A Stones Throw 2-20-14

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I don’t know who you are.

And, I don’t care.

I will tell you, I will never answer your phone calls when you call me at 11:00 at night or 1:00 in the morning and “out of area” or “Private” shows on my caller ID.

If you really want to talk to me, you would leave me a voice mail and I would call you back.

However, since you don’t leave a message I have to assume you are either trying to scam me or, since you make the calls so late in the night and early morning, perhaps you are calling to see if anyone is home at that time.

Maybe you are considering a visit to my home if you think there is no one home.

Bad idea.

I once saw a sign with a picture of a German Shepherd on it. The sign read: “I can reach the fence in 2.8 seconds – can you?

Not only am I probably at home – my two German Shepherds are definitely here.

Consider – 2.8 seconds times two. And the fence is five-foot high.

Good Luck.

Now that you know it would be foolish to plan a late night visit, can you stop calling me late at night? I used to be awake when you called, but now that Jay Leno has left the ‘Tonight’ show, I am getting a lot more sleep.

While I enjoy the extra sleep, I really don’t understand why Leno had to go. I know NBC said they wanted a younger fan base since the 18- to 48 year-old viewers are more likely to spend money on advertiser’s products than are older people – like me.

I guess that makes sense. That is until you realize that Leno and the ‘Tonight’ show have been number one in the late night ratings for 17 years and that Leno was not only rated number one overall, but was also number one with every age group – including the 18 to 48 year-olds.

As Leno leaves the ‘Tonight’ show in favor of Jimmy Fallon I couldn’t help but think about the last time NBC decided to dump Leno in favor of Conan O’Brien – again looking for a younger audience.

I don’t know if O’Brien was able to bring a younger audience to NBC, but I do know he was able to bring a much smaller audience to the ‘Tonight’ show. In fact, he quickly took the ‘Tonight’ show from the number one he inherited to a resounding number three.

At that point NBC decided to try to salvage the ‘Tonight’ show by bringing Jay Leno back.

Two things happened:

First, Conan O’Brien began to spout a hatred for Leno. O’Brien was incensed that initially Leno offered to do a one-half hour show at 11:30 p.m. (actually NBC’s idea – not Leno’s) and have O’Brien do the ‘Tonight’ show starting at Midnight.

To Conan O’Brien this was not only an insult – it was cheap and unprofessional. To show his own professionalism, O’Brien moved to the TNT network, moving the established TNT late-night host, George Lopez, from 11:00 to Midnight. Within a couple of years, O’Brien replaced Lopez all together.

Meanwhile it took Leno less than six months to regain first place in the late-night ratings. A ranking he carried into his retirement.

And, as I would expect, while news and entertainment people, including several late-night hosts, from all networks celebrated the career of Jay Leno – Conan O’Brien continued to bash him.

I wonder what George Lopez is thinking today.

Probably that Conan O’Brien is the ultimate hypocrite.

Actually, while I do not like O’Brien (I know that is not a surprise.) I find a higher level of hypocrisy in the weather reports I see on television every day.

This winter has been one to remember – or hopefully forget.

I can’t remember how many storms we have had throughout the U.S. this year that have shut down schools and businesses and made roads dangerous – if not impassible.

While I appreciate the news stations telling me the conditions of the roads and the level of snow and ice, I don’t get better understanding when the station has reporters driving around on the roads that they are telling me to stay off of.

I understand “do as I say and not as I do,” but enough is enough.

With the devastating ice and snow storm that hit the south and the Eastern sea-board last week it seemed every national and cable news network had reporters in the middle of the storm reporting on its progress.

Not one reporter per network - but four or five or more.

Why?

It is no different during hurricane weather. It is not uncommon to see reporter after reporter standing in the wind and rain as a hurricane moves on-land. It seems these reporters always make sure I know that the residents have been told to evacuate the area.

So why are the reporters and their camera people there?

Wouldn’t it be more responsible to follow the safety rules established for everyone else? Does it really make the news better when a reporter puts himself/herself, as well as others, in danger?

I don’t know.

I do have to admit I probably watch more weather related newscasts when I can see visibly what is happening than I would if all the reports came from the weather desk.

Still, I think news outlets are being hypocritical when they stress the need for people to stay off the road while their reporters are on those same roads, sometimes for several hours. I think they are being hypocritical when they tell people to leave their homes and the area while their reporters brave the weather standing in front of those same homes.

I don’t think that is going to change.

Perhaps that is good – maybe Conan O’Brien’s next career can be as a weather reporter.

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I would be remiss if I didn’t take a moment to congratulate Lawrenceburg’s Nick Goepper for his Olympic Slopestyle skiing bronze medal.

Congratulations Nick – you have made Southeast Indiana proud.

– Mike Cooney