Wednesday, July 20, 2005
Where Is Jeff Gannon Now?
A Late Afternoon in Summer - (Thomas Moran - 1909)
Every day you must say to yourself, "Today I am going to begin."
---Jean Pierre De Caussade SJ
One day a nonbeliever visited the Buddha, and said: "Question with or without words?" The Buddha remained silent. After some time, the nonbeliever bowed deeply before the Buddha and said, "Because of your great compassion, I am relieved of all illusion and see the Buddhist Way clearly before me." He bowed again and left. Afterward, Ananda questioned the Buddha: "What did the nonbelieve find that caused him to see the Way?" The Buddha replied, "A good horse is one that runs merely on seeing the shadow of a whip."
We now know that the moon is demonstrably not there when nobody looks.
---N. David Mermin
Last night my wife sent out an article by David Corn, who is a writer I like and whose stuff for The Nation sometimes shows up at Yahoo News. Mr. Corn was lamenting about the right-wing disinformation machine and, like many folks I guess, it made me wonder what will become of Rove/Libby and the Plame case now that John Roberts is here. Some analysts this morning are worried the President announced his Supreme Court nomination on primetime television in order to push his administration's problems right out of the public's mind.
I think nominating somebody had to be done and done now, but, yeah, what about doing that on TV? I imagine Bush would say it's an important nomination and everybody's been saying so, and that's why he used this medium. I don't recall a president ever bringing a Supreme Court nomination forward like this before, and the very act of doing so gives the duty greater significance. I wonder who thought of it. At any rate, it's just about the first time in a week that I've seen a picture of Bush without Rove trotting along faithfully by his side.
And these 2 matters got me to thinking about the news and about Democrats, and whether there's any follow-through anymore. I think Republicans have it and believe in it, but the rest of America just may be too scattered, anxious and confused. I have a number of friends who say the average Joe and Jane are a couple of dumb clods, who don't care about anything in life except me-and-mine and what's going on at the mall. I can feel a lot of despair when I think those kinds of thoughts, but then I think about follow-through and yearn, as I have for 40 years, for some real leadership again in this country.
Follow-through is a term in athletics particularly that you hear when you're a kid and just learning a sport. It's most obvious and evident if you're doing something like hitting a ball. Whether it's golf or baseball or tennis, you learn how crucial your movement is after you've made contact. This seemingly mystical concept gets easily proven to most kids when they actually have hit the ball correctly...and the darned thing does go farther and more where you want it. Probably the point is that when you plan out your move from beginning to end, you have a greater chance of success. The philosophy also holds true in track, gymnastics and everywhere in performing arts. Decision theory in business and computing is rooted firmly in thinking and planning ramifications from start to finish.
So what happens in journalism, education and the liberal arts? To some degree, much of what we do is follow events...rather than make things happen. We develop critical thinking, which analyzes and comments upon what already has taken place. If you walk through any hall in a typical public school, you will hear the sound of an adult talking as you pass room after room. The students are to sit there, take it in, and ask questions later. The material will be on the test. Consumers and audience are built in this learning process. When an assignment is given that will require time, planning, and follow-through, the students groan.
So now we're going to watch the Judge Roberts show. Will there be anything more about security leaks and how the nation was led into war? We await a prosecutor's report. Will we even remember we're waiting for it...let's say, in another 2 weeks? Whatever happened to that representative in Florida who commissioned the programmer to come up with a way to hack electronic election machines? What about the lawsuits against the Secretary of State here in Ohio? Didn't Kerry finally get involved in that? Curious about old stories, I wrote Jeff Gannon's name into Google News Search. Remember him? There was a furor over his press clearance and who was feeding him the questions he asked. What happened to that? I was surprised this morning to find a few others have spent the last several hours wondering too. Try it yourself...or take a look at these~~~
First, that David Corn piece http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/thenation/20050719/cm_thenation/37282_1