September 29, 2014

A BAD NFL HABIT

NEW YORK, NY 10019
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BOB FRANKEN
FOR RELEASE TUESDAY, SEPT. 23, 2014
A BAD NFL HABIT
BY BOB FRANKEN
It’s become quite the thing for celebrities, or even semi-celebs, to let us in on the dark secrets of their lives. Whether it’s coming out as gay, confessing past drug use, revealing they’ve battled severe anxiety, you name it, it’s become trendy to reveal something or other that’s deeply personal. A big one currently is that he or she was abused. Frankly, my response usually is a big “Thank you for sharing,” by which I mean, “Who cares?” You’d never see me sharing my private shame.
Until now. I can’t go on any longer without bearing my soul. You ready for it? I’m an addict. There it is. No, it’s not a drug thing. I’m not a user, never have been — I don’t even drink. This is far more insidious. I watch NFL games ... can’t shake the habit. Even though the National Football League has proven to be a disgusting institution that, in spite of its sanctimony, puts profits over what’s right, I have not been able to boycott the games. Even though the Washington franchise identifies itself with a hateful slur, there I am every Sunday, or Monday night, or Thursday night, or even Saturday sometimes, watching each and every play, ignoring all the injuries.
I should be boycotting the games, but I can’t. I did give up my season tickets a few years ago and refuse to pay the exorbitant ticket prices to watch live at the stadium, but I can’t tear myself away from the TV with all its instant replays, graphics, slow-mo and bizarre camera shots accompanying the inane chatter of the play-by-play announcers, sideline reporters and sometimes helpful color commentators, the ones who survived the violent collisions without head injuries.
I watch even though the league executives denied that head injuries were a serious problem, suppressing information to the contrary, and grudgingly admitting they were ravaging players and former players only after bad PR about shocking studies. Forced to acknowledge the scourge, the NFL’s own actuaries have submitted a court document that shows one in three former players can expect cognitive difficulties. And now, the league is suddenly trumpeting its concerns about brain trauma.

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September 26, 2014

SATURDAY MORNING RADIO

If you don't want to hear the sound of my voice, don't spend your Saturday morning listening to No Labels Radio on SIRIUSXM channel 124 at 10 Eastern. I'll be subbing for Jon Huntsman, cohosting with Ron Christie.

September 25, 2014

OUR HEROES' BROKEN PROMISES

300 W 57th STREET, 15th FLOOR, NEW YORK, NY 10019
CUSTOMER SERVICE: (800) 708-7311 EXT. 236
BOB FRANKEN
FOR RELEASE FRIDAY, SEPT. 19, 2014
OUR HEROES’ BROKEN PROMISES
BY BOB FRANKEN
We haven’t had a really juicy sex scandal in Washington for a while. You know the kind: Camera crews chase someone powerful (and maybe his or her paramour) like paparazzi, and the elite express disdain for all the attention the riffraff pay to each respective sleazy disclosure, all the while they’re sneaking a peek at every tidbit. Let’s just admit it; they’re kind of fun ... unless, of course, you’re the ones who have been exposed (pardon the expression).
This stuff is not just titillating, though. It also serves a useful purpose. I like to say that it all proves that our leaders are just like the rest of us -- they take their pants off just like you and me. It’s important that we keep that in mind, particularly during an election cycle (when is it not an election cycle?) when a bunch of ambitious candidates have their PR machines running full speed churning out propaganda aimed at convincing us that their client really is a cut above mere mortals and has a unique superhuman ability to solve all the problems that afflict our country, the ones that have defied solution for many administrations. In fact, many of them have gotten worse.
Maybe that’s why we get enjoyment from watching some of these pumped-up avatars occasionally get cut down to size. It might explain our fascination over the fall of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, or the latest Sarah Palin escapades.
Remember, Palin was a governor herself for a while and then became a vice-presidential nominee. She’s back in the news, right where she usually loves to be, although perhaps not this time. Apparently, she and the fam were part of a drunken brawl back home in Alaska. Fistfights, profanity, the whole nine yards. But she’s hardly alone when it comes to oafish behavior. She’s not even the only one who was on the ticket to be a heartbeat away from the presidency who proved to be an embarrassing dud. “Tawdry” is a gentle word to describe the story of John Edwards, who fathered a child while having an affair with his campaign videographer, while his wife was dying of breast cancer. He was a serious candidate to be president, symbolizing a fresh approach to politics. Now he symbolizes little more than stale sleaze.

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September 24, 2014

DAWNING ON MSNBC

In case you're wondering what to do at 5:15 in the morning on a Thursday, and I know you will be, try watching me on MSNBC. Then wonder why you couldn't find something else.



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A LESSON FROM THE VIOLENCE

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THE UNNECESSARY TRIP FROM STATEHOUSE TO BIG HOUSE

LABOR DAY PAINS

VIRGINIA COURTHOUSE MELODRAMA

THE RULES OF THE RULE OF LAW

PREDAWN FOOLISHNESS ON MSNBC

POLICING THE POLICE

TEEING OFF WITH AND ON THE PRESIDENT

RISE AND WHINE ON MSNBC

TANGLED FRIENDSHIP

THE JET LAG DAZE ON MSNBC

HIGH TECH, LOW STANDARDS

RHYME NO REASON

A LOUSY START

LIFETIME JUDICIAL POLITICIANS

SHAKY AMERICAN PRINCIPLES

A VOICE IN THE DARKNESS, A SIGHT FOR CLOSED EYES

A VOICE IN THE DARKNESS, A SIGHT FOR CLOSED EYES

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