Thursday, December 29, 2011

Like a Centipede with Sore Feet

I have a strange tickle in my throat. I feel OK, but my voice sounds funny today. There is not much strength, and I have to concentrate even more than usual to speak clearly. It's not good. I have to be able to read the newscast and sound at least somewhat cogent when I banter with Monica.

Reading a 90-minute newscast takes a voice. You can't hide it for that long. Hot coffee helps, but people who listen closely can probably hear a little difference.

A TV news reporter without a strong voice is like a giraffe with a sore throat or a centipede with sore feet. It affects how we do the job.

Monday, December 5, 2011

It's a sad story.

The story of the man who died last week in the alley in North Abilene is particularly sad. He apparently died alone and cold. The autopsy showed it was a matter of heart disease.

It was his 60th birthday. You have to wonder about the man. We know very little about him. That may be the way he wanted it.

We all have stories. Most don't crowd out the other vitally important information of the day in our limited time and space for news. I hope and pray that God will give peace and comfort to Paul Dunn's family and friends.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

No Tears for JoePa

I love to brag to my friends, family, co-workers, and basically any passerby that I got to go to Super Bowl XLV in Arlington to work earlier this year. It was the experience of a lifetime, and I'll never forget it. I worked with sports directors from New York and central Pennsylvania. One of the guys I worked with was the sports director at WTAJ-TV in Altoona, Pennsylvania.

Just a short while ago, I saw a van with that station's logo emblazoned on the side being flipped over by a group of rioting Penn State students, following the firing of legendary football coach Joe Paterno. I thought about the anger they felt tonight, and as both a member of the media and a human being with a heart and conscience, I can't help but be irritated about their misplaced rage.

Coach Paterno is nothing less than a saint in central Pennsylvania (and beyond), and deserves all the accolades afforded him as major college football's winningest coach. But no one man is bigger than the tragedy that the nation has learned about within the last week.

A grand jury report lists eight young boys as victims of sexual abuse by former Penn St. assistant coach Jerry Sandusky. We now know that more victims not named in that report have come forward, saying Sandusky abused them as children. The scope of this man's (alleged) villainy may never be known. What is known is that the area of Pennsylvania occupied by this university prioritizes the Nittany Lions football program above almost everything else.

As I watch the coverage of Paterno's ousting, and watch the students infuriated by the news, I realize how much that football program is deified. And that's when I start thinking about the facts of this case. Imagine you're one of Sandusky's victims. You're a young boy, and an avid sports fan. Now, to me, being a sports fan means loving the Rangers, Cowboys, and Mavericks, but to someone from State College, Pennsylvania, it means Nittany Lions football (I highly recommend this article from, written by a man who grew up surrounded by the culture of Penn State football, and the Paterno family itself). Many of the known victims were taken in by Jerry Sandusky, a major figure in that program, and given plenty of attention before being exposed to unspeakable acts. This is not a random criminal, or a stranger; the parents of these children didn't warn them to avoid people like Jerry Sandusky.

God only knows how many children have grown into young adults with the stigma of having been sexually assaulted by this man. I fear it's highly possible some may have taken their own lives, having never told anyone what they were subjected to. Those who lived on likely kept quiet because they have lived their whole lives knowing that everyone they've ever met unconditionally loves the Penn State football team, and that, quite frankly, the football team is bigger than them. Growing up with that mentality, it makes sense that they would keep quiet, fearing that coming forward would make them appear to be the troublemaker. My heart breaks for the victims, not for anyone involved in the football program. Even as this scandal began to break nationwide, it appeared that Paterno could not grasp the scope of Sandusky's alleged crimes; that having been immersed in a program as revered as Penn State football is, it is almost impossible to see anything else as being as important, no matter how sordid the details. Even when he announced his decision to retire early Wednesday afternoon, he appeared slightly aloof, saying that the Penn State board of trustees shouldn't spend time considering his job status. That, of course, is not his call. Paterno is named in the Sandusky grand jury report, and while I don't believe he committed a crime, the fact that he had knowledge of the scandal beforehand, no matter how little, ensures that his job status is not something he has the power to control.

It is truly sad that a man as revered as Joe Paterno had to lose his job over this scandal. But your heart shouldn't break for JoePa, or anyone else who loses their job at Penn State because of this scandal. It should break for the victims, and only the victims.

-Mark Moseley

Friday, October 28, 2011

It's a Shame

WOW! That was fun.

We got home late from a football game late Thursday night. I scheduled my last vacation day of the year today because I knew we would too late to answer the 2:30 alarm clock bell to get to work. I scheduled it weeks before the Rangers and Cardinals even got into the Major League Baseball playoffs.

I turned on the TV when we got home to see how game six of the World Series was going. I think it was four-to-four. The game was ugly with the fielders making big mis-adventures out of routine pop-ups and ground balls.

But, I'm a baseball fan, so I kept watching and trying to stay awake. I kept watching as it got later, and the Rangers got down to the last out, even the last strike of beating my favorite team....twice.

I'm a Josh Hamilton fan. His story of over-coming drug and alcohol addiction and claiming the spot of one of the best left-handed hitters in the game with his natural talent is inspiring. His homerun would have been a fitting game-winning hit for a memorable World Series.

I'm a Rangers fan. Their first title ever would be a great thing for the team and the game.

I'm also a Cardinals fan...have been for decades. Their refusal to quit was inspiring. There were no called third-strikes for those guys in the last few innings. Swing and see what happens. They did. What happened was exciting.

I'm a David Freese fan. He has his own story of overcoming alcohol and injury problems. His home-run is kind of like what little-leaguers dream about. Usually, your team is down by three, but the bases are loaded when you pop a grand slam to win it. Freese is from St. Louis. That makes it even better for him.

David Freese is a hero today. But, you can't win today's ball-game with yesterday's homerun. That's why I came up with the title of this post. It's a shame that one of these teams will lose tonight. Game six was one probably one of the best World Series games ever. Tonight, we will have game seven. The team that wins tonight is the world champion. The team that loses is just the team that lost. Go Rangers, Go Cards.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Divided Loyalty

My parents are from a small town in the Missouri Ozarks. I remember driving across the country several times from our home in Washington state to visit our grandmothers, aunts, unclues and cousins. The radio was part of the trip. The St. Louis Cardinals have a huge radio network. We listened to a lot of the games on the way. I also remember watching the 1968 World Series between the Cards and the Detroit Tigers. I skipped school to watch game seven on TV. The Tigers won four-one. Curt Flood mis-played a fly ball. Mike Shannon hit a home-run, but that was their only score. Disappointing day, but I've been a St. Louis Cardinals fan since the fourth grade.

Now, the Cards are against The Texas Rangers in the World Series. I never thought we'd see this, but I've been a fan since Dal Maxville and Julian Javier was the double-play combination. I watched the Lou Brock's chase of Maury Wills' stolen base record, the botched call and Juaquin Andujar's meltdown that cost the Cards the 1985 series against the Kansas City Royals and Mark McGuire's chase of Roger Maris' home run record.

I can't stop now even though I would be strongly behind the Rangers against ANY other National League team. I'm for the guy's who wear "The Birds on the Bat." Go Cards!!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Sometimes I Wonder

We make time available for live interviews for non-profit organizations promoting their events. We're happy to do it, and it's part of the responsibility of a TV station licensed by the Federal Communication Commission. We are obligated to broadcast in the public "interest, convenience and necessity." That means whatever the FCC says it means.

Our guests come in early for the opportunity to publicise their special events. They get here before six. They get about two-minutes of free air-time to tell us and the viewers about their projects. Two minutes on TV is valuable for their organizations.

There is a lot riding on your appearance on TV. It's a matter of respect for the viewers and for the industry. We learned in television 101 that we need to spend a minute making sure that the hair and smile look OK. It's imortant for men. It seems to be even more important for women.

We don't have a dress code for our studio guests. I know it's just a few minutes for them to spread their message, but I'm a little bit surprised at the casual ease that some have for being on TV.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Talented Seniors

I felt silly acting as a judge for The Senior Talent Show Saturday afternoon at the Abilene Civic Center. It was an honor to be there. All of those people were inspiring. One contestant recited Bible passages...and got emotionally affected by the meaning of the words. Another sang a song he performed for his daughter's wedding. A group of women sang America, The Beautiful. The most senior of the senior citizens did a harmonica tribute to America's military service men and and women. All of the contestants are inspiring. They all entertained the people there, and they all have messages worthy of our honor and respect.

The criteria on the judges' paper made the choices for the talent show clear, and the top three finishers were very deserving. But, the choices for the judges was very difficult.

I was humbled to be sitting there with the score-cards. They are all inspirational people.