Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Glenn Beck and Arms Deals

As you might well guess if you've been reading this blog for any amount of time - like oh, say, around the time Katrina hit, or the last presidential "election" - I'm sure you know my political leanings are definitely to the left. I would say I'm a moderate liberal - not a conservative liberal, but I'm still shopping at Walmart and I'm making no apologies for it, so I'm not a far left liberal either. So, I'm a moderate. Although, let me say, I wear the title "LIBERAL" proudly. There is nothing to be ashamed of in wanting the world to be fair for everyone - rich or poor. In fact, it's something to be proud of. And I am.

All of that said, imagine my continual surprise when I'm in agreement with Glenn Beck. I've caught his show before and there's always something I agree with him about. Today after work I was flipping past CNN and he was on and I stopped and... oh my gosh... I have agreed with almost everything he has said tonight.

He has been talking about the arms deal with the Saudi's. OK, just in case you've forgotten, those high-jackers that took down the twin towers in NY - the infamous 911 that still has enough Americans terrified six years later that it affects their votes  - all from Saudi Arabia - yes, the same Saudi Arabia we're selling arms to.

And speaking of "arms deals," shouldn't we stop speaking of them? Why are we Americans so freaking stupid we never learn from our mistakes? Just because Russia has made an arms deal with India doesn't mean we have to do the same thing with someone else. Didn't Barbara ever give George that little spiel about, "so if your friends all jumped off a bridge..." Until the Bush administration got into office we weren't in desperate financial straits like Russia, who needs the hard cash. Is the US so broke that we have to make these kind of deals, too?

Everytime the words "arms deals" are used in conjunction something very, very, very bad happens. Can you say "Sandinista?" Glenn Beck summed it up today by repeating the movie line, "I see dead people." Well, so do I. More accurately, I see MORE dead people.

Tom Snyder

Tom Snyder died Sunday at age 71. He will be missed.

In fact, I have been missing him for years since he left TV.

I grew up watching Tom Snyder on the Tomorrow Show. It started in 1972, so I would have been 10 or 11, and I watched it from its inception. I was never a good sleeper - even as a kid - and my mom gave up long before I was 10. She just let me stay up as late as I wanted, as long as I got up for school the next morning.

Johnny Carson and then Tom Snyder kept me company as I sat up late, having time to think, and time to be alone, which I never got during the daylight hours. In retrospect, I think that was probably part of the deal for me - I have always needed alone time. That was the only way to get it.

When I grew up and became an interviewer myself, I remembered that it's OK to ask the question that seems a bit rude, because it's what everyone really wants to know. I remembered Tom Snyder's easy manner and modeled it whenever it was appropriate.

Of course, I never interviewed the sort of people he did - from John Lennon to Charles Manson.

I was thrilled when Snyder came back to television in the mid nineties on the Late, Late Show that aired after Letterman. When Craig Kilborn took over the show it was a huge disappointment for me. I watch Craig Ferguson now, and love him, but it's a completely different show than what Tom Snyder did.

Snyder always looked like he had just heard the filthiest joke ever and was debating whether or not to share it with you. You always wanted in on it and he never failed to bring you along.

He died from complications of leukemia.

His sign off was my bedtime story for many years - "...sit back, relax, and watch the pictures, now, as they fly through the air.''

The pictures won't ever be the same without him.