Tuesday, January 31, 2017


Call the CEO of the corporations spending the big bucks to advertise on the Super Bowl and ask one question:  Why does your corporation support a sport that medical science has documented causes brain damage?


Sunday, January 29, 2017


Who are the people and money behind the 45 Committee?  
The 45 Committee runs television ads supporting Tom Price and urging viewers to call Senator Brown to tell him to STOP blocking Price's nomination.    The 45 Committee runs television ads urging people to tell their Senators to support Jeff Sessions.   But the 45 Committee doesn't have the integrity to tell you who it is.     The 45 Committee won't say who is funding the organization.   And when you read its ABOUT page, what is there seems to be the definition of political BS.  
This is not an organization dedicating to fixing anything.  It's an organization dedicated to keeping its donors' names a secret so the viewer doesn't know who is pushing a particular political agenda. 

Come on Ohio reporters.  Track this organization down.   Hold it accountable. 

Actually, Politico did track down the 45Committee.   Read what it found here.   It's a rich guy who gets money from other rich people who are too afraid to put their names where their money goes.  Vanity Fair also did an excellent piece, and its headline accurately portrays what's happened to our politics.  Money and the powerful rich control the process.
Citizens should call Senator Brown's office and ask him to hold a press conference about the dangers of hidden political money and the need for transparency in political donations.
Citizens should call Todd Ricketts, the man behind this secret organization and ask him what are the implications for our democracy when its controlled by secret money. 

TV reporters should interview their own GM's and corporate CEO and ask them whether TV stations should run political ads from those who do so with hidden money.  What do the corporate owners think of what this kind of political advertising does to our political process and our democracy?    

TV reporters can also use social media.   The Ricketts family owns the Chicago Cubs.   What do Cubs Fans think of political ads from an organization designed to keep the names of those who give money a secret?


Friday, January 27, 2017

Easy Local Super Bowl TV Story

ESPN says it in a headline that's a warning for every parent.
The Associated Press story on Chicago Bear great Jim McMahon encapsulates in a few sentences what playing America's sport - bash your brain - does.
Jim McMahon is 57.  He forgets how to find his own home.  
Zac Easter was only in high school.   But football had already rattled his brain.  For parents, and particularly for sports reporters (not pom pom wavers, actual reporters) the GQ story is an essential read.  The Concussion Diaries:  One High School Football Player's Secret Struggle with CTE should be mandatory reading for every high school principal.
For television reporters, it all adds up to one question that will produce a worthwhile story.   Go ask your university president and your high school principals:  "why do you support an activity that medical science has documented causes brain damage?"
Back when I was a kid, you could page through a magazine and find an ad featuring a doctor telling you what cigarette to smoke.   
But then, along came medical science.   Journalists reported.   The public was informed. Behavior changed.  With concussions, medical science came along again.   This time, journalists didn't report.   They played cheerleader.   
More than I year ago, I did a project with Brave New Films.   We contacted every Division I university president and asked all the presidents what they see for the future of football, a sport that causes brain damage and is spawning lots of lawsuits.  What was more surprising than the presidential answers was what we found when we examined the reporting.    Listen to what a first-rate researcher at Kent State University found when he checked for any news article where the reporter is questioning a university president about concussions.
So even though it may go against the pom-pom waving traditions of sports departments, think about being reporters instead of cheerleaders.   Go to your local high school, go to your university, ask the principal, ask the president:  why do you support a sport medical science has documented causes brain damage.  What would you say to Jim McMahon?   What would you say to Zac Easter?   What would you say to parents?  

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Essential Story for Local TV

It's TV's favorite format:  LIVE.  The story:  simple.   It's one question.  And the headline in the New York Times hands any local TV newsroom the most obvious story of the New Year.

Ask your member(s) of the House to go live on your newscast for any show that fits the member's schedule to explain his/her vote on gutting the Ethics Office.  

Start the New Year by doing what journalists are supposed to do:  hold members of Congress accountable for their actions.