In the bar code is the announcement of Alan Haberman’s passing. Haberman is credited with the invention of the bar code in the 1940s. He was 81.
It’s the equivalent of the evening news stakes race with your best thoroughbred at the gate. Monday night, in an understated debut, CBS quietly and firmly put the Katie Couric years behind them when veteran newsman Scott Pelley assumed his role as the face of CBS evening news. Pelley has rather large pumps to fill.
With Walter Cronkite, CBS News had a firm grasp on the number one slot, a position held until the Dan Rather years when ratings slipped and the network found itself in third behind NBC Nightly News and ABC World News.
Can Pelley revive the news franchise at CBS? Smart money is on the competition. Most industry experts believe Pelley lacks the pedigree to take CBS back to the front. He’s no Walter Cronkite, but then again he’s no Katie Couric either.
CBS won’t confirm it. Katie’s camp is all mum. Nobody wants to talk about what everybody knows.
It was really big news in 2006 when everybody was talking about Katie, the first woman to chair an evening news broadcast. CBS lured Couric away from NBC’s Today show hoping her fresh style and big smile would bring viewers by the millions.
Yet, five years later, CBS Evening News is a distant third in the network news rankings, behind Brian William’s NBC “Nightly News” and Diane Sawyer at ABC’s World News a close second. According to Ricky Bobby, “If you’re not first, you’re last.” That certainly seems true at CBS.
Where she is first is in her paycheck. At a reported salary of $15 million, Couric is the highest paid news personality on television. That’s a whole lot of teeth whitener.
According to unnamed sources at CBS, Couric’s replacement will be “”60 Minutes” host Scott Pelley.
Nobody knows where Couric goes from here but some are saying she is negotiating to launch a syndicated talk show in 2012. I think it safe to say, wherever she lands, Katie Couric will be the best Katie Couric she can be.
Statistically speaking, flying is safe. The odds of being on a plane that has some kind of catastrophic failure mid-flight is minuscule. Or, if you happened to be one of the 118 people on Southwest Flight 812 (a Boeing 737-300) headed to Sacramento this past Saturday morning… 100%.
The airline industry only has to do one thing to maintain passengers confidence. Promote an appearance of safe flight. So when a gaping hole opened up along the top of the 737, flying seemed to be not as safe as it was just a few minutes prior.
You have to admire Southwest Airlines for grabbing the plane by the fuselage and getting pro-active with the situation. In response to the event, SWA grounded 81 other 737s for immediate inspection.
In its statement on the inspections, Southwest said Sunday that two planes were found with cracks similar to those in the stricken aircraft. These will be evaluated and repaired before they are returned to service. A National Transportation Safety Board member told The Associated Press later that a third plane had been found with cracks developing.
Southwest has been systematically replacing the 737-300 as it takes deliveries on new aircraft. This is the oldest model in their fleet comprising 170 of 548 planes. All 81 of the grounded aircraft are this model. Some of the SWA 737-300s have had their fuselage retrofitted in recent years. These planes were not grounded.
As airlines deal with an aging fleet it will be interesting to watch how this incident impacts that effort. Planes are expensive and profits are thin. Southwest is fortunate the flight crew got this plane on the ground safely. Until live are lost as a result of fatigued aircraft, I’m afraid airlines worldwide will be somewhat cavalier about getting serious with this problem.
Did you see this headline over the weekend?
“Biden Aide Apologizes After Reporter Kept in Storage Closet During Fundraiser.”
You can’t make that kind of stuff up. This VP is becoming the biggest national embarrassment since Dan Quayle. Locking away those pesky press people in broom closets? What’s next — the rack?
Scott Powers, a reporter with the Orlando Sentinel, was ushered into a storage space during a fundraiser last Wednesday for Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla. It seems the Biden staff was intent on preventing the reporter from speaking to people before the Vice President Biden made his appearance. More about this situation in the Orlando Sentinel.
I can only imagine the outrage had this been a member of the liberal press held against their will at a Republican event. Double standards is modus operandi in politics. It’s become laughable to those that get to watch it play out from afar.
In the meantime, here are the Top Ten Joe Biden gaffes by Time magazine to keep you entertained.
Joe Biden suffers from Foot in Mouth Disease
With revelations coming out that Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi likely ordered the Bombing of Pan Am flight 103 it is no surprise that American families affected by the tragedy are calling this recent action, “Long Overdue.”
Setting the allied intervention aside for a moment, I believe it is somewhat ironic that the murderous reign of Gaddafi will ultimately come to an end at the hands of his own people.
As the days go by the military might of this dictator gets weaker and weaker, and rebel forces surge forward in their push to unseat their embattled leader. Allied air strikes have re-energized the opposition forces.
The losses keep piling up. E Pakistan News reported Sunday evening that Khamis Gaddafi, Muammar Gaddafi’s son and commander of the feared Khamis Brigade, was killed in an allied air strike.
I don’t know where this is headed, but at the end of it I’d like to see this man standing in front of a judge and the Lockerbie families to answer for this murderous crime.
I don’t want us in another shooting war any more than the next man, but if a few Tomahawks can bring this criminal to justice, I think it’s a worthy investment.