Norah O’Donnell is both telegenic and talented. Will she succeed where Katy Couric (CBS) and Diane Sawyer (ABC) fell short as anchors of major network evening newscasts?
The pressure on Ms. O’Donnell is worse than that of her predecessors because she ascends the throne of Walter Cronkite in the heart of the MeToo movement. Will it make a difference?
On an early morning 2006 newscast on local CBS affiliate KTVN TV-2, I predicted that effervescent Ms. Couric would crash and burn. God, I got heat over that.
“There are three jobs in public life where people want daddy telling them everything’s all right and will be better in the morning: Governor — not US senator, president of the United States and network news anchor,” I said.
I also predicted that Democratic gubernatorial nominee Sen. Dina Titus, D-Las Vegas, would fall short in her bid against Republican Congresscritter Jim the Dim. God, did I get heat over that.
I proved correct on both. I’m over half a century into the media business. I deal in images. Perky Katy was not Uncle Walter. Petite Dina was no match for a handsome (if studly stupid) jet pilot.
If you want a harbinger of the 2020 presidential result, watch Ms. O’Donnell’s ratings. I hope she makes it.
MINIMALIST GOVERNMENT SPAWNS MINI-WAGES. I have been carping for decades that the average income of Americans has pretty much flat-lined since the phony Arab Oil Embargo of 1973.
I need to take a longer view. On May 10, 1908, The New York Times published a story about how hard it was to live on $35 a week.
“We all know that the cost of living has advanced absurdly out of proportion to salaries,” wrote Agnes Laut in a story about living frugally.
“The $35 figure she cited works out to $967 in current dollars,” The Times reported on May 10, 2019.
“According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, median full-time earnings in the first quarter of 2019 were $908 per week,” the newspaper noted.
Zounds. A century of backsliding. Don’t tell Czar Donaldov.
In last Sunday’s Reno Gazette-Journal, conservative banker and financial commentator Robert Barone once again sent up warning flags about impending recession.
He analyzed recent puffy economic numbers, torpedoing the rosy scenarios emanating from DC. As I’ve oft noted, the most frequently quoted consumer price index category has long had the costs of energy (including gasoline) and food removed. Why? Officially, they are “too volatile.” Unofficially: they make whichever party is in power look bad.
“The media failed to mention that the only reason the unemployment rate fell was because the labor force shrank…a 770,000 drop since last December. This implies discouraged job seekers. If not for the drop in the labor force, the unemployment rate would be somewhere north of four percent,” Barone asserted.
STILL STRUGGLING. Should it pass the current legislature, the Nevada minimum wage will will go up a whole 75 cents to $8.00 an hour this year and $12 by 2023. Had the minimum been adjusted for inflation since the US economy peaked in 1968, it would mandate about $12 today.
IN MEMORIAM: This Saturday, May 18, I will say a silent prayer for two brothers in arms who never met. Talk radio legend Travus T. Hipp (aka Chandler Acheson Laughlin Jr.), died on May 18, 2012. The former Tribune commentator stands among only seven honorees in the Barbwire Molly Ivins Memorial Columniator Hall of Flames.
Travus proudly carried his own home-made Industrial Workers of the World (aka The Wobblies) picket sign to local union demonstrations. The Wobblies remain Nevada labor legends and are still very active in the Silver State more than a century later.
Big Bill Haywood, along with Eugene Debs, Mary Harris “Mother Jones” and others founded the IWW. Haywood died on May 18, 1928.
NON-SEQUITUR CLUB. Czar Donaldov and former Veep Biden are contenders for this year’s “Never Give A Inch” Award. As John Wayne once said in a western, “never apologize, it’s a sign of weakness.”
HOMELAND INSECURITY. I detest lower digestive tract humor, but this one is too good not to (pardon the expression) pass along.
“I was busted for contraband at SFO (San Francisco International Airport),” a Barbwire regular writes.
“It seems powdered laxative will register as an explosive!” the accused terrorist exclaimed.
Somehow, I don’t feel safer and would rather stay home.
Be well. Raise hell. Esté bien. Haga infierno.
Andrew Barbano is a 50-year Nevadan and editor of NevadaLabor.com. E-mail email@example.com Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Tribune since 1988.