Super Bowl and Groundhog Day Together

I’m pondering the significance of this coincidence: the Super Bowl and Groundhog Day both fall on Sunday, Feb. 2, in 2014. I suppose in the long history of Super Sunday, and the even longer history of Groundhog Day, this may have happened once or twice before. Does anybody remember?

Will the Groundhog be guest of honor at halftime? Will “Groundhog Day,” the movie, be on TV immediately before or after the game? That might extend the party and the mega-bucks commercials another three hours.

Alternatively, some channels will probably run “Groundhog Day,” the movie, in direct competition with the game. It makes sense, but it wouldn’t put a dent in the Super Bowl’s audience.

I hope the Arctic freeze is over by Feb. 2. If we’ve entered a new ice age by Super Sunday, will they cancel the game and just air the commercials?

Most important of all, will the groundhog predict the Super Bowl winner? No, even more important, will the groundhog predict Spring?

Stand by for two solid weeks of Super Bowl hype. But that’s the last you’ll read about it on my blog. — John

News Media Disappoints In Reporting Connecticut Mass Murder (Plus 18 Comments)

Note: An interesting discussion — mostly about mental health issues — follows this brief post.

It’s nearly a week now since the tragic shooting and loss of innocent life in Connecticut. Like many, I’m hesitant to write about this most recent mass murder out of respect for the families, and because so much information is unknown.

Two observations stand out, however, regarding television news coverage:

First, a great deal of speculation has been aired about mental illness. Never before have the words autism and “Asperger’s” been spoken so often on television in such a short time. It’s probably misleading to even classify autism and Asperger’s as mental illnesses, at least not without clarification. They certainly should not be associated with conditions such as Schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. I’d wager that many people are hearing about Asperger’s Syndrome for the first time, and half-baked information is apt to create an undeserved stigma for both autism and Asperger’s.  Continue reading

American Politics: Check Your Knife At The Door

Here’s the shadow side of cable TV news:

“Where was Obama tonight? He should watch — well, not just ‘Hardball,’ Rachel [Maddow], he should watch you, he should watch the Reverend Al [Sharpton], he should watch Lawrence [O’Donnell], he would learn something about this debate. There’s a hot debate going on in this country. Do you know where it’s being held? Here on this network is where we’re having the debate. We have our knives out. We go after the people and the facts. What was he doing tonight? He went in there disarmed.”

That was Chris Matthews on the MSNBC post-game party after the Obama-Romney debate Wednesday night.    Continue reading