By Tommy Hough
Whatever you're doing this Saturday night, stop everything and tune your 10-inch Philco or 14-inch Zenith to KGTV ABC 10 at 11:45 p.m. for this week's edition of Unherd. I'll be filling in for Halloran, our fearless leader at 91X, while he's off terrifying the nice people of the world on a motorycycle trip to the Four Corners and Monument Valley.
If you're not familiar with Unherd TV, hopefully you're at least familiar with the concept of television. It's a flat box, possibly hung on your wall (what, like art?) and plays pictures and programs and typically costs you about $80 to $90 a month.
But wait – ABC 10 is old school. Yeah, it's on cable, but it actually goes out over the airwaves too, and can be received over the airwaves without even using one of those fancy cable boxes. And it's free. Kind of hard to believe now, but there once was a time when receiving television was free. Of course, back then you only had four or five decent VHF channels in one town and a crappy UHF signal – ask your grandparents.
So tune in to Unherd this Saturday night at 11:45 on ABC 10 as I wax philosophic in "Professor" Halloran's place about one of my all-time favorite albums from one of my all-time favorite bands. Hint: that band is from Georgia.
Hosts Alex Zaragoza and Jeff Terich of San Diego CityBeat have been on with myself and Producer Danielle at 91X to talk about the show, and Alex has even written a feature article about John Hinckley for Rolling Stone. The two have also boldly confronted Journeyitis.
So please tune in to Unherd TV this Saturday night at 11:45 p.m. If you're at a bar or someone's house, have them turn it on. Support local TV and local music – and if you can't watch it live, DVR it.
It's Unherd, this Saturday night at 11:45 p.m. on San Diego's ABC 10, with yours truly filling in for Halloran (boss, motorcycle, Four Corners).
By Tommy Hough
On the occasion of our organization's second anniversary, no one can say 2016 hasn't been a busy year for San Diego County Democrats for Environmental Action.
In the midst of an election year, and the vital, important role clubs play in vetting candidates, we've also had a full schedule of activism and action – with victories big and small.
At the end of 2015 we helped facilitate passage of the city of San Diego's landmark climate action plan, which calls for a full renewable energy portfolio for the city and an embrace of community choice aggregation (CCA), through the San Diego County Democratic Party central committee. The move paved the way for Democratic lawmakers to back the measure at city hall, knowing they had party rank-and-file at their back.
In January the club facilitated a public meeting of Carlsbad residents opposed to the construction of a mall along Agua Hedionda Lagoon – one of only a handful of remaining such tidal bodies of water in Southern California – thereby galvanizing the movement into a cohesive force which defeated Measure A in February in what was easily the biggest win for the environment in the region since the fight to Save Trestles.
Since then the club has:
Along with the most critical election in our lifetime in November, there is much more to do before 2016 is over, and we need your help – particuarly as we put together a response to the Lilac Hills development proposal. A year ago I said we would call upon members of San Diego County Democrats for Environmental Action to step up and do more in 2016, and this year you have in every manner.
From your support on controversial issues, voting on club measures, participating in discussions, attending fact-finding outings, helping us come to an impressive slate of endorsed candidates, to supporting our second anniversary event – the strength you've helped cultivate in this club will continue to pay dividends for our region and quality of life.
This election will come to an end Nov. 8, but our determination to find solutions to pressing environmental issues as Democrats will continue into 2017, and with your help, beyond.
By Andy Sims
When we start cleaning up the wreckage from this election, we're going to owe Donald J. Trump a debt of gratitude. Trump has performed a valuable service to the American people, probably not on purpose, but that should take nothing away from its worth.
Donald Trump has exposed, in no uncertain terms, that journalism in the United States is dead. It is no more.
To be clear, journalism isn't dead in the way Trump means it. He thinks the media is against him, except for when it isn't, and then it's the BEST, believe me. But as a paranoid narcissist, his thoughts on any complex subject are invariably wrong, and what's more, worthless. But make no mistake, American journalism is defunct.
I say this with no joy in my heart. In my lifetime I have seen small lies to cover a nickel-and-dime burglary painstakingly traced to their source, and end a presidency. The magnitude of such a thing! It wasn't journalism because Nixon resigned; it was journalism because two reporters, with a great deal of help and support, did the work required. They curried no favor, made no deals, and let the story go where it took them, without bias.
As Finley Peter Dunne so aptly put it, "[I]t is the duty of a newspaper to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable." Woodward and Bernstein lived it.
Journalism is one of the few checks on power at all levels of government and industry. They ask questions.
What remains in 2016, posing as journalism for a country with very little memory of the genuine article, are two schools of news-monkeys: The Nutless, and the Corrupt.
I actually hold more contempt for the Nutless. I'm cynical, so I expect to be bombarded by half-truths, straight-up lies, and farcical horseshit. I'm equipped to do the research on my own when need be, but a lot of people don't have the time to put the effort in, and others simply don't care because they reflexively believe all they're told, or assume they're being lied to – because the Freemasons, Illuminati and Bilderberg control everything, man!
But to the Nutless, I ask, why? For access? So someone more famous than you will call you back or buy you dinner? So the people you're supposed to be minding will like you? Is that all it takes?
See: White House Correspondents Dinner, a stain on journalism if ever there was one.
At least with the Corrupt Wing of Journalism, it's about the money. I don't respect it, but I get it. I've only had a few times in my life in which someone was willing to make it worth my while to do or say or represent something I wasn't comfortable with. I passed on each occasion. I'm not going to say it was an easy or quick decision every time, but I felt good about my choices.
Now, I don't kid myself and pretend that I can't be bought. I know that at a certain point, there would've been enough money on the table for me, in one case, to pimp 18 year-old kids to join the Army in 2003, despite the fact I had been on the air opposing the run-up to and invasion of Iraq. We're all whores, and we all have our price – and you may be surprised yours is less than you think. A LOT less.
So the Corrupt Wing is getting paid. Fox News makes profits hand over fist, and they pay bright people like Megyn Kelly and mental hamsters like Steve Doocy to fling a fresh batch of wispy gossamer feces at you each day.
Why do they do it? For the money! Do they believe that what they say is true? "What possible difference does that make?!" they'd tell you, exasperated.
So this week alone, two honored alums from my Ohio University alma mater, Roger Ailes and Matt Lauer, have been in the news. The former for groping Gretchen Carlson and being a lecherous creep, and then being handed $40 million dollars – and the latter for giving a warm tongue-bath to Donald Trump in the guise of an interview. Had journalism accidentally wandered drunk onto the NBC News set during Lauer's sit-down, it might have actually elicited new information and exposed Trump, yet again, for the ignorant, oozing pus boil that he is.
Matt Lauer was having none of it.
"Mr. Trump, are you ready to serve as commander-in-chief?"
"Interesting. Moving on…"
This is nutless. It is worthless. Even worse, it's dangerous, because it allows a comb-over wearing lifts to say he answered a tough question from NBC's Matt Lauer, even though NBC has it in for him, always has, even when they were paying him millions to be an insufferable dick on television each week, total sandbag job by Crooked NBC.
"Great buncha guys at NBC News! The best!"
It's common to espouse we get the government that we deserve, but it may be more to the point to say we get the journalism we deserve. All we want any more is clickbait, and if that ends up being a slideshow, to hell with it. I love reading, and there are times when I've found myself closing out a webpage because I see it had five more pages before the end. I'm embarrassed to admit it, but it happens.
Well, thanks to Donald Trump, I, like modern journalism, have been exposed. If you want to know what's going on, you have to put the work in yourself, find legitimate sources of information, and figure out as best you can what comes closest to the truth. The days of having actual journalists available on television and radio have long since passed, but only because we've proven over the last 40 years that we either can't tell the difference, or honestly just don't care. Your credulity will be the death of you – of journalism, of democracy.
In a scene from Joseph Heller's Catch-22, one of the officers, Clevinger, decides to hold question and answer sessions for the men, so they can better understand why they have been sent to war. He is bombarded with nonsensical queries, but from time to time, someone raises a poignant question, the answer to which might not be good for morale.
The brass gets wind of this potential crisis, and Colonel Korn, a cynic if ever there was one, arrives at an elegant solution:
"Under Colonel Korn's rule, the only people permitted to ask questions were those who never did. Soon the only people attending were those who never asked questions, and the sessions were discontinued altogether, since Clevinger, the corporal and Colonel Korn agreed that it was neither possible nor necessary to educate people who never questioned anything."
Andy Sims is a legal researcher, analyst and media critic in Sacramento, California. Like Tommy (and Matt Lauer and Roger Ailes), Andy received his undergraduate degree at Ohio University.
A former San Diego broadcast personality, Tommy Hough is a media and communications professional, wilderness and parks advocate, California Democratic Party delegate, and the co-founder and former president of San Diego County Democrats for Environmental Action. He ran as the endorsed Democratic candidate for San Diego City Council in District 6 in 2018.