Straight Talk: PJ Star cheap shot



Last year, I was a guest on a PJ Star podcast. One of the questions I was asked near the end of the interview was, “Why do you dislike the Journal so much?” I said that I didn’t dislike the newspaper and felt that it was the most reliable source of local news, far better than radio and TV put together, which it is. On the other hand, I pointed out that the newspaper had a responsibility to be objective, to avoid bias, and to do a better job balancing their views between “left” and “right,” especially on the editorial page. I especially resent the personalization of stories about people they dislike. It’s no secret the newspaper is not fond of Mayor Jim Ardis. They also don’t care for council member Beth Akeson. As recently as Christmas Day when we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, they took the occasion to verbally hammer away at her again while praising Black Lives Matter.

The writers, we’ll call them Frick and Frack, said about a year and a half ago, that Akeson was “pilloried, with justification.” Pilloried is defined as scorned, ridiculed, and held in contempt. In other words, Frick and Frack served as the community’s judge, jury, and prosecutor for the council woman. They added “with justification” because, after all, they know it all, believing, falsely, that everyone agreed with them. Truth is, Akeson wasn’t pilloried primarily because most people didn’t even know what the hell they were talking about. Still don’t. The personal insults continued calling her “more than a little tone deaf.” They added later that she was “more coherent,” suggesting she hasn’t been in the past. Given the sexual, verbal and domestic harassment stories in the media today, one would think male newspaper writers would take a holiday from attacking women simply because they don’t like their opinions. Then again, that hasn’t stopped politicians like Senator Cory Booker from viciously attacking Secretary of Homeland Security Kirsten Nielsen.

The main focus, however, of the Frick and Frack column on Christmas Day, was about diversity and the need for it on a little known committee, the Tourism Reserve Fund. Can you imagine anyone, Frick and Frack, editorial writer Mike Bailey or really anyone at the Peoria Journal criticizing others for a lack of diversity? Pick up any issue, any day, and look at the photos of their writers and tell me how many minority faces you see. Five, four, three, two, one . . . bingo . . . ZERO! Browse all the sections including sports. You might discover some nepotism, but certainly not diversity. Unlike local TV stations, you won’t see any. Pam Adams is the only African-American full-time reporter. And when candidates for public office are grilled, it’s the white guy from Washington asking the questions.

Diversity? They can write about it. Living it is a different story.

Dangerous Assignment

Life for our military is dangerous in many parts of the world, particularly Afghanistan. Lately, Kabul has come under attacks by the enemy. That’s where Peorian Major Michael O’Brien was sent by the U.S. Air Force. The son of Bill and Norah O’Brien, Michael is a member of JAG, Judge Advocate General. An attorney, he is working with the Afghan government on behalf of the United States and NATO. He reports the air quality is so poor in Kabul because of what the people there burn for fuel, everyone wears a mask when they go outside. Of course, that’s why we need to spend billions on climate control so we can get the Afghans to stop burning animal feces for heat and cooking. Nice combination. We’re working to make arrangements to talk with him on our morning radio show, “Breakfast with Roger and Friends.”

For a time, being in Hawaii might have been dangerous. Turns out the “incoming missile alert” was false, but tell that to the thousands who suffered high anxiety when the warning was flashed across the islands. Peorian Rachel Reliford was there vacationing and described on our morning show in graphic detail the fear she experienced. Rachel said no one knew where to go and what to do. She said the Hawaiian government sent an initial warning of an incoming missile and it was followed by another message that said the missile attack was imminent.

“That’s when I really got scared.” She added, “I tried to call my family, but all cell phones were dead.” While it was a fearful experience, Reliford said it did not dampen her love for Hawaii.

Proud to Be An American

Bob Dole, 94, was honored by members of both political parties as President Donald Trump presented the former senator and World War II veteran with the Congressional Gold Medal. It’s the highest Congressional award a civilian can receive and certainly was well deserved. Dole got out of his wheelchair and stood during the playing of our national anthem. I wonder if any of the protesting pro football players were watching, especially those who never served in the military. I also wonder if any of the Peoria airport authority commissioners watched the moving ceremony and noticed the POW/MIA flag hanging behind the senator in the Capitol Rotunda. It’s the same flag that they believe is not worthy to fly at the General Wayne A. Downing Airport.

Quote of the Month

“A true hero isn’t measured by the size of his strength, but by the strength of his heart.” –Hercules

Roger Monroe

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