Behind the Scenes @ FOX19 News

Steven Ackermann, News Director
Steven Ackermann, News Director
Sorry to have been AWOL the past two weeks.  I was out of town for part of it, but thanks to those of you that asked.  
How did we do?
At least one radio talk show host loves to poke fun at TV weather departments each time a winter storm approaches.  My wife is no better-calling to ask when the "killer snowflake" will arrive.
On Thursday night, Frank predicted it would be a complicated weekend and we had at least one retailer upset on Friday when Christie was telling us to get our errands done on Friday.    You just can't make everyone happy!
I think Christie, Frank and Pat nailed it perfectly on Saturday.

This was one of those systems that if moved just a couple miles to the South or North everything would have changed. I compare it to throwing a party.  You invite 15 people telling them to bring their friends.  Are you preparing for 20 and only 10 actually show up?  I always have some extra chips and dip.  It is like the Boy Scout motto-Be Prepared!  

We were! Christie was on the air and on FOX19.COM all morning Saturday; Frank did the same Sunday morning  (minus about 50% of his voice!) and Pat handled the evening chores.   

So, Monday morning I asked Christie what happened to the Sunday snow?


Snow totals on Sunday were less than impressive simply because the storm system spent most of its moisture and energy in the form of rain on Saturday.  Just a thought-- if all the precipitation would have been in the form of snow, we would have received over a foot!  Imagine that!  In reality we had 2.7" of snow on Saturday before the rain wiped it out.  On Sunday, the airport (CVG) recorded on one-tenth of an inch of snow.

At the movies. . .

Have you seen the movie trailers yet for Charlie Wilson's War?  Steve Oldfield arranged for me to see the preview, but I'll leave the movie review to him. I couldn't resist taking a couple of lines to write about this one.

Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts are the headliners in this big budget holiday release set to open Friday.  If you read the George Crile book (same title), be prepared for a little disappointment. 

If you haven't read the book, here's the storyline: Congressman Charlie Wilson represented the 2nd Congressional District from Texas for more than 20 years until 1997.   He played a big role (more about that in a minute) funding the anti-Soviet fighters in Afghanistan (many of whom later became involved in al-Qaida).    

I worked on a story a few years ago when the book first came out interviewing Wilson and Crile. There is no doubt (in my mind) that Charlie Wilson is definitely a character.  One of the first politicians I covered was Louisiana's infamous Edwin Edwards, so I think I know a character when I see one. I can't tell you how much of the story is "true" in the political sense, but it makes for a great read.  

I promised not to review the movie, but a few thoughts:

  • It is a story worth spending a little time with-especially starting the national election season.  It reminds us that the big issues facing our country are complex and defy the simple "yes or no" answers that often make up the daily talking points on the campaign trail.
  • Critics will say the movie glamorizes a Democratic Congressman and ignores the work done by the Republican Reagan administration.  There's a passing reference to then-prosecutor Rudy Guliani and a quotation at the end which will draw even more political criticism.  You will have to judge for yourself.
  • There is no shortage of Hollywood in the movie starting with a bawdy hot-tub scene that definitely contributed to the (R) rating.  The civics lesson may be appropriate for young adults, but I am not sure I want to watch that particular scene with my adult children!

Screenwriters take certain liberties when working from books.  Ask Harry Potter fans what they think about the movie versions. This movie missed a particularly embarrassing DUI incident and a particularly funny scene in the Egyptian desert.   In talking with a couple of journalists who covered Wilson "back in the day," it's clear that he got things done in Washington and in his home district.  That part comes through loud and clear. I'll be curious to hear how the movie plays in Tyler, Lufkin and Nacogdoches.   If you decide to see it, drop me an email and tell me what you think.

This week--

Tomorrow night, Tricia Macke takes our All Access Pass behind the scenes at Argosy Casino.  I haven't seen the story yet, but don't expect too many secrets about beating the house.  There is a reason they call those machines "one armed-bandits."

On Thursday, Jack Atherton introduces us to Pavo Jarvi, the energetic director of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra as this week's Success Story.


And, as always, thanks for taking the time to read along.


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