Flak Attack

If it’s in the news, the Flak attacks!

Posts Tagged ‘obituary

Walter Cronkite: And that’s the way it was

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Without a doubt, there will be memorials into perpetuity because this brilliant reporter and sage of the airwaves was finally overcome by his illnessesand there should be.

Walter CronkiteHowever, what’s lacking is Walter Cronkite’s legacy upon those talking heads giving the homage to the iconic CBS veteran.

This was “the most trusted man in America” for decades, and today, who in the world would allow a single news anchor to even babysit their kids?!

National news is pathetic regardless of where your TV remote finds you. There is no joint broadcasting, tiered openness or unleavened bias anymore. One network touts our president as “sort of God” and the other may as well accuse him of being Rosemary’s Baby.

Long gone are the days when you can turn on an evening news report and rest assured with all the facts to know that’s the way it is.

You know if the Edward R. Murrow disciples these days want to show any respect to Cronkite, consider this: the greatest tribute they can pay him is actually broadcast like him.

Whether you were old enough to see it live, or had a professor show you in school, most of us flacks have seen the regaled Cronkite announcement of JFK’s death.

You couldn’t tell if he was a gun-totin’ member of the GOP or a tree-hugging member of the Democratic Party. Why? It didn’t matter. He was there to report the news, not opine on political dissuasion.

Cronkite was the progeny of a soon-to-be extinct breed – trusted news anchors who valued integrity on facts rather getting hits on Facebook because of their misguided conjecture.

No, now you have to sift through the empty rhetoric, political bent and flat-out mudslinging to get any “facts” these days.

Godspeed, Walter. The media has become unceasingly sorrier since you left it. And now that you have left us, so will we become.

And that’s just the way it is.

The Spin View: Where’s Michael?

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For weeks, the world has reeled with the death of Michael Jackson.

And while people have been buying his albums “off the Wall,” (Sorry, it was just there) the one thing people can’t seem to grasp is when will the friggin’ stories stop!

He’s dead. He revolutionized the business. He will always be remembered… namely if the media won’t shut up about the fact that… oh yeah… he’s dead!

I’ve often wondered if I had the power of a digital editing suite at my desk, how I would be able to masterfully maneuver around all the gesticulating banter on the Michael Jackson story… and inevitably, stick a log in the spoked wheel spinning out of control.

Now thanks to the genius writers at “The Daily Show,” I no longer have to dream. Enjoy!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “The Spin View: Where’s Michael?“, posted with vodpod

Jean Carpenter: Texas State Fair loses a legendary face

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Jean CarpenterLate last month, Dallas/Fort Worth learned that Big Tex wasn’t the only legendary face on the state fairgrounds.

Her name was Jean Carpenter, and although she had her own practice in North Texas, she was known for representing the Texas State Fair annually for the past 30 years.

Thanks to this obituary/story from the Dallas Morning News, we learned she died of a brain tumor at the age of 80.

“Jean was just running every direction that morning making sure things came together the way they were supposed to,” Ms. [Nancy, of retired State Fair fame] Wiley said. “Pretty much everything did, except for the trained pig. We discovered pigs don’t like to get up before dark and perform. Jean was right out in the middle of it, herding the pigs in the direction they were supposed to go. She was tremendously versatile.”

The last memoir there describes what true flacks do. This is not a 9-to-5 gig. It’s round the clock, ofttimes thankless but erstwhile rewarding. And that’s what Carpenter made it.

I had the privilege of working with her once on behalf of another client. Although Big Tex towers over the fairgrounds, that woman clearly wore the huge pants around that place. She ran the joint and no one got through that gate without her consent.

Including yours truly… and I had approval, only the news didn’t make it to security that one fateful morning. Sigh.

Chutzpah and credibility, all in one bound Dallas package. She will certainly be missed.

To really appreciate a more personal approach, Rawlins Gilliand wrote an amazing celebratory piece that Big Bob Wilonsky posted in Unfair Park. Please visit, it’s worth the read.

Ms. Carpenter is survived by her companion, John Patrick Byrne of Dallas, and a sister, Jerry Stevenson of Lufkin, Texas. Memorials may be made to the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children or the State Fair of Texas Scholarship Fund.

Written by theflak

July 27, 2009 at 10:00 am