Friday, February 02, 2007

My Morning Wooten

Is it no longer a requirement to fact check the opinion pages?

Let's look at some gems from Jim Wooten's Thinking Right column.

This week’s AJC look at how drivers cope with long commutes identifies the problem of creating a useful mass transit system: Briarcliff Road to Sandy Springs, Alpharetta to Duluth, Barrow County to Alpharetta, Locust Grove to Morrow, Cobb County to Atlanta, Cherokee County to Perimeter Mall, East Cobb to the airport. You get the picture. A handful here, a handful there. Now design an affordable transit system. We missed that bus about 60 years ago.

Actually Jim it was only about 40 years ago and it was anti-mass transit crusaders such as yourself who killed MARTA entering Cobb, Gwinnett and Clayton. In the 60s, Atlanta had a chance to create a world class mass transit system and due to latent racism, anti-government hysteria and the short sighted belief that places like May-retta and Duluth would always be rural, we are now stuck with few answers to a destructive transportation problem. Irony I name thee.

Hmmm. “Macaca,” when used by a U.S. senator with presidential ambitions, is a crime warranting public execution. When a U.S. senator with presidential ambitions declares Barack Obama to be the first African-American candidate who is “articulate and bright, and clean, and is a nice-looking guy …,” the excuse-makers pour forth. Imagine the reaction if a Republican, say former U.S. Sen. George Allen of Virginia, had used the same language as Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.).

Well, Jim, in my unscientific survey, I discovered yesterday that most people snarled at the idiot Joe Biden. Including those notoriously forgiving people at Daily Kos. Lots of people think Biden's an idiot. You could uses the google to find just as many as you want. Of course it's much easier to follow the old demagogue maxim of "if I say it, it must be true".

My only explanation for Jim getting away with these howlers is his editors assume readers are also laughing. Sadly, many are not.


Anonymous said...

Right on, brother.

First, Wooten says there are too many disparate commutes to make mass transit work here, so we should have addressed the issue 60 years ago. Why that means we shouldn't bother to address it as much as we can now -- and try to shape future commuting patterns so mass transit CAN work -- is beyond me.

Second, I likewise have not heard anyone defend Joe Biden. Even Jon Stewart took him to task, and he was a guest on the show. And I guess George Allen didn't have any apologists, either.

Since I can talk about Wooten all day, how about this one:

Did anybody notice that Fulton County just sent out 3,500 summons to potential jurors in the Brian Nichols case using current voter lists. Of those, 630 were returned as “undeliverable.” Wonder how many of those voted less than 3 months ago.

Yes, I wonder. You're an experienced journalist working at a major metropolitan newspaper. Why don't you find out? Then maybe you could base your opinion on reporting instead of a hunch or a guess, like a newspaper columnist should.


Jen said...

Is "Morning Wooten" like morning wood? Just wondering..

Anonymous said...

You are so right on both counts. I remember the first as if it were yesterday.

Anonymous said...

The previous comment was mine.