We're going to need help from some type of doctor, preferably a psychologist or a psychiatrist for this edition of Media Watch because I for one can't figure out what type of mental disorder would cause supposedly sane people, in this case editorial writers, to go out of their way to come up with some obscure thing to be "outraged" about.
Lest the disease start to spread to the body public--I hear certain Republicans are liable to succumb to the illness--we need some type of doctor to provide proper diagnosis so science can develop a serum for innoculation. Perhaps federal grant monies will be availalble.
As should be evident so far, except to those like various Union Leader editorial writers who have no sense of humor, I write this with tongue a bit in cheek.
I refer to Friday's editorial (presumably written by Drew Cline as opposed to the publisher who, due to New Years resolutions, I am not allowed to name) entitled "Civility in question--Rep. Horrigan shamed again".
Apparently Mssr. Cline has nothing better to do with his time--or nothing more important to write about--than to search obscure web sites for jokes, which may or may not be in poor taste, which--if you can believe it--have already been removed.
In other words, Mssr. Cline brings to his readership's attention something so "outrageous" that almost nobody would know about had he not chosen to publicize it.
You just can't make this stuff up. Certainly, some type of mental malady must be the underlying cause of such silliness--or else the folks at Loeb Drive, in a world chock full of problems, just can't seem to find any real ones worth commenting about. If that's the case, I could refer them to the Monitor, Telegraph, Sentinel, and Fosters which have all featrued editorials worthy of reprinting.
First let's review just one episode Cline and the Union Leader have chosen not to comment on editorially. I refer to a Manchester State Rep (no names please) who was sentenced to a year's probation for three charges of assault, after the very same Rep was involved in another bar room brawl resulting in a broken leg a few years back.
Now, let's look at what "Civility in question" is about. I hesitate to even do so at the risk of bringing even further attention to something which is already way too much ado about nothing.
Rep. Tim Horrigan, D-Durham, whom I consider a friend even though he is much more liberal than I am--he's supporting a minimum wage increase and wants to spend more for cultured affairs for exampl-- apparently posted a questionably funny remark on his Twitten account about Dick Cheney taking a shot at Supreme Court Justice Anotnin Scalia. It wasn't even a Horrigan original--like some of my humor, he "lifted" it. Isn't that the way it always is--the best (and worst) humor is often lifted.
Remember my two tasteless jokes at the start of the year; both were lifted. A Howie Carr show listener came up with the line about Barney Frank leaving because he wants to spend more time in Dennis. A Democratic leader actually gave me the line about two Americans being shot--oh! there's that word again--in a theater, namely Abraham Lincoln and the guy sitting in front of PeeWee Herman.
Funny stuff...at least I think so, but then what one person finds funny, another may not. I find Family Guy uproariously funny and I enjoy David Letterman, even when I disagree with his liberal slant. Humor, by its very nature, will amuse some; offend others and apparently Mssr. Cline is easily offended--or at least he pretends to be for the sake of an editorial.
Have we no right to laugh any more? Only a psychiastrist could define the dour state of someone who would rather go out of his way to condemn purveyors of humor rather than crack a smile. It must be a dour, sad, pathetic creature indeed but then I'm not shrink,
Mssr. Cline ends his editorial chasting Rep. Horrigan about "musing about opponents being killed."
Oh really! The last time I checked, Dick Cheney didn't kill anybody; it was actually a rather harmless, albeit deemed funny by many, misfire. In other words, even if you accept the Horrigan-lifted joke as in poor taste--I for one refuse to serve as the humor police--there was certainly no thought of anyone being killed.
Mssr. Cline spends the first part of his editorial talking about another joke from Rep. Horrigan a few years, one for which he was pressured into resigning by Democratic leadership. I thought the comment back then was rather harmless, more a statement of a truism than a joke, naming that Sarah Palin would be more effective as a martyr (think Lincoln; think Kennedy) than as a living spokesperson for her cause.
Bulletin! Bulletin! Bulletin!
Stop the presses! Rep. Horrigan, like Gene Chandler after his problems, was re-elected in 2010. In 2012, he not only was re-elected again but he also survived a primary, virtually unheard of in Durham.
Rep. Horrigan last term was sentenced to serve on the silly grievenace committee, and unlike most on that committee, he actually sat and listened to hours upon hours of testimony.
He seems perfectly in synch with Durham voters; he is thoughtful, bright; he works hard; his father was a Rep back in the late 70s; he has much to contribute to the House; and the fact that he chooses to post a joke is not sin in my book. In fact, maybe we should all be REQUIRED to laugh from time to time.
Me thinks thou doth protest too much, Drew. Maybe the psychiatrist's advice would be as simple as, "Get a life." Most likely the media handbook's advice would be too do more research and get yours facts right; find more imporatant things to editorialize ab out; stops going out of your way, turning over every rock you can to find something to spur your phony outrage.
Tim, my friend, don't even think about resigning again. The thought police, the humor police, must be stopped in their tracks before they "kill" again. For the paper which spawned phrases like Moscow Maggie and Dopey Dwight to even think about lecturing us about civility is...well...it's like being called ugly by a frog.
It's not Rep. Horrigan who is shamed in this matter. It's Doubtful Drew and the publisher who dare not speak his name.
Oh by the way, here's an indication of how hard Rep. Horrigan is working. Yesterday, I worte about the silly hisotrical racing bill defeated in the Seante Ways and Means Committee. I never testified at that hearing (still haven't solved the problem of being in two places at one), but Rep. Horrigan did. Here's what he had to say. Keep up the good work, Rep. Horrigan. Put a sock in it, Drew.
SENATE BILL 63-FN
AN ACT allowing historical racing.
Rep. Timothy Horrigan; Strafford #6
I will open with a folksy saying. This will be the only folksy saying in my testimony: “If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it probably is a duck.” Historical racing machines walk like slots and quack like slots. For all practical purposes, they are slots.
In 2012, the General Court turned down several offers to put in slots for 40% of the “net machine income.” The rationale for this decision was that the revenues from the casinos weren't worth the costs, both monetary and non-monetary.
Slots— and historical racing terminals— typically take out about 8% to 9% of the handle. 40% of the net machine income would have multiplied out to about 3.2% to 3.6% of the total coin-in.
SB 63 basically offers the state just 1.25% of the handle, although a track which has dog racing without any live or simulcast horse racing would have to pay 1.5%. If 3.6% of the slot handle was a bad deal, and I agree that it was‑ then 1.5% is a really bad deal and 1.25% is a really, really bad deal.
Please kill this bill— or at alternatively demand a much higher percentage of the coin in.
Timothy Horrigan:January 29, 2013
1.25% = 13.9% of net machine income with 9% winnings
1.5% = 16.7% of net machine income with 9% winnings
1.25% = 15.6% of net machine income with 8% winnings
1.5% = 18.8% of net machine income with 8% winnings