When I first started working for the Mirror I was their sports photographer. With a newborn baby at home, I found myself without any means to support her. The newspaper was just starting out and I was hired by the first editor, Peggy Clifford but my boss was to be the paper’s publisher, the late Michael Rosenthal.
Over the years, the Mirror gave me small assignments here and there, to photograph the high school baseball game, or to write up the events calendar, or to do a quick rundown of the news. At some point, though, they allowed me to write the movie reviews and eventually, the TV column. Michael Rosenthal was as enthusiastic as they come. He loved my writing, he always told me, but he especially loved my TV columns. Eventually, when Laurie, his wife, took over, the column was broadened to include media of all sorts, not just TV. They kept me employed even though my writing was getting, they must have been able to tell, stale.
Still, the compliments kept coming whenever I’d write something Michael found particularly amusing In mulling over his memory, I knew I couldn’t escape this moment without dashing off a good one for him. The world we live in is absurd. Still, we’re lucky to have the luxury of still being here, for better or worse.
So, in light of the weirdest week on TV yet, Michael, this one’s for you. Because it’s for you, it will be political. I’ll try to make it as funny as I can and I hope somewhere up there you’re chuckling away. Thank you, though, for employing me all those years ago — an always broke single mom with no business whatsoever writing for a living.
What is it with the outbursts this week? We have to be careful not to lump in what happened during Obama’s health care speech with what happened on the tennis court with Serena Williams, and what happened with Kanye West at the Video Music Awards. One of these is not like the other.
Admittedly, it’s getting more and more difficult to tell what is real news from what is news about “reality” stars, what can be staged at music shows, and what gets blown way out of proportion for the sake of ratings and web traffic. What happened when the now infamous Joe Wilson wailed “You lie!” has divided this country right down the middle between the smart people and the stupid people, I mean, between public option health care supporters and illegal immigrant haters.
Why so harsh, I know. We’re supposed to be tolerant and understanding of other people’s points of view. Joe Wilson’s “You Lie” came right after Obama said the bill does not include Federal dollars for illegal immigrants, throwing gasoline on a fire that has been brewing in this country, in the state, in this city for quite some time. Obama’s controversial public option is bringing up all sorts of issues for right wingers and that, in turn, is creating an tense atmosphere; it feels as though we are at war.
Okay, so this isn’t coming out so funny, is it. Surely there were humorous notes to pull out of this, like the hastily made cartoon that showed up on Facebook minutes afterwards depicting Obama staring down Joe Wilson with a caption underneath that read, “Bitch say what?”