C-J Hires a Videographer

Now that headline would simply not have made any sense a year ago. But sources tell me that the Courier-Journal newspaper has raided a local TV station for talent.

utterback.jpgWAVE-TV videographer Scott Utterback has reportedly accepted a new job at the C-J, where he will add some video professionalism to the paper’s core of photographers. Utterback presumably will shoot stories to be featured in the C-J’s video section, and I would think he’ll help all those journalists figure out how to really use a video camera to tell a story.

Utterback, according to a story on the National Press Photographers Association web site, resigned as the organization’s vice president earlier this year, citing personal reasons.

The C-J has been experimenting with video on its Web site for about a year, and held training sessions for members of its reporting staff on using video.

McConnell among four targeted Senators

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has targeted four U.S. Senators, including Kentucky’s Mitch McConnell,  with this ad opposing the Iraq War. The others are Maine’s Susan Collins, John Sununu of New Hampshire and Norm Coleman of Minnesota.

The Washington Post reported that McConnell’s inclusion signals a newfound area of weakness:

All four of the senators being targeted with ads are seen as vulnerable by national Democrats. Coleman, Sununu and Collins have long been on Democrats’ target list, but the addition of McConnell was unexpected. But Democrats may believe he is vulnerable given his leadership role in the Senate and the fact that Kentucky Republicans are on the defensive this year, with Gov. Ernie Fletcher facing a tough reelection fight in the wake of a series of ethics problems in his first term.

4 Times: McConnell
McConnell Targeted by DSCC

GSA Program is All Good

There’s a great article by Andrew Adler in the June 18 Courier-Journal about the Governors Scholars for the Arts program. Adler’s piece highlights the program ‘s encouragement of young artists to learn and work during an intense three-week camp.

Say what you will about state government, but this is a program that pays dividends in many ways, not the least of which is developing a growing colony of the state’s best artists. I’m proud to say that my son Nick, a rising senior at Manual High School, is among the 226 high schoolers attending the camp at Transylvania University. I dropped him off there on Sunday.

There’s a lot to impress when you spend a few hours with these kids. In my few hours on campus, I saw a level of excitement and enthusiasm for the program that’s rare. These kids know they’re among a privileged few, and not one thinks of three weeks of study as a burden. They’ll be challenged, but I doubt there are any slackers in the bunch.

Graduates of the program have opportunities to earn college scholarships, and that was the aspect of the program that initially got me excited. But then I started learning about the “New Media” program that Nick was in, and found out he’ll be editing video and doing a claymation production. There are field trips and opportunities to work with high-tech equipment. I think I heard that half of the graduates have gone on to careers in the arts, and the program has been around for 20 years.

Adler wrote that much of the project’s $450,000 budget comes from the state, and corporations kick in some support as well. If you qualify, and fewer than one in six applicants are accepted, it doesn’t cost students a dime.  When politicians talk about their ideals for education, the Governors Scholars for the Arts program should be at the top of the list of good things happening in Kentucky.

Lunsford Talks About Health Care, Education

Bruce Lunsford talks about health care and education at the Louisville Democracy for America meeting Feb. 7, 2007

“I am the best-equipped among every candidate in this election to deal with providing health care insurance for everybody in the state of Kentucky.”

Thanks to Mike Bailey for providing the video.

“Mess USA” is Perfect Media Storm

For the Miss USA pageant, it’s been a perfect media storm. Nothing the pageant has ever done has generated as much publicity as when Donald Trump granted Kentucky’s own beauty queen a second chance.  The story has gone beyond simply being discussed on the major networks, but to every imaginable outlet that can think up an angle. ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption, NPR’s All Things Considered, along with all the entertainment and mainstream media. I even heard Rush Limbaugh mention it. Conner was the topic of a Letterman Top Ten list:

10. “Thought a slutty Miss USA could help make America popular again”

9. “Haven’t been myself since I heard Rumsfeld was retiring”

8. “Cracked under the pressure of having to smile and wave at people for a year”

7. “Russians drugged my sushi”

6. “If a hot babe can’t get drunk, sleep around and make out with her female roommate, the terrorists have won”

5. “I told them my talent was ‘beer pong'”

4. “It’s Isiah Thomas’ fault”

3. “Too drunk to think of a number 3”

2. “Wanted to skip straight to the has-been portion of my career”

1. “Why should Paris Hilton get all the ‘drunken whore’ ink?”

But the funniest is this segment from The Daily Show:

The Daily Show: Naughty Miss USA

What Happened to Kramer?

I posted the video from YouTube here because you have to see it to believe it. It shows how easy it is to ruin a once-promising career.

If Michael Richards was worried about forever being remembered only for his role as Kramer, now he’s changed that for good. As an original fan of “Seinfeld” I’m sorry to see this happen to him — but it does show how close to the surface racism is in our country.

It’s just sad.