As I sit here sipping a blueberry martini, wondering what to write about in my first blog post, I'm asking myself 'What would Walter Cronkite do?' Well, you can bet the guy once known as 'the most trusted man in America' would not be downing a fu-fu drink, that's for sure.
I might as well explain the name WWWCD. One of the folks I look up to and occasionally ask advice of in this business is News 10 Capitol Correspondent and host of Off the Record Tim Skubick (he demands I write out his title like that). I remember doing an interview with Elizabeth Edwards in 2004 when she came to Lansing and asked him what he thought of it. He quickly asked "What did YOU think of it, sweatheart?" (his word-- not mine... I don't want that and the blueberry martini thing to give you the wrong impression) I had known the answer before the interview was even over. It was crap. I asked nothing that she didn't have a packaged sound bite for. But I said, "You know I really think I was able to get her to open up about how exciting campaigning is." He just shook his head. "You gotta ask these people questions they haven't heard before. Don't let them rattle off their agenda. Get them to talk about what the viewers want to know."
Good advice. I'm still waiting to run into Edwards again for a rematch. Anywho, right after I started on FOX 47, they asked me to do this promo that had a total circus theme-- riding on elephants, goofing with clowns, the whole nine yards. And anyone who knows me, knows I had NOOOOO problem with that. So it's on the air and one day I run into Skubick in the office and the conversation goes like this:
Skubick: "I see your little circus ad running all over the place."
Me: "Yeah, whaddya think?"
Skubick: "Do you want to be taken as a serious journalist?"
Me: "Uhhh... yes."
Skubick: "Well, the next time before you put on a clown nose, ask yourself, 'Would Walter Cronkite do that?'"
Me: "I'm gonna guess no."
While it's a catchy line, I don't really live by that. I don't think Walter Cronkite would read some of the things I've read on the news over the past few years:
Former wrestler Ric Flair involved in car accident-- "...amazingly, Flair did not try to put the SUV in the figure four leg lock."
Trains set on fire in South America-- "People in Argentina may love their soccer, but they sure do hate their passenger trains."
Soccer riot in Copenhagen-- "It's now time to play 'Guess the soccer riot city!'"
On John Kerry's endorsement for '08-- "Kerry says he thinks Obama can help America turn the page. He then voted for it before voting against it."
Believe me, there's much more that include things like urine and the like, but since the boss is likely reading this we'll go ahead and save some jobs. I'm sure 'ol Walt wouldn't have read any of that, but that's fine. It's a nice ideal to have in mind as I make risky decisions. So, that's the story behind the title. Now, let me give you an idea of what I plan to share in this blog. How long it takes Adela to do her makeup... what David puts in his hair... why someone was screaming in the newsroom yesterday... what my wife calls me when she's really angry? No-- none of that. But trust me... everything I decide to divulge and share WILL make the boss uncomfortable. Things like-- what it's like behind the scenes at News 10... Adela's superstition about breaking news and turtles... endless Tim Staudt stories... the REAL Beth Shayne... what Lauren Zakalik and 1 year have in common... and tons of stuff about my wife and kids. I don't think Cronkite would talk about any of that stuff, but you know what? WC never had his own blog. BOO-YEOW!
1 part blueberry vodka
1 part sweet and sour mix
1/2 part blue curacao
1/4 Rose's lime juice
Don't act like you didn't want to know. And garnish it with blueberries in the bottom of the glass-- that's just classy, people.