The Bucks Stops Here
From eagles, to TV news to dogs. It’s time for more three-dot journalism.
There must have been 25 bald eagles last Thursday afternoon at the Louisiana riverfront, diving for fish and sitting on mini-icebergs, waiting to feast.
I got a photo of one who had just plucked a fish out of the river and you can see it in his talons. Unfortunately, it wasn’t in good focus and we won’t be able to use it in the paper, but I did get others.
It’s not easy photographing eagles. Most of them are skittish and don’t let you get close enough to get a good shot. I got lucky Thursday and caught one in flight who was in perfect focus. I felt like I did when I was a kid and caught my first trout.
While I was there, a guy from the Department of Conservation was also taking photos of the eagles. He told me bald eagles don’t develop their white heads until they are four years old.
That explains why I saw even more eagles with black, brown and white striped heads and bodies. “Those are young bald eagles,” he said.
Although I was raised a city boy, one of the reasons I’ve lived in rural American most of my life is because of scenes like that. You just can’t beat it.
If you want to learn a lot about eagles, I suggest you attend the Eagle Days in Clarksville this weekend.
There will be telescopes for better viewing down in the city’s Riverfront Park. At the Apple Shed, there is great literature and demonstrations with live eagles. It’s pretty cool stuff.
I’ve discovered a real TV news channel called Al Jazeera America.
With a name like Al Jazeera, you might think its a direct link to Al-Qaeda, but it isn’t.
My homework tells me Al Jazeera is owned by the Al Jazeera Network in the Arab country of Qatar.
Qatar is an Arabic nation that it run by a royal family. It isn’t the United States by a long shot, but they are friendly to us. In fact, my son went there for R&R when he was stationed in Iraq.
So far, from what I’ve seen, Al Jazeera America does what CNN used to do. They report news from around the world straight up. It’s good old gumshoe reporting in the streets and the reporters are professional.
There’s no smirking, smiling, or opinion coming from them. It’s just the relevant facts of a story as they know it.
I’ve also seen this kind of objective reporting on BBC America. It’s what news is supposed to be about.
It makes me realize that Al Jazeera America and BBC America saw an old-fashioned niche that needed filling. They can see that cable news has run amok to the point where it’s now veiled entertainment.
Fox News, MSNBC, CNN and other cable news channels have dumped a lot of their reporting staffs in recent years.
Apparently it’s much cheaper to hire attractive news anchor types to sit and around and opine on the day’s news without actually going out into the field to find some.
All they have to do is watch the Associated Press, Reuters and other news wire services to see what’s going on. Then they get on TV and tell us what to think.
The ABC, CBS and NBC networks still do a decent job of objective reporting for the nightly news in my opinion.
But I’ve noticed in recent years they waste a lot of time on the foibles of people like Brittany Spears and Charlie Sheen. The major networks morning news shows are full of this stuff too.
It often causes me to exercise my remote control, channel-chaning rights.
At any rate, Al Jazeera is delivering at the moment. I’ll be interested to see if they can stay on their objective path. If they don’t, I’ll let you know.
Our dog, Stanley, is getting older, stronger, faster, wiser and tougher all the time.
He used to bark occasionally at vehicles when they passed on the road out in front of the house. Now anything that has wheels is barked at as soon as it appears about a half mile away. He’s good, loyal protection, to say the least.
Stanley also has a new and startling trick. He still likes to run in the field next to us whenever we drive off, keeping pace until we literally leave him in the dust.
The other day I realized he was — how can I put this delicately? — running alongside the car at 28 mph while simultaneously “doing his business.”
It looked like a canine combine out of control.
Nothing deters this animal. We got him from the Hannibal animal shelter but I’m starting to wonder if he was born in New Jersey.