Behind the Scenes @ FOX19 News - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

February 19, 2008

Behind the Scenes @ FOX19 News

Steven Ackermann, News Director Steven Ackermann, News Director

BACK FROM YOUR HOLIDAY? It seems that we can create a controversy about anything.  Is it President's Day or Presidents' Day?  Or, how about Presidents Day?  All this controversy over an apostrophe?  Werner Lange, assistant Professor of Sociology at Edinboro University made the OP-ED page of the Chicago Tribune with a diatribe beginning with the observation that, "The grammatical muddle reflects a deep-seated cultural and political" dispute over the holiday.

Lange argues for a return to celebrating Lincoln's birthday on February 12th  and Washington's birthday on February 22nd.  In case you don't remember, we used to celebrate those birthdays.  My mom regularly made a cherry pie on Washington's birthday! 

President's Day, Presidents' Day or Presidents Day came about when Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act in 1968. To be precisely accurate, the Congressional action created a federal holiday on the third Monday of February, but never officially renamed it. 

So, we technically celebrate Washington's birthday every year on a date that will NEVER fall on Washington's actual birthday. Are you sorry you asked?

POLITICAL SOAPBOX-They are here!  You can't miss the fact that the Ohio Primary now looms as all-important in the Democratic Presidential selection process.  Senators Clinton and Obama are both on television across Ohio.  After today's Wisconsin primary, I suspect the candidates will be jetting in and out more frequently as they split their time between Texas and Ohio.  To be technically accurate, March 4th includes Texas, Ohio, Rhode Island and Vermont--see why I think they will be splitting time between Texas and Ohio?

Sticking with the theme of this week's newsletter-linguistic precision:  I keep hearing complaints about the primary process defying the "will of the voters."  Keep in mind, this is not an ELECTION-these are party SELECTIONS.  The election comes in November. 

The Republican SELECTION process relies on a large number of "winner-take-all" primaries which has the effect of magnifying victories.  The Democratic SELECTION process allocates delegates according to the popular vote in each state (the formulas can be mind-numbing) and then supplements those delegates with approximately 800 "Super Delegates" who are uncommitted and generally serve as various party officials.  Again, the purpose is to magnify a victory.

So, once again the political pundits are talking about a brokered political convention this summer.  It's fun to talk about, but highly unlikely.  The SELECTION process is very carefully designed to make sure each party selects a candidate in a timely fashion.

If you vote in Ohio, pay attention and get ready to vote on March 4th.  If you live in Indiana or Kentucky, who knows-the selection process may or may not be finished by the time your primary comes around.

GOOD NEWS-I received a passionate email from a young viewer asking why we can't cover more good news.  As I replied, it is an age-old question of journalism.  News tends to include the unexpected and that is often bad.  Part of my job is to see that we balance the bad with good. 

Last week, Zack Wells reported one of those stories that makes you stop and realize that good things happen, good kids attend our schools and we can all learn lessons from them.

If you didn't see the story about the Wyoming High School Basketball team, you can click here.  This story was even more unusual because no one called around begging us to cover the game.  Instead, photographer Dan Wood was covering a routine high school game when he realized something special was taking place.

While I am on the subject of good kids succeeding in school, make sure you tune in tonight when Brian Giesenschlag shares the remarkable story of Dustin Carter's quest for a state wrestling title.  Wednesday night, Dan Carroll shows us a unique high school sport called underwater hockey (we showed you a sneak peak during last week's Cool School segment) and on Thursday morning we're at Covington Latin for this week's Cool School.

                                                                                                    

IN YOUR TOWN-All this week, the morning news crew is traveling around the Tri State with stories from some of their favorite communities.  Frank visited Fort Mitchell yesterday; Rob has a great story from Hamilton this morning; Dan does Bridgetown on Wednesday; Sheila does Loveland on Thursday and Meghan wraps up the week with Bright on Friday.

As always, thanks for spending your time reading along.  Feel free to write back by clicking here you can always forward this to your friends.  If they would like to get their own copy, they can sign up by clicking here.

Steve

 

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