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 September, 2006


 Preview of the upcoming elections of 2006

Itís That Time Again!

By Al Owens
I used to believe just about everything, anybody told me. I probably lost that particular form of innocence about 30 years ago. And it probably came on the day when, as a young television reporter, I stood eye-to-eye with some guy who swore he didnít have a racist bone in his body. I probably would have believed him, except for that hood and that Ku Klux Klan outfit he had on, and those two guys with shotguns who were providing ďsecurityĒ for him.

You see, Dale Rousch, or Dale Rausch (I donít remember how to spell his last name. And I honestly donít care) was the Grand Dragon of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan of Ohio. He was repeatedly trying to convince me and my photographer that he and his organization didnít have an axe to grind (and I would imagine Ė a cross to burn) against African Americans! And he said all of that with a straight face!

I was learning back then that people who find themselves in front of television cameras, just may try to make some pointless point, no matter how silly the question might be. Mine, that day was, ďIf youíre not a racist, then how come I canít join your organization?Ē He could have admitted he was a racist, but instead he opted for spin.

Spin! Itís that time of the political season, when politicians everywhere will soon start saying anything to give their feeble points-of-view a chance to gain acceptance. But I donít buy that kind of nonsense. Not since that encounter with that Klansman, when I became a hard core skeptic.

I truly believe that sometimes these people will even say nothing while moving their lips. A few weeks ago, when that fury over that ABC TV movie ďThe Path to 9/11Ē became a cable news staple, politicians took every opportunity to make some kind of political point about it. According to Democrats/Liberals and Clinton supporters, the movie wasnít being fair to Democrats/Liberals and Clinton supporters. While Republicans/Conservative and Bush supporters countered by saying that itís only a movie. That it wasnít really meant as an historical document.

When these Republicans/Conservatives and Bush supporters were all asked if theyíd respond the same way if some Republican/Conservative or Bush supporter got similar negative treatment Ė they all energetically responded with a yes. SPIN!

Donít they know that either side would respond according to the slant of the movie? Donít they know we all know they would?

Iím afraid Iíll wake up tomorrow morning, discover a kitten is stuck up some tree, and the Vice-President will blame the Democrats. Thatís how high the stakes are in the upcoming Congressional Elections. Everything that happens everywhere will soon have some kind of vague political attachment stuck to it.

My, arenít we lucky? We get a chance to see a President give speech-after-speech saying exactly what he said three years ago, and saying it like we never heard it before! And then, if we havenít all dozed off, we get a chance to watch the Democrats giving responses that could have been written in 2003.

Spin! It makes me dizzy, when it doesnít make me laugh. I do laugh when I hear Conservatives use the logic that the Bush Administration has kept America safe for 5 years since 9/11 Ė especially since Bill Clinton ďdropped the ballĒ on national security. Well the first attack on the World Trade Center took place in 1991, 8 years before the second attack. Does that mean if thereís another attack, letís say, in 7 years, the Bush Administration ďdropped the ballĒ on national security? Iím sure the Democrats would spin that one into the ground!

Itís too bad we all canít employ this antidote for the upcoming political season. The one I saw my very first news director do every time the mayor of Steubenville, Ohio walked into our newsroom. Heíd pick up a newspaper and start reading it. Heíd make sure that that newspaper was in clear view of the perpetually spinning mayor, and that it was easy to see that it was upside down! Curiously though, that mayor never even noticed!