Archive for August, 2010

Potters Outlast Beavers

August 27, 2010

16-10 2OT was the final score at Patterson Field.  Junior sensation Marky Thompkins carried the ball the final 6 yards after an interception had halted Beaver Local’s possession in the 2nd overtime.

In regulation the Potters started the game with a defensive stop before marching the ball down the field, scoring on a Willie Leavell run from about 20 yards out.  The 2nd drive, early in the 2nd quarter, was promising but stalled after a dead ball personal foul backed them up and forced a punt that went for a touchback.  Beaver Local had the better of the play in the 2nd half, but they had one drive fail inside the 20 (I thought they should have kicked a field goal that could’ve eventually let them win 10-7) before finally scoring in the last 2 1/2 minutes of regulation.  The Potters attempted to rally for a winning score but fumbled a snap at the 25 yard line of Beaver Local in the final minute.

In the 1st overtime the Potters were immediately pushed back by a holding call and a sack, but Thompkins managed to scramble out of the pocket to get the ball back to the original line of scrimmage, the 20, which was close enough for a field goal.  Beaver Local had goal to go on their possession but stalled and had to take a field goal to extend the game.

I think the Potters offense is really close to being good. Quite frankly, I thought we tried to throw the ball entirely too infrequently, going with designed quarterback draws hoping for a home run on Thompkins legs.  But a Rich Wright coached defense is good at run defense.  When we looked to throw the ball there was success more consistently.  Of course, to throw the ball it helps if your line is blocking people.  I was a bit dismayed at the play of the offensive line.  On the other hand, the defense played with a lot of spunk.  Beaver Local got yards; I don’t recall a 3-and-out the entire game.  But they did a good job of stiffening to force 4th down conversion attempts and punts (or the field goal) most of the game.  The Beavers are better than the 1-9 they posted last year I think; they also have a good passing game if Coach Wright will relent and use it more.

So the Potters are 1-0 and will take their act on the road next Friday night to Carrollton at 7:30pm

Weekly Media Matters Update

August 21, 2010

Dr. Laura and Fox News . . . a typical week at Media Matters:

Media Matters: Incendiary rant exposes Dr. Laura (again)

The year was 1998, and radio host Dr. Laura Schlessinger’s celebrity was soaring. A media group had recently paid $71.5 million for her program — the biggest radio deal at the time — and the Los Angeles Times reported that she had the “fastest-growing show in radio history, a program now aired on 450 stations in the United States, 30 in Canada — where she is the No. 1 talk radio personality — and in South Africa.” Schlessinger would soon begin discussions on hosting her own national TV show.

Just a few years later, Schlessinger began to stumble. In 2001, her syndicated Paramount television show was cancelled after a brief run, and in 2002, the New York Daily News reported that Schlessinger’s radio audience had lost several million listeners.

Schlessinger’s troubles then — just like now — began with incendiary remarks aimed at a minority group. During the 1990s, Schlesinger blasted “homosexuality” as “a biological error,” “deviant behavior, a dysfunctional behavior,” and linked gay men to pedophilia and child molestation. Schlessinger also touted “therapies which have been successful in helping a reasonable number of people become heterosexual.”

When Paramount announced it had signed Schlessinger to a TV talk show for the fall of 2000, the group StopDrLaura.com successfully “waged a campaign to dissuade companies from sponsoring the show.” Dr. Laura debuted to “disappointing” ratings and Paramount “had difficulty attracting national sponsors to the show,” forcing the studio to sell ads at reduced rates (LA Times, 9/22/00).

In the spring of 2001, Dr. Laura — to no one’s surprise — was cancelled. Schlessinger blamed the cancellation on gay rights groups such as StopDrLaura.com and Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), telling Larry King that “political correctness” “overpowers and overwhelms the United States of America today. … This was strictly about trying to destroy my voice.” Schlessinger defenders claimed that critics were trying to silence her “1st amendment” rights.

Nearly ten years later, the same controversy over Schlessinger played out again — this time over racially tinged remarks to an African-American caller.

To give you a refresher, during the August 10 edition of her program, Schlessinger took a call from an African-American woman seeking advice on dealing with the resentment she felt when her white husband didn’t speak out about racist comments his friends made. During the discussion, Schlessinger used the n-word 11 times, and told the caller that she had a “chip on [her] shoulder.” Schlessinger added that “a lot of blacks voted for Obama” due to race and said that the caller shouldn’t “marry out of [her] race” if she didn’t “have a sense of humor.”

After Media Matters posted audio of Schlessinger’s racial rant, groups such as GLAAD, Women’s Media Center, and UNITY Journalists of Color joined Media Matters to hold Schlessinger’s “advertisers accountable and find out exactly where they stand.”

Like in 2001, Schlessinger appeared on Larry King Live to claim that her “First Amendment rights have been usurped by angry, hateful groups who don’t want to debate. They want to eliminate.” Schlessinger announced that she was ending her radio show to “move on to other venues where I could say my piece and not have to live in fear anymore that sponsors and their families are going to be upset, radio stations are going to be upset, my peeps, as I call them, are going to be upset.”

Some conservatives predictably rallied around Schlessinger. Michelle Malkin lauded Schlessinger for having “battled political correctness for years.” Sarah Palin — who’s scheduled to join Fox News colleague Glenn Beck at his 8-28 rally to “reclaim” the civil rights movement — defended Schlessinger’s n-word rant by claiming Schlessinger has been “shackled” by her critics, and took to Twitter to tell Schlessinger, “Don’t retreat… reload” after her “1st Amend.rights ceased 2exist.”

The First Amendment argument is as silly now as it was ten years ago. “Censorship, in the legal sense, really only occurs when the government is trying to prevent you from saying something. I think that actions that GLAAD has taken regarding Dr. Laura is the way we in the American system expect the system to work, and Dr. Laura has a right to say what she’s doing,” explained Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press executive director Lucy Dalglish on the June 15, 2000, edition of PBS’s NewsHour.

The purported media critics at NewsBusters, meanwhile, bizarrely accused Media Matters of censorship because we were part of a campaign targeting advertisers. The criticism is strange considering NewsBusters and its parent, Media Research Center, also target advertisers of content they view as offensive. Indeed, MRC president Brent Bozell told the LA Times in 2000 that while he didn’t approve of the anti-Dr. Laura cause, “It’s perfectly acceptable for an organization to lobby to cancel a program they think is inappropriate. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that at all.”

At the end of the day, however, Schlessinger’s racial rant is only the latest in recent public displays of racially loaded rhetoric by right-wing media figures. The question, as it was in 2000, is whether the audiences will hold figures responsible for their rhetoric.

Shouldn’t the GOP be paying Fox?

In April, Rupert Murdoch, the chairman and CEO of Fox News parent company News Corp., responded to a question from Media Matters’ Ari Rabin-Havt by stating that he doesn’t “think we should be supporting the tea party, or any other party.” Yet on Monday, Bloomberg News reported that News Corp. contributed $1 million to the Republican Governors Association. The large donation caps off more than a year and a half of pro-Republican activism during the Obama administration by Fox News hosts, reporters, and “political analysts.”

Because it might be hard to keep track of Fox News’ pro-GOP activism in all 50 states, here’s a brief recap:

  • GOP fundraisers / events. Fox News hosts and “political analysts” have frequently spoken at or hosted fundraisers or events for Republican organizations and candidates. Recently, Fox News employee Dick Morris — who’s received money from GOP parties — announced that he’s planning to stump for more than 40 Republican candidates.
  • On-air endorsements. Fox Newsers regularly make on-air endorsements for Republicans. Fox Business host Eric Bolling, for example, told viewers they could “save” the country in 2012 by putting “a Republican in there. Turn it over in 2010.”
  • Endorsing statements. Fox Newsers regularly release statements in support of candidates through their political organizations or social media accounts. Sarah Palin, for example, makes endorsements through her Facebook page, while Mike Huckabee endorses candidates on his Huck PAC website. Fox News has promoted both Huckabee and Palin’s outside ventures.
  • Behind-the-scenes / campaign roles. Last year, Dick Morris worked as a paid consultant for unsuccessful Massachusetts gubernatorial candidate Christy Mihos. Fox News contributor Karl Rove, meanwhile, has been offering campaign advice to Republicans, such as the House Republican Conference and Kentucky Senate candidate Rand Paul.
  • Political fundraising groups. Fox News hosts and contributors are raising money for Republican candidates and causes using political action committees, 527 and 501(c)(4) organizations. These fundraising groups are also promoted on Fox News.
  • Frequent softball candidate promotions. Fox News has frequently opened its airwaves to promote Republican candidates such as Republican gubernatorial candidates Chris Christie and Bob McDonnell, and Senate candidates Marco Rubio, Mark Kirk, Scott Brown, Sharron Angle, and Rand Paul. Angle summarized Fox News’ friendly haven for GOP candidates when she suggested that she prefers to appear on Fox because they let her raise money.
  • GOP in exile. Fox News boasts a long roster of possible 2012 presidential candidates on its payroll, such as Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin. Fox News, in turn, gives them exposure and air time while they decide whether they want to run for office.
  • GOP issue advocacy. Fox News has frequently pushed conservative misinformation about the Obama administration and various other issues. Perhaps most notably, Fox News became the voice of the opposition against health care reform earlier this year.
  • GOP events advocacy. Fox News has heavily promoted pro-Republican and anti-Democrat events such as the April 15 Tax Day Tea Parties, the Tea Party Express bus tour, and Rep. Michele Bachmann’s anti-health care reform rallies.

As The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart noted, “If anything, the Republicans should be paying Fox News millions and millions of dollars.”

This weekly wrap-up was compiled by Media Matters research fellow Eric Hananoki.

Dick Morris Came to Columbiana County

August 15, 2010

And yet, we are told, its the members of the media on the Journolist listserv that are the only ones with weak ethics:

http://www.reviewonline.com/page/content.detail/id/534637/Morris-foresees-change-in-House–Senate.html?nav=5008

I wonder how much Morris was paid for his stop in Hanoverton?  And, for the record, I have read independent news stories that state the national GOP is not putting money into the Charlie Wilson or Zach Space defeat efforts even though those are districts McCain carried in ’08, for what that is worth.

Martin Kaymer Wins PGA

August 15, 2010

Well, certainly no one will accuse Sunday afternoon at Whistling Straights of being boring!  First of all I would hope that Kaymer’s strong play today in getting his 1st major championship doesn’t get lost in the shuffle.  I of course am being naive in that hope, but he played very well shooting a final round 70 in windy conditions to get into a playoff with Bubba Watson and . . .

. . . not Dustin Johnson.  I recognize that Pete Dye designed that to be a sand bunker and I understand where the PGA of America is coming from in saying that this eventuality was covered in the local rules sheet they gave the competitors and on the signs they hung in the locker room.  And Johnson should probably realize that anytime he is hitting off of sand the safe thing to do is to not ground his club.  However, to me, any patch of ground outside the ropes that has been walked thru all week by galleries, has no rake, and has no lines marking it as a hazard, is not a hazard, and I really feel for Johnson.

As for the playoff Bubba can say afterwards he has no regrets, but he had to play that 2nd shot on 18 up the right side where there is a runway if it comes up short.  Failing that, he had the option to drop in the fairway keeping a point between where it crossed into the hazard and where he hit the shot.  That would have been a comfortable 8 or 9 iron and a much more realistic chance of knocking on the green and making a bogey that would’ve sent things into sudden death (into fast fading daylight).

An insane number of people had a chance to win this thing.  Heck, Phil Mickelson had it to -7 going to #15 about 2pm.  It obviously didn’t happen, but a miracle finish could have got him in the picture.  Rory McIlroy was so close; he had a lot of putts burn the edge today to miss the playoff by 1.  We once said the same thing about Sergio Garcia but you’ve got to think winning multiple majors is just a matter of time for him.  Where did Steve Elkington come from?  If not for that horrible break bounding over the green on 17 he might have won this thing.

Then of course there was the guy that entered the day with a 3 shot lead, Nick Watney.  He shot 81 today.  He might be the guy that caught the biggest break today with the Dustin Johnson situation.  No one will be talking about him.

If you want to read the official release from the PGA of America with regards to Dustin Johnson:

Dustin Johnson was assessed a two-stroke penalty today upon the completion of the final round of the 92nd PGA Championship, for grounding his club in a bunker on the 18th hole at Whistling Straits.
The penalty dropped Johnson to a finishing score of 9-under-par 279 and he was not eligible to compete in a three-hole aggregate playoff to determine the 2010 Champion.
The following is the wording that was made available to all competitors by The PGA of America Rules Committee, as a Local Rule for the 92nd PGA Championship:
Bunkers: All areas of the course that were designed and built as sand bunkers will be played as bunkers (hazards), whether or not they have been raked. This will mean that many bunkers positioned outside of the ropes, as well as some areas of bunkers inside the ropes, close to the rope line, will likely include numerous footprints, heel prints and tire tracks during the play of the Championship. Such irregularities of surface are a part of the game and no free relief will be available from these conditions.

Dog Days of Campaigns

August 7, 2010

Got this email from the Lee Fisher for Senate campaign Saturday on his 59th birthday.  Ostensibly written by his father Stan.  Apparently I am to vote for Lee because Stan played football for Woody Hayes at New Philadelphia High School:

Adam,

Help Lee celebrate his birthday with a contributionWhen I was in high school, I was lucky enough to play football for a coach loved by a lot of Ohioans: Woody Hayes.

He led our team at New Philadelphia High years before he ever went to Ohio State, and he was a great coach even then. While I can’t say Coach Hayes turned me into a great football player, he taught me a lot about playing the game.

He would tell our team that it is easy to play a perfect game if you’re sitting in the stands. When you’re in the game, you’re going to get knocked down. Winning is about how strong you are when you get back up.

When my son Lee was born on August 7, 1951, I knew that was a lesson I wanted him to learn; fifty-nine years later, I couldn’t be more proud of the way he’s played the game.

Help Lee celebrate his birthday with a campaign contribution of $5 today.

Lee is a tireless advocate for Ohio families, a relentless fighter on behalf of the middle class, and a hard worker who won’t stop until he’s done everything he can to solve the problems put in front of him.

While he might have had an easier time if he’d chosen to live a quiet life, he knows that the work he can do on the field is worth taking a hit or two.

I know Lee will be an incredible force when he’s elected to the U.S. Senate, but he needs your help to get past Congressman Rob Portman’s dishonest hits on his record and his character.

To celebrate Lee’s birthday, please help support the campaign with a contribution of $5 now.

Nothing makes me prouder than seeing my son use his life to serve his community and country, so it’s my birthday wish for Lee that you’ll do what you can to celebrate his birthday today.

Thanks,

Stan Fisher

Contribute today!

Paid for by Fisher for Ohio
P.O. Box 1418
Columbus, Ohio 43216

The Day in Golf

August 1, 2010

Yani Tseng becomes the youngest player in the modern (LPGA Tour) era to get to 3 major championships.   Stuart Appleby shoots a final round 59 to win the inaugural Greenbrier Classic by 1 shot.  And Bernhard Langer bests native son Fred Couples at the US Senior Open.

All 3 tournaments turned out to be 2 player races at the finish.  Tseng was a somewhat shaky +1 today, but having shot 68-68-68 the first 3 rounds she had some room to manuever.  Katherine Hull came close but a lip-out for birdie on 17 and having her 2nd shot to 18 hang up on a bank behind the green kept her from forcing a playoff.  I honestly was not familiar with Hull before this weekend, but the Aussie played very well, and I liked her loose outward demeanor on the back 9 today.  Her time will come if she can consistently play like that.  As for Tseng, I suspect the rest of women’s golf will have to contend with her for awhile, especially now that she’s won a major from ahead.  When she’s on, she’s on.  She had an insane number of putts burn edges this weekend or she could’ve shot an absurdly low score.

Obviously a dramatic win for Appleby at the Greenbrier.  Two players came very close to the magical 59 on Saturday only to fall short on the last couple holes.  After a front nine 28 and an eagle early in the back 9 he birdied the last 3 holes to finish the deal.  And frankly, it looked like he would need every one of those just to maybe get in a playoff with Jeff Overton, but he had some cruel luck with a birdie putt hitting a spike mark on 17 and a great putt from the wrong tier on 18 nearly fell but didn’t, leaving him 1 shot behind.

As for the Senior Open this never was more than a two man race.  Obviously Couples will regret the snowman he built on the 2nd hole after his 3rd shot was chunked into the water.  Fact is, he should’ve been able to recover for a 6 or at least a 7, and if he had he would’ve been in a stronger position after his birdie on 16 still left him 2 behind Langer, a player you know isn’t going to screw up to let you catch him.  Then again, the German almost did, flirting with the water on 17.  Either way, a remarkable feat for Bernard to win in Seattle the week after winning the Senior Open in Scotland.  Rather cruel scheduling to make the old men do that, but I guess he showed it to be no big deal.