Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Sunday's Paper on Tuesday

I caught up on the past several days of newspapers this morning and realized that I had missed mentioning a LOT of things that came out on Sunday.

* Warren Bates died. This knocked the wind out of me this morning. Bates, 49, was an assistant city editor at the Review-Journal. He was a general assignment reporter in the late 1990s when I worked there and, honest to goodness, one of the nicest guys you could ever wish to know. Also, a magnificent writer. He came to my home a few times in recent years for a journalist-publicist poker night I used to organize. It appears he killed himself on Friday near Amboy, Calif., by parking his car on railroad tracks as an oncoming train approached. The detail that somehow got me was Mary Hynes, the longtime city editor, giving a quote while "fighting back tears." Maybe it's because that's a phrase Hynes has probably edited in tragic stories a zillion times but this time it was about her. Warren had a quiet decency to him and I'm sure his death has shaken that newsroom. Brava to Laura Myers for an appropriately loving obituary. Check out Warren's site, which continues to house his phenomenal desert photography. Someone should organize a show in his memory.

* John L. Smith stuck it to Steve Wynn. And good. Wowzer. I, too, think there's something quite offensive about both Wynn and Adelson suggesting their enterprises are more Chinese than American companies. They're not the first CEOs to discover Asia as a robust market, but you've never heard the chief of, say, Proctor & Gamble, make such anti-American remarks just because they sell more shampoo and toothpaste and get to dump toxic chemicals wherever they want over there. Wynn is frustrated that there's no place to release his creative juices in Las Vegas these days, but while he can arguably blame other business issues on the current president, he can't seriously pin the overbuilding of Vegas on Obama. If the town weren't overbuilt, Wynn would be in development right now in anticipation of opening long after the recession healed. Instead, he's spouting nonsense about moving his headquarters to Hong Kong which is not just inane but unprecedented. There is no major American company that has ever moved its HQ to China. Ever. And Steve Wynn ain't gonna be the first. Neither Elaine nor Roger Thomas would go, and that's the rest of the trinity.

* Someone finally did a non-funny barter story. Well, someone else besides me last week for the Web's fourth most popular news source. Paul Harasim of the R-J, at long last, did a piece on the fact that there actually is such a thing as bartering for health care. Granted, he did it nearly three weeks after Republican Senate candidate Sue Lowden first referenced the concept. No, it's no solution to the nation's problems -- and nor did the candidate say that it was -- but it is, in and of itself, a fascinating practice. I had no idea people actually did this until this came up. And leave it to the knee-jerkers at the phony journalism site LV Journal Review to suspect a sinister conservative plot on Bonanza Road to save face for Lowden instead of, say, wondering how it was that the local press stuck to the cheap shots and jokes for this long instead of noting that thousands of people obtain health care via barter exchanges every year.

* Pies on Route 66! When I was down in Arizona a couple of months ago working on some pieces, I stopped in at the Frontier Cafe along Route 66 for dinner. The owner was very chatty and when I said I was reporter from Vegas, she told me that some journo had been by doing a big travel piece on the pies of Route 66 pies for, she thought, the Review-Journal. Well, that guy was most likely Roger Naylor and he penned a scrumptious piece on several Route 66 pie stops for the travel section.

What I didn't read from Sunday's paper: The lengthy profiles of Republican Senate candidate John Chachas, one in the R-J and one in the Sun. This is a guy without a prayer in hell of winning who will be gone from the state, never to be heard from again, before sunrise the day after the primary. Pundits can't ignore him because he's got a lot of money and his use of it could impact the race's viable candidates, but who exactly he is will make very little difference to anyone two months hence.


detroit1051 said...

Sad that it took Warren Bates' death to introduce me to his hauntingly beautiful photos.

atdnext said...

OK, before I get to the other topics, one more thing...

If Sue Lowden really didn't want to be defined as "The Chicken Lady", she could have just dropped the subject... But SHE is the one who keeps talking about it!


But hey, who am I to stop her from giving Jay Leno and Steven Colbert more material? As I said in the last post on this, if Lowden wants to be taken seriously she needs to offer some serious policy. I may disagree vehemently with John Chachas' domestic policy plans, but at least he's offering something. Maybe that's why the media are now taking him more seriously than Lowden (even if he has virtually no chance of winning the GOP primary)?

And btw, Erin Neff never claimed LV Journal Review was "journalism". Rather, it's a fact checker/lie debunker of The R-J akin to what Media Matters does with "Faux News" and right-wing radio. And judging by the way they've been treating Sue Lowden with kid gloves compared to Harry Reid and even some other Republican candidates, they don't sound all that crazy for suspecting The R-J's chiefs of injecting its editorial opinions (again) into its news division.

OK, I'm ready to get off my political soapbox now. Time to get back to everything else Vegas. And no, Mr. Steve, I won't be holding this against you. :-)