Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Zappolo’s People

Written : Dec. 01, 2009

A FOX affiliate in Denver airs “Zappolo’s People” on Sundays at 10PM Mountain time. It’s an interview show hosted by a local news anchor, Ron Zappolo. Generally light and airy, the show turned fascinating on Nov. 29 with the appearance of TV reporter Lisa Ling and it got my attention. Zappolo is a likeable guy. He was once a sports reporter and he’s knowledgeable about sports. Politics, not so much.

Ling’s career is mildly interesting, a gal from Sacramento makes good, gets lucky (and is sharp), builds a solid journalism career on TV while highlighting women’s and children’s issues. She mentioned more than once - one out of three women in Colorado lives below the poverty line. I’m not sure where she got her statistic - but if true, certainly we can all agree it’s a shame. But, what’s the use if it’s only a story? Good journalism demands she suggest solutions when she exposes problems. I’ll look forward to seeing her stories on Oprah’s new network in 2011. However, I’ll be looking for the specific methods she suggests for fixing the sad circumstances she will reveal. Shouldn’t you also expect solutions? Otherwise, why will you be watching?

Zappolo and Ling really got into it. They seemed to stumble over each other verbally while pouring over their exuberance for our current president – and other ideas. “Are you excited that President Obama is in office…?”, Zappolo asked. “I am excited he is President of the United States,” she answered. “You can’t deny the historical significance…” she continued. There’s the usual platitude, but one expects the other side, too. Ling only showed a mild other side, though. “The overtures he’s made to other countries has been extraordinary,” as she continued her praise. She gave him only a 50% on his “platform of diplomacy” upon which she said he campaigned but implied if countries he made overtures to don’t respond, they would be at fault. As usual, the unprecedented apologizing, the bows he made to other world leaders, etc., go unnoticed and unmentioned by those who should be our 'guardians of the truth'.

There was more. Zappolo said, “I don’t know how we go from the 60 Minutes generation to the screaming cable TV.” There were many veiled comments, which were surely aimed at the FOX network and others. There were also comments I agreed with like the slams of the continuous coverage of “The Octomom”, the woman who gave birth to eight children at once. Although Zappolo and Ling bashed cable over how partisan some of its shows are, Zappolo told us he likes “Anderson Cooper 360”, which is one of the more left-leaning and partisan “news” shows on cable today. Ling’s sister is one of two reporters who “accidently” crossed the North Korean border this past March. Ling said if the incident helps raise awareness (whatever that means), it was worth it. Umm, the last time I checked, violating any country’s border is illegal. Their captors were part of a rogue and detestable nation, but North Korea also has its sovereignty, and the two reporters should not have done what they did. Committing a crime is never worth it.

Much of the banter was easily recognizable as left-leaning rhetoric and both got in the obligatory zingers at President Bush. “[Obama] has reached out the olive branch that previous administrations might not have done… but I am excited about the whole idea that we should be engaging people of other countries more…inevitably we have so much more in common [with other peoples of the world] than I ever thought and things aren’t so black and white.” Zappolo interrupted with, “Reaching out to people works out a whole lot better than … war.” Oh, brother!

Ron Zappolo continued by bashing the American people. “There’s people for whatever reason that are angry about our president and instead of saying I’m gonna see what this guys’s got to offer, they’ve gone the other way – I’m not gonna accept this.” For the record, we are not angry, Mr. Zappolo, we just disagree with our president. Is dissent in this country not allowed anymore? Ling chimed in, “It’s surprising to me so many people are so misinformed about the health care debate. Do people really understand what a public option is?” Yes, we do, and it will, with its lower prices (i.e. Walmart), guide everyone away from private health care and eventually destroy it. It will make everyone more dependent upon government services, which is one of socialism’s definitions. “[Do] people who are accusing President Obama of being a socialist really understand what socialism is?” All of my father’s friends were either Communists or socialists, so, the answer is a resounding yes, I most definitely do, Ms. Ling, do you? I doubt it!

Ms. Ling, and anyone else interested, please don’t take my word for it, read at least the first paragraph of Wikipedia’s page on Socialism - to learn more : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socialism


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