Here are three stories that are bouncing around in my head on this Thursday:
1. Do you watch the Sunday morning news talk shows on network television? Admittedly, I don't. I gave up on network news in all its permutations quite a few years ago. But I do read about the shows and what I've noticed in reading about them is that the people they have on as guests are almost exclusively Republicans and almost exclusively extremely conservative. I'm not the only one who has noticed this. Paul Krugman, for one, has taken note of it and he's a sometime panelist on one of those shows - I'm not sure which one. He's written in his blog about the disparity in political philosophies represented by guests on the shows. But the most glaring example of that may be this: The biggest domestic news story at the moment is what is happening in Wisconsin - the protests by unions and ordinary citizens and the Democratic senators leaving town in order to deny a quorum. So you would think that the networks would want to cover this story, wouldn't you? You would think that they might want to have a labor leader on to explain what folks are upset about or that they might invite a Democratic politician on to explain their side of the story. You would be dead wrong, of course. The networks will have three Republican governors on Sunday morning and no representatives from the labor movement.
2. Judith Regan is a pretty unsavory character in the publishing business - or actually, I guess she's out of the publishing business now, having been fired from all her jobs. Her name is back in the news today, though, with a story in the New York Times about an affidavit in a lawsuit that reveals that when she worked for Harper/Collins and was having an affair with the even more unsavory Bernard Kerik, she was instructed by one of the executives of Harper's parent company, News Corporation, to lie to investigators who were vetting Kerik for a possible appointment as Homeland Security Secretary in the Bush administration. The NewsCorp executive who encouraged her to lie? Roger Ailes, the head of Fox News Network. Why am I not surprised?
3. My favorite story and the happiest story that I've read this week has to do with baseball. Spring training has started and in a few short weeks, the best game ever invented involving a ball and humans will begin its long season, and for six months every day will bring the satisfaction of a day graced by a baseball game somewhere. Baseball is a game of tradition and rituals and one of the most charming of these is the migration of the old players to the spring training camps each year. The old guys come back to the game they love to watch, to coach, to talk, and just to be there. The Times had a wonderful story about two of these old guys, former Yankees, the Yogi and the Gator, and their relationship. The Yogi, of course, is Yogi Berra, the Yankees' legendary catcher from the '50s and '60s. The Gator is Ron Guidry, a pitcher from a later era, who knew Yogi as a coach. Today, they are spring training companions. Yogi is getting on a bit in years and Guidry has taken on the task of being his driver and valet during their time in Florida. He wears a custom-made cap that bears the legend "Driving Mr. Yogi." It's all about friendship, comraderie, and that wonderful game, baseball. This story made me smile, maybe the only one that did all week.
UPDATE: Re story #1: Meet the Press has now announced that they will have labor leader Richard Trumka on Sunday - along with four Republicans.