Curtis Dahlgren
October 14, 2004
What's the deal with TV newsmen (something in the water)?
By Curtis Dahlgren

"I can get a better grasp of what is going on in the world from one good Washington dinner party than from all the background information NBC piles on my desk." Barbara Walters

THE TROUBLE IS, THEY ALL SEEM TO BE DRINKING OUT OF THE SAME EVIAN WATER COOLER (as someone pointed out, "EVIAN" being "NAIVE" spelled backwards)! If it's not something in the water, maybe the bright lights are frying their brains. Even Bob Schieffer admitted to Sean Hannity that the Dan Rather scandal "hurt us in two ways. Clearly, it's hurt our credibility. But it's also like somebody just came up and kicked us in the stomach."

One of Rather's fellow Texans put it this way: "Y'all know what we all been thinkin' out here in Texas, Dan, since you started all this foolishness? . . we think maybe you been back East so long you got yourself thinkin' us folks out here couldn't hit sand if we fell off our horses . . . You need to remind yourself that a tree don't ever get too big for a short dog to lift his leg on, Dan.

"As far as that story bout George an' his National Guard duty, looks to us like you're tryin' to put wheels on a cow an' call it a dairy truck. Then you go pokin' around her butt hopin' you're gonna find ice cream . . . Well, Danny, you still ain't lost all your redneck habits; you boys took one pickup load to the dump an' come back with two . . . Where you gittin' all this stuff? You been callin' some kinda mystery number that you got offa bathroom walls at truck stops? . . .

"Well, seems to us like you're startin' to look more like the ground floor tenant in a two-story outhouse. Yeah, for sure you ain't lookin' like the tallest hog at the trough no more . . . An' about your boss, that city slicker fella, Johnnie Klein, the one said somethin' bout all us sittin' out here in our long johns? . . . Somebody needs to tell that dude, Klein, that his cage may still be turnin' but his squirrel's done died . . . Yeah, you boys done gone skinny dippin' in a pond full of snappin' turtles . . . Charlene says to tell you don't even think about comin' back to Texas. Way folks out here feel, you'd have to tie a pork chop around your neck just to get a dog to play with you." Russ Vaughn ("The Road Less Graveled")

THAT'S HARD TO TOP, BUT here's a few more quotes from The Book of Quotes by Barbara Rowes:

  • When television is bad, nothing is worse . . . You will observe a vast wasteland. Newton Minow

  • Television is the literature of the illiterate, the culture of the low-brow . . the exclusive club of the excluded masses." Lee Loevinger, former FCC commish

  • TV chewing gum for the eyes. Frank Lloyd Wright

  • The one function that TV news performs very well is that when there is no news we give it to you with the same emphasis as if there were news. David Brinkley

  • News isn't news anymore. It's hour-by-hour warnings. Paul Harvey

  • Television is democracy at its ugliest. Paddy Chayefsky

  • I don't want to be quoted, and don't quote me that I don't want to be quoted. Winston Burdett, CBS news correspondent

  • Unless you and I fornicate in front of everybody, people aren't going to think we get along. Barbara Walters to Harry Reasoner

  • Television is going to be the test of the modern world and . . . we shall discover either a new and unbearable disturbance of the general peace or a saving radiance in the sky. We shall stand or fall by television . . E.B. White

  • I don't believe in an afterlife, although I am bringing a change of underwear. Woody Allen [he's going to need it]

  • Look at Jewish history. Unrelieved lamenting would be intolerable. So, for every ten Jews beating their breasts, God designated one to be crazy and amuse the breast-beaters. By the time I was five I knew I was that one. Mel Brooks

  • I have a sixth sense, not the other five. If I wasn't making money they'd put me away. Red Skelton

© Curtis Dahlgren

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Curtis Dahlgren

Curtis Dahlgren is semi-retired in the frozen tundra of Michigan's U.P., and is the author of "Massey-Harris 101." His career has had some rough similarities to one of his favorite writers, Ferrar Fenton... (more)

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