Friday, 15 October 2010

Only in America

The Palm Beach Post reports an interesting episode today.

Apparently, some gal, wearing only an open robe (you can sit and imagine this for a moment)....drove up to the gates of Lion County Safari, and then drove through without stopping.  Naturally, you can guess they've got a few lions in the park.

According to her....after they got the vehicle stopped.....she spoke out about terrorists coming to kill the animals.

The guy in charge of the lions....stated that the woman did seem to be unstable, then added:  "She was wearing a robe that wasn't even closed."

The park guys somehow got her cornered and then got her back out to the main gate...hoping the cops would come....but they got there too late.  She took off.

I sat and paused over this story.  To be kinda honest, I've wanted to work at a Safari park my entire life.  I always thought it'd be the place to hang out and just look sharp in a Jungle-Jim safari hat.  But this episode makes me desire the job even more.  Imagine....standing there....and some gal in a open robe drives up.  Yep, you don't have things like that happen at the Pentagon or in Bama like that.

Tonight....somewhere in Florida....there's some gal all worried (probably out of meds too) over terrorists coming to the local safari park.  I'm guessing one of her kids probably told her some story....which got her all confused, and then set off this strange event.  It could only happen in America.

No More Polarizing

Up until moving to DC....I used to spend two to three hours  a week listening to NPR.  They have a couple of shows that were worth listening.

Negatives?  Yeah, there are a couple of issues that always bothered me.  Science Friday used to average one show a month on global warming, which I got to a point of disbelief, and later became amused at the number of ways they answered a question without a scientific answer.  Then came the political news shows where they advocated some group of a unusual nature....with questions that always made the group look really good, but then you could always guess which group would get the tough questions.

This week....an e-mail came out to NPR employees here in DC....with implications over the Jon Stewart comedy rally coming up shortly.  I was kinda amused by NPR HR's warnings to the staff:

- NPR journalists may not run for office, endorse candidates or otherwise engage in politics. Since contributions to candidates are part of the public record, NPR journalists may not contribute to political campaigns, as doing so would call into question a journalist's impartiality.

- NPR journalists may not participate in marches and rallies involving causes or issues that NPR covers, nor should they sign petitions or otherwise lend their name to such causes, or contribute money to them. This restriction applies to the upcoming John Stewart and Stephen Colbert rallies.

- You must not advocate for political or other polarizing issues online. This extends to joining online groups or using social media in any form (including your Facebook page or a personal blog) to express personal views on a political or other controversial issue that you could not write for the air or post on NPR.org.

- NPR journalists may not serve on government boards or commissions.

The one that caught my eye...."polarizing issues" might destroy any creative sense left in the NPR staff.  I suspect that HR and the journalists are discussing this at length....and maybe NPR is giving the hint of downsizing, and this "polarizing" might be a good way to anchor folks back into the 1970s mentality that they started out with.

The fact that HR is warning them over their online chat groups....indicates that management has gotten tired of explaining to congress why certain employees can say a bunch of stupid stuff....and thus get away with it.  In January, it's likely now that the Republicans will control the House, and will have a strong hand in the Senate.....and in this time of budget cuts which will come....NPR might be a place to carve off five percent of the budget and let some of the more expensive journalists go.

Just a humble observation.