Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Bashful Bloviator radio show is changing times!

Starting Monday, September 1, "The Forrest Carr" show - a.k.a "The Bashful Bloviator" is changing to a different time slot.  My show can be heard from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM Tucson time Monday through Friday on Tucson's PowerTalk 1210 AM.

This slot is known as "afternoon drive" in the radio biz, and that's a big deal in this industry.  It's a great opportunity for me, and I'm pleased and proud at the confidence my boss is showing in what I've been doing so far and at how listeners have been reacting to it.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Breaking News: White House responds to Tahmooressi petition

The good news is, the White House, which promises to answer petitions once they reach 100,000, finally responded to this one, now that it's north of 134,000.  The bad news is that, as expected, the president dismissed the request stated in the petition - specifically, that he demand the release of our Marine.

Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi is the U.S. Marine who's now in his 152nd day of captivity in a Mexican jail. He was arrested after taking a wrong turn at the border.  The man had his entire life's possessions with him because he was moving cross country.  Among those were three guns, which are illegal in Mexico.  So far the U.S. government has been content to let him languish in jail on a matter that should have taken no more than 15 minutes to resolve.

Below is the White House response, presented verbatim and sent to me by email this afternoon as a petition signer.  The bottom line is summarized in this dismissive statement from the White House:  "We continue to urge the Mexican authorities to process this case expeditiously."  This is of very cold comfort given that the "process" is to hold those charged with gun possession accountable even if the "violation" is completely unintentional and accidental.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

My Heinlein experience

It didn’t mean anything to anyone else.  But it rocked my world.

I want to tell you about something that won’t mean much to you or anyone else, but it knocked me off my feet.  I’m sharing it here in the belief that if it’s so important to me, then maybe my friends, blog readers and radio listeners might also find it interesting.

As all of my close friends know, throughout my life I have only had a few idols.  The biggest one is Robert A. Heinlein.  Many consider him to be the most important American science fiction author of all time.  I also like the other two of the “Big Three”—Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke—and have been reading them since I was a boy.  But for me Heinlein is the undisputed master.   He’s more than just a writer.   His book Space Cadet was the first novel I ever read.  It fired up my young imagination in a major way, and put me on the path for a lifelong love of sci-fi, space exploration, and scientific progress.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Jerry Lee Lewis & My Mama

According to family legend, rock 'n' roll pioneer Jerry Lee Lewis once placed a call to my mother.  It didn't go as anyone expected.

©2014 by Forrest Carr.  All rights reserved.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

In Praise of Stupid Criminals

They’re not only entertaining, they create jobs

If you spend any time at all in the news business, you begin to collect a list of favorite stories.  It’s a cinch that some of them will fall into the category of “stoopid criminals.”

Really, it’s no surprise that some street thugs might, on occasion, show less than stellar judgment, or display organizational and planning skills that fall short of greatness.  After all, rare is the criminal who got into that line of work because he’d grown bored with his job as a rocket scientist.  A low IQ combined with a high desire to prey on others is a formula guaranteed to result in news coverage sooner or later.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Demand our Marine back. Boycott Mexico!

U.S. Marine reserve Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi has been languishing in a Mexican prison since March for the apparent crime of having made a wrong turn.  The sergeant says he was on his way to meet friends in San Ysidro when he missed an exit and wound up at a Mexican border checkpoint.  Because Sgt. Tahmooressi was in the process of moving cross-country, he had all of his earthly possessions with him in his vehicle—and among those were three legally-obtained military-style firearms. 

Friday, August 22, 2014

Radio Skit: "The Golfer in Chief"

President Obama has taken a lot of heat for going on a two-week golf vacation in the midst of numerous national and international crises.  But what you may not know is that he did his best to get home quickly and take care of business.  Here in this brief clip from The Forrest Carr Show on PowerTalk 1210 is that story.

©2014 by Forrest Carr.  All rights reserved.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

(Not) The Worst Commercial -- or, "My Douche Rant"

Reddit readers recently picked what they said is the worst TV commercial ad ever.  They were wide of the mark.  In fact, they weren't even close.  If you have the courage, check out this brief clip from my radio show to find out why I stopped watching TV (except for TV news, of course).

©2014 by Forrest Carr.  All rights reserved.

"Going Gold" Update: The World Trade Center is in!

Fooey on those mean old flinty-hearted you-know-whats at the Empire State Building, who told parents and supporters of young cancer victims that they're a bunch of bullies.  The World Trade Center, technology permitting, will step up for kid cancer awareness, joining Times Square and the Coney Island Parachute Jump.  Good on you, New York City!

The previous story on this issue is here.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The stunning rush to judgment in Ferguson

Just like that, it was a racially motivated police execution of an innocent black man.  Or so we’re assured.  Trouble is, not all the facts are in.  Doesn’t that bother anyone?

Whatever happened to the principle, “Innocent until proven guilty?”  Until this month, it seemed to be a bedrock of American jurisprudence.  But if anyone is inclined to afford Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson that right, such sentiments have been hard to find in the last week and a half of political jockeying and media reporting.

The facts at our disposal are damned scant.  We know officially that Wilson got into some kind of confrontation with two Ferguson residents.  At the end of it, 18 year old Michael Brown lay in the middle of the street, shot dead at the hands of that officer.

Empire State Building tells cancer kid parents they're a bunch of irresponsible, abusive bullies (updated!)

At first glance it wouldn't seem like the kind of conversation most likely to turn ugly.  File this under "you can't make this stuff up."  Here's the gist of it:  A little girl has cancer.  Her father asked the Empire State Building to make one small gesture in support of pediatric cancer awareness, a gesture of a type it freely makes nearly every single day for all kinds of causes--some worthy, and some not so much.  The building supervisors said "no" -- in large part because they can't be bothered to deal with requests from mere peons (don't believe me?  Read on).  The little girl's disappointed dad hit the social media circuit.  When a New York TV reporter (who's a friend of mine) read me by phone the building supervisors' response to that, I laughed so hard that my cats ran into the other room, hid under the bed, and wouldn't come out for an hour.  Listen for yourself to see what provoked that response.  (Update: check the link at the bottom of the page for breaking news!)

Below is a picture file giving the Empire State Building's response to the social media campaign, presented verbatim, followed by a link to some of Fox 5's coverage.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Minimum wage smackdown

Cashier to customer:  Take that burger money and—

Have you ever noticed that the more our nation moves toward a service-based economy, the less service we seem to be able to get?  Who amongst us has not had our run-ins with the occasional surly, snippy grocery cashier, department store salesperson, or fast food worker?  Is it just me, or is it getting worse? 

Maybe it is me.  Perhaps I’m getting cranky with age.  It happens.  In any case, let me say right off the bat that what recently transpired between me and a presumably minimum-wage cashier at a neighborhood burger joint was in no way typical of the kind of service I usually get there.  For that reason, I’m not naming the chain.  Its cashiers are pleasant on at least some occasions.  More typically they’re neutral, but in a perfectly professional kind of way.  I could live, I could die—it wouldn’t adversely affect their day either way, but at least they’re not actively sticking pins into a bald-headed doll.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Attack of the Cybercats II

Continued research reveals more of cats’ power over my spouse

As promised, I’ve continued to look into old photographs to try to get to the bottom of the strange power our two house cats have over Bride of the Bloviator.   Using the special filters I told you about last time, I’ve discovered more pictures revealing aspects of these animals not visible to the naked eye.  Below is more photographic evidence, along with my descriptions of what I believe is happening in the pictures.

Audible Blog: "In Praise of TV News Swooshes"

When news breaks on television, do we really need all that dramatic music and those swooshie sound effects?  Apparently we do.  Confessions of a former TV news director, as heard on the Forrest Carr show on PowerTalk 1210.

Depression: How to know it, and how to get help in Tucson

Veda Kowalski, Mental Health Outreach Specialist for Tucson's Interfaith Community Services, discusses the warning signs for depression, and what do to when they appear.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Radio Skit: “The Department of Homeland Security Press Room”

The radio skit above was, as they say in the movies, “Inspired by actual events.”  Which is to say, there’s quite a bit of truth to it, but take it with a grain of salt.   The dialogue is made up, but the outcome of the Department of Homeland Security's reporter-stiffarming tactics is exactly as described.

I'm now resorting to a new strategy in trying to pry some information on the current immigration crisis out of DHS for Powertalk 1210 listeners.  More after the jump (click the "continue reading" button.)

News directors: Support your people

It's a sad fact that newsmakers, including public officials and even supposedly professional public information officers, sometimes retaliate against reporters, using inappropriate language and/or making threats, up to and including physical ones.  A news director's response, or lack thereof, can make or break the reporter.

I had to handle plenty of such cases when I sat in a news director's chair.  And in recent months I've heard from reporter colleagues who are facing similar situations.  Some of them are taking withering incoming fire for doing their jobs, and not all of them are getting the support they need and deserve from their bosses.  

I wrote an essay about the issue and submitted it to the Radio Television Digital News Association, which is the main professional organization for TV news directors.  The piece is now live on the RTDNA website, and you can find it here.

Attack of the Cybercats

Something is wrong with my spouse, and I think I’ve figured out what it is.

Our two housecats, Mina and Ellis, seem to have some kind of control over Bride of the Bloviator (BOTB).  As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, she spends an inordinate amount of time with them, hovering over them, cooing in their ears, rubbing and kissing them, while catering to their every need.  For the longest time, I thought there was nothing going on other than an exuberant affection on her part for cats.

Interview: Palo Verde High School Principal Eric Brock

Tucson's formerly struggling Palo Verde High School has just earned an "A" from the state of Arizona for its AIMS score achievements.   How did it turn itself around?  I had the pleasure of discussing that question on PowerTalk 1210 with the principal, Eric Brock.