Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Suuuu--eeeee! What a stinkin' Media Mess!

Can we can just slaughter this Swine Flu pig-of-a-story and settle down to a big plate of ribs, sausage and a double-side of COMMON SENSE?

Media, media, media.....especially LOCAL.....where is the context?
Many more people die each month from many more diseases/disasters/mishaps/accidents than from swine flu! Educate me and show me you're above the fray by a little compare-and-contrast reporting!
Reuters columnist Eric Auchard reports The World Health Organization says REGULAR flu knocks people on their asses by the millions each year and kills tens-of-thousands.
So why no pandemic panic there?

These are the stupid battles I fought for years in newsrooms across the country, small and big!
So many times I was trumped with the "But it's the BIG STORY and if we don't lead with it/make it a big deal, we'll look like idiots...besides it COULD snowball"
To which my response was usually..."So you'd rather be in front of the giant snowball instead of behind it?" Siiiiggghhhhh.

The true numbers tell the true story...More than 1,300 Mexicans have been infected with this swine flu out of a population of 109 million. Do the math. The percentage of the population is something like .00001%. In the US, the number is clearly smaller, considering that we have apopulation of over 306 million and there have been 50-plus (as of this writing) reported cases.

I get that the national/global press needs to keep on top of this. That's their job.
But when the locals try to replicate that effort, it's moronic.

Yes, you MUST cover it and TEASE THE HELL out of it.
No, you MUST NOT overblow it and lead all your newscasts with it.

In closing, I will say this... one GREAT thing about this outbreak is that today we have much better, much FASTER communications and diagnostic capabilities than in decades past so it is sooooo much easier to isolate ground zero and get the word out to contain the outbreak and keep it from becoming something bigger. We also have more vaccines and greater ability to get them to the people than in the past.

Now if there was just an anti-hype vaccine for the media!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Love his chicken, hate his voice over!

Soooo...you OWN the company, you're an EXPERT in your field, heck you're even a CELEBRITY! Well guess what, you still need to hire a Professional Voice Talent!

Take a listen, courtesy of the YouTube "wayback machine":

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Another Legend Lost

After Don LaFontaine, there were perhaps no more recognizable voices than those of the men who narrated NFL Films. Harry Kalas, who followed the legendary John Facenda, has passed.
Here is article from his hometown newspaper:
Kalas' wide range recalled at NFL Films
By Bob Brookover
(Philidelphia) Inquirer Staff Writer

The sadness wasn't confined to the offices of Citizens Bank Park or the world of baseball yesterday.
News of Harry Kalas' (left) death also hit home and hit hard across the river at the NFL Films home office in Mount Laurel.

Steve Sabol, the president of the company founded by his father, Ed, in 1962, left work in the early afternoon only to return when he learned that Kalas had collapsed and died a few hours before the start of the Phillies' game against the Washington Nationals.

"I remember when we first hired him, everybody was concerned that he was a baseball guy," Sabol said. "But he was only a baseball voice to everyone in Philadelphia. For us, he was going to be the voice to everyone in the world. I think in years to come he might be associated as much with football as he is with baseball."

Kalas would often be recognized more by his voice than his face when he was on a road trip with the Phillies, and his dulcet tones became an integral part of football highlight films and television commercials during the last 32 years.

If you want to know how revered Kalas was at NFL Films, all you have to do is look at the photo tributes on the wall outside the audio room. You'll find Kalas alongside John Facenda and Jeff Kaye, two other legendary voices that narrated NFL Films highlights. Facenda and Kalas both had Philadelphia ties.

"You don't know how privileged I've been to work with two of the greatest narrators and voices in history," Sabol said. "As I was driving in my car coming back to the office, I was thinking about the two of them. Facenda was the voice of God. Harry Kalas was the voice of the people. Harry wasn't a class act because there was no act with Harry. He could sell anything with that voice, and he did. But the one thing he never sold was himself."

Facenda and Kalas worked at NFL Films together for about six years before Facenda died in 1983.

"Harry was the voice of the games that happened that week, and John was the voice of what happened during the year," Sabol said. "Harry could do whatever you wanted. He could be dramatic, poignant or funny. Whatever we asked him to do, he could do it on the spot."

Kalas had a long list of commercial credits, too. He used to joke about the Campbell's Soup commercials with the baseball beat writers. "Ca-ching, ca-ching," he'd say with a wry smile, comically explaining how each commercial meant more money in the Kalas bank account.

He also did commercials for Coors Light, General Motors, and countless other products over his career. He had done recent work for the Animal Planet Network on something called the Puppy Bowl. He also did narrative voice-overs at the Philadelphia mint and the Gateway Arch in St. Louis.

In addition to doing NFL games for Westwood One, he was the voice of Notre Dame football and Big Five basketball for a while in the 1970s and '80s.

Former Eagles quarterback Ron Jaworski said he looked forward to Wednesdays during the NFL season because that meant Kalas would be coming in to do his voice-overs for the weekly highlights.

"I'd see him once a week," Jaworski said. "He'd come in on Wednesday, and we'd see him in the hallways, and we'd immediately start talking about Phillies baseball. There's no question he was the voice of NFL Films. He was just an incredible person. Everybody loved Harry."

Sabol said that in the 1980s, the unofficial NFL Films holiday party was hosted and paid for by Kalas.

"It was the highlight of our social calendar," Sabol said. "Harry was the one that created it, and he'd throw that party at the end of every football season. It was an open bar, and Harry picked up the tab."

Wednesdays at NFL Films won't be quite the same when football season begins again in September.

"I can't even imagine that," Sabol said. "He was so reliable. Every Wednesday he was in there to do the HBO show. He'd start at 10 a.m. with his cup of coffee and his Parliament cigarettes. The one thing that is great about Harry's profession is that he's gone now but in a sense he still lives on. You have this incredible voice, and you put it in the bank at NFL Films and you can withdraw that any time you want to hear it."

Friday, April 10, 2009

Who says TV News is "full of it"?

In its' weekly On The Web report, Bay News 9 (Tampa Bay) profiled an AMAZING website that shows the disturbing (not gross, just odd and extremely fattening) things people shove into their mouths!
The site does not mock or insult the overweight, it just has pics/descriptions of the crazy food people actually eat!

Here's the link: http://thisiswhyyourefat.com/

Bon Appetite!

Sham Wow becomes Sham Ow!

The Sham Wow fella is still able to do his job even after getting bitten by a hooker!

KaBoom Mr. President!

An unexpected surprise during President Obama's recent press conference:

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Anchors at Play

While this video has been around awhile, it's "NEVER BEFORE SEEN!" (on this site)....and... "EXCLUSIVE" (at least among all BishopVoice blogs).

The explanation from the YouTube...
"WGN News anchors Robert Jordan and Jackie Bange have been together for many years. This whole thing started out really small and simple. And then along came the internet, and a video camera, and you tube, and here we are with the funniest dance routine since that scene in Big."

Thursday, April 2, 2009

School 1959 vs 2009

Scenario 1:
Jack goes quail hunting before school and then pulls into the school parking lot with his shotgun in his truck's gun rack.

1959 - Vice Principal comes over, looks at Jack's shotgun, goes to his car and gets his shotgun to show Jack.
2009 - School goes into lock down, FBI called, Jack hauled off to jail and never sees his truck or gun again. Counselors called in for traumatized students and teachers.

Scenario 2:
Johnny and Mark get into a fist fight after school.

1959 - Crowd gathers. Mark wins. Johnny and Mark shake hands and end up buddies.
2009 - Police called and SWAT team arrives – they arrest both Johnny and Mark. They are both charged them with assault and both expelled even though Johnny started it.

Scenario 3:
Jeffrey will not be still in class, he disrupts other students.

1959 - Jeffrey sent to the Principal's office and given a good paddling by the Principal. He then returns to class, sits still and does not disrupt class again.
2009 - Jeffrey is given huge doses of Ritalin. He becomes a zombie. He is then tested for ADD. The school gets extra money from the state because Jeffrey has a disability.

Scenario 4:
Billy breaks a window in his neighbor's car and his Dad gives him a whipping with his belt.

1959 - Billy is more careful next time, grows up normal, goes to college and becomes a successful businessman.
2009 - Billy's dad is arrested for child abuse. Billy is removed to foster care and joins a gang. The state psychologist is told by Billy's sister that she remembers being abused herself and their dad goes to prison. Billy's mom has an affair with the psychologist.

Scenario 5:
Mark gets a headache and takes some aspirin to school.

1959 - Mark shares his aspirin with the Principal out on the smoking dock.
2009 - The police are called and Mark is expelled from school for drug violations. His car is then searched for drugs and weapons.

Scenario 6:
Pedro fails high school English.

1959 - Pedro goes to summer school, passes English and goes to college.
2009 - Pedro's cause is taken up by state. Newspaper articles appear nationally explaining that teaching English as a requirement for graduation is racist. ACLU files class action lawsuit against the state school system and Pedro's English teacher. English is then banned from core curriculum. Pedro is given his diploma anyway but ends up mowing lawns for a living because he cannot speak English.

Scenario 7:
Johnny takes apart leftover firecrackers from the Fourth of July, puts them in a model airplane paint bottle and blows up a red ant bed.

1959 - Ants die.
2009 - ATF, Homeland Security and the FBI are all called. Johnny is charged with domestic terrorism. The FBI investigates his parents – and all siblings are removed from their home and all computers are confiscated. Johnny's dad is placed on a terror watch list and is never allowed to fly again.

Scenario 8:
Johnny falls while running during recess and scrapes his knee. He is found crying by his teacher, Mary. Mary hugs him to comfort him.

1959 - In a short time, Johnny feels better and goes on playing.
2009 - Mary is accused of being a sexual predator and loses her job. She faces 3 years in State Prison. Johnny undergoes 5 years of therapy.