.

If you would like to get a copy of Claude Hall's book, all you have to do is click onto www.claudehallonline.com and you'll see easy directions on how to get a book that I'm looking forward to reading tonight. Is it expensive? Not at all.

Final item:

My thanks to Newsweek Magazine for coming up with a list showing, "Exactly How Much Are The Times A-Changin'?"

In the year 2000, there were 12,000 active blogs. In 2010, there are 141 million, including this one.

In the year 2000, there were 100 million daily google searches. In 2010, there are 2 billion.

In the year 2000, there were 4 Reality-TV Shows. In 2010, there are 320.

In the year 2000, there were 0 (zero) Itunes downloads. In 2010, there are 10 billion.

In the year 2000, time spent online was 2.7 hours per week. In 2010, 18 hours a week.

In the year 2000, there were 400,000 text messages. In 2010, 4.5 billion.

And finally...

In the year 2000, there were 12 billion daily e-mails. In 2010, 247 billion.

QUESTIONS AND OR COMMENTS? Please write to me at scottstjames@sbcglobal.net and I will respond as quickly as possible. Don't write to the blog because there's no way for me to know your email address and that means I won't be able to respond to you. Again...Please write to me at scottstjames@sbcglobal.net and I will be happy to respond to you as fast as I can.

THE NEXT BLOG?

Wellll....Lately, because of other projects, I've had to push it back a day or so, but...barring unforseen circumstances, I hope to have the next blog posted late Wednesday night, August 11 or early Thursday morning, August 12.

I hope that you ALL have a great rest of the week and a fun weekend!


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