Letters 10-24-2016

It’s Obama’s 1984 Several editions ago I concluded a short letter to the editor with an ominous rhetorical flourish: “Welcome to George Orwell’s 1984 and the grand opening of the Federal Department of Truth!” At the time I am sure most of the readers laughed off my comments as right-wing hyperbole. Shame on you for doubting me...

Gun Bans Don’t Work It is said that mass violence only happens in the USA. A lone gunman in a rubber boat, drifted ashore at a popular resort in Tunisia and randomly shot and killed 38 mostly British and Irish tourists. Tunisian gun laws, which are among the most restrictive in the world, didn’t stop this mass slaughter. And in January 2015, two armed men killed 11 and wounded 11 others in an attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. French gun laws didn’t stop these assassins...

Scripps’ Good Deed No good deed shall go unpunished! When Dan Scripps was the 101st District State Representative, he introduced legislation to prevent corporations from contaminating (e.g. fracking) or depleting (e.g. Nestle) Michigan’s water table for corporate profit. There are no property lines in the water table, and many of us depend on private wells for abundant, safe, clean water. In the subsequent election, Dan’s opponents ran a negative campaign almost solely on the misrepresentation that Dan’s good deed was a government takeover of your private water well...

Political Definitions As the time to vote draws near it’s a good time to check into what you stand for. According to Dictionary.com the meanings for liberal and conservative are as follows:

Liberal: Favorable to progress or reform as in political or religious affairs.

Conservative: Disposed to preserve existing conditions, institutions, etc., or to restore traditions and limit change...

Voting Takes A Month? Hurricane Matthew hit the Florida coast Oct. 6, over three weeks before Election Day. Bob Ross (Oct. 17th issue) posits that perhaps evacuation orders from Governor Scott may have had political motivations to diminish turnout and seems to praise Hillary Clinton’s call for Gov. Scott to extend Florida’s voter registration deadline due to evacuations...

Clinton Foundation Facts Does the Clinton Foundation really spend a mere 10 percent (per Mike Pence) or 20 percent (per Reince Priebus) of its money on charity? Not true. Charity Watch gives it an A rating (the same as it gives the NRA Foundation) and says it spends 88 percent on charitable causes, and 12 percent on overhead. Here is the source of the misunderstanding: The Foundation does give only a small percentage of its money to charitable organizations, but it spends far more money directly running a number of programs...

America Needs Change Trump supports our constitution, will appoint judges that will keep our freedoms safe. He supports the partial-birth ban; Hillary voted against it. Regardless of how you feel about Trump, critical issues are at stake. Trump will increase national security, monitor refugee admissions, endorse our vital military forces while fighting ISIS. Vice-presidential candidate Mike Pence will be an intelligent asset for the country. Hillary wants open borders, increased government regulation, and more demilitarization at a time when we need strong military defenses...

My Process For No I will be voting “no” on Prop 3 because I am supportive of the process that is in place to review and approve developments. I was on the Traverse City Planning Commission in the 1990s and gained an appreciation for all of the work that goes into a review. The staff reviews the project and makes a recommendation. The developer then makes a presentation, and fellow commissioners and the public can ask questions and make comments. By the end of the process, I knew how to vote for a project, up or down. This process then repeats itself at the City Commission...

Regarding Your Postcard If you received a “Vote No” postcard from StandUp TC, don’t believe their lies. Prop 3 is not illegal. It won’t cost city taxpayers thousands of dollars in legal bills or special elections. Prop 3 is about protecting our downtown -- not Munson, NMC or the Commons -- from a future of ugly skyscrapers that will diminish the very character of our downtown...

Vote Yes It has been suggested that a recall or re-election of current city staff and Traverse City Commission would work better than Prop 3. I disagree. A recall campaign is the most divisive, costly type of election possible. Prop 3, when passed, will allow all city residents an opportunity to vote on any proposed development over 60 feet tall at no cost to the taxpayer...

Yes Vote Explained A “yes” vote on Prop 3 will give Traverse City the right to vote on developments over 60 feet high. It doesn’t require votes on every future building, as incorrectly stated by a previous letter writer. If referendums are held during general elections, taxpayers pay nothing...

Beware Trump When the country you love have have served for 33 years is threatened, you have an obligation and a duty to speak out. Now is the time for all Americans to speak out against a possible Donald Trump presidency. During the past year Trump has been exposed as a pathological liar, a demagogue and a person who is totally unfit to assume the presidency of our already great country...

Picture Worth 1,000 Words Nobody disagrees with the need for affordable housing or that a certain level of density is dollar smart for TC. The issue is the proposed solution. If you haven’t already seen the architect’s rendition for the site, please Google “Pine Street Development Traverse City”...

Living Wage, Not Tall Buildings Our community deserves better than the StandUp TC “vote no” arguments. They are not truthful. Their yard signs say: “More Housing. Less Red Tape. Vote like you want your kids to live here.” The truth: More housing, but for whom? At what price..

Home · Articles · News · Features · Tom Brokaw
. . . .

Tom Brokaw

Rick Coates - May 10th, 2010
Tom Brokaw: The Greatest Broadcast Journalist Speaks
By Rick Coates
Broadcast journalist and author Tom Brokaw needs little introduction.
For 28 years Brokaw found his way into our living rooms via his work
as Today Show host (1976-1982) and then as anchor of the NBC Nightly
News from 1982 – 2004. Since retiring from his anchor position Brokaw
has found his way to our bookshelves with his 2005 bestseller The
Greatest Generation Speaks followed by his 2008 bestseller, Boom!
Talking About The Sixties.
Brokaw will make three appearances in Traverse City this Wednesday as
part of the Traverse City National Writers Series. His evening
presentation at the City Opera House sold out a few days after tickets
went on sale. Brokaw will speak to high school students from
throughout the region Wednesday afternoon, but this session is closed
to the general public.
Prior to his evening presentation, Brokaw will join 100 guests for
dinner at Bowers Harbor Inn on the Old Mission Peninsula. The $250 per
person dinner ($175 is tax deductable) will go to the new scholarship
program for area high school writing students. Brokaw will introduce
the new scholarship program while visiting town. The scholarships will
be granted through the National Writer Series co-founded by New York
Times best selling author Doug Stanton, his wife Anne Stanton
(Northern Express) and attorney Grant Parsons.
Brokaw continues his work as a broadcast journalist by remaining on
special assignment with NBC. When the very popular Meet The Press host
Tim Russert suddenly passed away in 2008, Brokaw was called upon to
replace him and help transition in current host David Gregory.

Brokaw graduated from the University of South Dakota with a degree in
political science in 1962.  He started as a radio reporter in college,
and after graduating he found work as the editor of a morning news
program in Omaha, Nebraska. He also served as a news anchor and editor
in Atlanta, Georgia, before becoming a KNBC late-night presenter in
Los Angeles (1965-73). He would join NBC as their Washington D.C.
correspondent in 1973 covering the Watergate scandal and in 1976 he
started co-hosting the Today Show with Jane Pauley.
In 1982, along with Roger Mudd, he would take over the Nightly News
anchor spot from retiring David Brinkley. Brokaw would take over sole
spot of anchoring the nightly news in 1983, where he remained until
retiring in 2004. He had planned to retire in 2001, but the 9/11
tragedy postponed that as he agreed to stay on to cover the aftermath
of the terrorist attacks.
In his retirement, Brokaw spends time writing books and giving of his
time to assist many others, including judging journalism competitions.
He is an avid outdoorsman and enjoys fly-fishing. He lives in Montana
with his wife of 48 years; they have three daughters.
Brokaw took time to call from Montana and chat about his thoughts on
“The Greatest Generation,” the ’60s, and journalism today, as well as
the up-and-coming generation.

Northern Express: How do you see the state of journalism today and its
future? What advice do you give to students looking to pursue a career
in journalism?
Brokaw: I am kind of two minds. I just judged a number of journalistic
competitions. I am very impressed with the quality of work that is
being done in television, print media, radio and online. I am very
impressed with the investigative work, long essays and feature writing
that I have been seeing from all over the country, especially from
young reporters.
At the same time I am completely vexed by how we solve the media
business model. We allowed the canard to get out there that
information is free. It is not free, it costs money to produce
newspapers, television and radio. People ought to pay for that
information because it is important in their lives. There is this
notion that you just get information out of thin air somehow.
So I am watching with great interests these efforts to keep journalism
front and center with the new iPad or Kindle to get your newspaper.
There are some enterprising people working on this and I hope we get
this new model solved before too long.

NE: In your research for Boom, what similarities, if any, did you find
between the ’60s generation and The Greatest Generation?
Brokaw: They did occupy two distinctively different times. The
Greatest Generation came of age when everything was about deprivation
and sacrifice during the Great Depression. Then they were asked to go
off and fight the ‘good war.’ There was no ambivalence about getting
involved in that war.
The ’60s generation came of age in ‘boom times,’ when there was a lot
of money around. In fact, many of them have said to me ‘that money
enabled me to go off and pursue what I was interested in at any time
because my parents were making good money or I could get a good job or
government grant.’
Of course, then there was the war and certainly the Vietnam War
defined their generation as World War II did the previous generation.
Vietnam bitterly divided the country because the objects were not
nearly as clear. The reason for us getting involved could be debated
and was debated across this country. So they grew up, and I suppose
the best way to put it, is with different influences being imprinted
onto their generation.

NE: Okay, a follow to that as you look at today’s generation, what is
your assessment of the under-40 generation? What do you see as their
potential legacy?
Brokaw: I am very impressed with this generation. I am going to be
interested in seeing how this economic downturn affects them. Whether
they learn something about proportion, authenticity, and planning
versus throwing money at whatever comes their way and if they change
their motto from this is what I want versus this is what I need as a
result of this economy they are faced with.
I just got back from Ole Miss where I was a guest lecturer for a few
days and I spent a fair amount of time with young people, and I find
they are serious, because they have to be. The competition is much
keener than it was when I was growing up for the good jobs. This
generation has seen the reality of what happens when the economy goes
off the cliff, as their own parents may have lost a house or a job, or
are being faced with uncertainty in their retirement years. So this
generation is going through their own trial by fire, so we will see
how they emerge.

NE: During World War II the country emerged with an economic
turnaround. We are not seeing that with the wars of today. Your
Brokaw: During World War II everyone was asked to make sacrifices on
the home front to help pay for the war. Beginning with Vietnam and
through Afghanistan and Iraq, no administration has said to the
country we have to make some real sacrifices, we have to raise taxes
or go without some things.
During World War II that culture of sacrifice helped unite everybody
and we became a whole country, in many ways more than the sum of our
parts. Now, as I remind audiences as I go around the country, if you
choose not to volunteer for the armed forces or your son or daughter
chose not to volunteer, you can be completely oblivious to the
sacrifices being made by your fellow citizens. I do not think that is
healthy for our society.

NE: Your host is author and writer Doug Stanton; your thoughts on his
books and writing?
Brokaw:  He is a very talented writer and a good friend of mine. We
share a lot of the same values. Both of his books are phenomenal and
he is a wonderful American journalist.

NE: What will you speak about during your visit?
Brokaw: It will be about a reality check, what a new generation has to
think about and where they may be going. I am going to talk about how
I came to write about the ’60s as well as ‘The Greatest Generation.’ I
hope I don’t put anybody to sleep.

NE: What projects are you working on for NBC right now?
Brokaw: I would prefer not to say.

NE: What about your next book?
Brokaw: I am writing another book, but my answer is the same. I prefer
not to discuss projects I am working on in case they do not work out
or in case someone else says ‘that is a good idea, I should do that.’

NE: Okay, are you able to answer how the fly-fishing is in Montana?
Brokaw: Yes, I can answer that. In fact when I get back from Traverse
City I will be going. It is great out here, it is one of the reasons I
retired so I could fly-fish more. In a month I am taking a vacation to
do some tarpon fishing.

Tom Brokaw will appear with Rick Coates on the Omelette & Finster
Morning Show on Wednesday during the 8 am hour on KLT 97.5 and 98.9.
He will discuss the greatest stories he covered, a special visit to
the White House, his friendships with David Letterman and Tim Russert.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5