Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Helping the Hungry

One week from today, I will lead my colleagues at WACH-TV in Columbia in our annual effort to help the Harvest Hope Food Bank. The 11th Annual Share Your Holiday Food Drive takes place on December 2 at First Baptist Church (Downtown), Palmetto GBA (Northeast Richland County) and Food Lion (Lexington) to raise food and money for Harvest Hope.

When this event started, we set a humble goal of raising 57,000 (our channel number x 1000) pounds of food. I think we doubled that. The following year, people in the community really got behind the effort and ever since, we've been able to raise the equivalent of up to 500,000 pounds of food.

It's testament to the power of the Midlands community and the resolve of the good people at Harvest Hope to make sure families-- down on the their luck, struggling to make ends meet, particularly this year when we are enduring the worst economic time since the Great Depression-- do not go hungry. On Monday, Harvest Hope provided assistance to more than 2,000 families. On a cold, rainy morning, the line stretched from the front door, around the parking lot, out to Shop Road. A similar scene played out on Tuesday.

The need is always great during the holidays. The current economy has pumped up that need dramatically.

If you are blessed to still have your job, a decent salary or wage, and a healthy family able to eat good, hot meals every day, please take a moment to think about those who find themselves in less fortunate positions by no fault of theirs. Find it within yourself to donate to Harvest Hope Food Bank this week; next week; regularly, if possible. You will help the organization help so many others in your community, some of whom may be your neighbors.

Oh, Good Evening!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Lou Dobbs Quits CNN

Lou Dobbs' longtime presence at CNN has ended, again. During his Lou Dobbs Tonight broadcast on November 11th, Dobbs announced to viewers that he reached agreement with CNN to leave, immediately, with two years remaining on his contract.

Dobbs joined CNN, at its inception, in 1980 as chief economics correspondent and anchor of Moneyline. He also served as corporate executive vice president. Dobbs left the network in 1999 after clashing with then-CNN president Rick Kaplan. After Kaplan's 2000 departure, Dobbs returned to CNN in 2001.

Back in the day, I always admired Dobbs' smooth and virtually unflappable anchoring style. But, in recent years, the inclusion of his often overbearing personal opinions into his broadcasts really turned me off and as a result, I turned him off. I can't tell you how many times I cringed while watching him put CNN correspondents in awkward positions by asking them leading, opinionated questions in crosstalk forcing them to sidestep in order to maintain their own on-air, unbiased credibility as journalists.

Whatever Dobbs decides to do moving forward, I'm sure he'll have a loyal following of like-minded viewers and listeners (he does a daily radio show) and he will continue to have influence and impact on America and the world. But his departure from CNN is a welcomed move for this news person.

Oh, Good Evening!