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Ventura’s Claims Prompt Cohen to Pen Media Accountability Article

Claims made by former Minnesota governor and wrestler Jesse Ventura on his television show “Conspiracy Theory” have prompted Congressman Steve Cohen to write an article for a Capitol Hill newspaper calling for more media accountability.

In today’s Roll Call, Tennessee’s 9th district congressman writes that members of the press “serve a crucial role in our society and, for the most part, take their responsibilities seriously, providing truthful, frank, insightful reports on a wide range of topics. They know full well that their coverage can and will influence policymakers in Washington, D.C. and across the country.”

The democrat provides examples of what he considers irresponsible reporting that serves to propagate myths and intensify citizens’ mistrust of government. Cohen refers to on-air claims made by Ventura regarding legislation Cohen co-sponsored, and the congressman calls for truTV network owners TBS and Time Warner to be held responsible for Ventura’s statements.

Click here to read Cohen’s article in its entirety.

Bond Fund Manager: “We’re all Allentowners Now”

The man who runs one of the biggest bond fund companies in the world reaches way back to 1982, to Billy Joel’s album “The Nylon Curtain”, for the appropriate metaphor in describing the current state of the economy.

Bill Gross leads off his latest market commentary with the first verse of the opening track, “Allentown.” It’s a song about the emptiness and unemployment left behind in the wake of a town’s shift to a post-industrial future.

But now, Gross writes, it’s all of us who “are living here in Allentown,” while “they’re closing all the factories down.”

Gross touches on all the obvious themes. America can’t regain its stature as the supposed “shining city on a hill” until we start making things here again and making them better than everybody else. But it’s a vicious cycle. Companies won’t make as much as they used to, if customers aren’t buying as much as they used to. And I’m not going to be buying today as much as I used to yesterday if I don’t have a job, or am worried about losing a job or am afraid my taxes are going up.

Not to mention the sea change in political discourse and functioning that’s needed in Washington, where most of the time it’s a war fought not with bullets but talking points by aides to congressional leaders. The congressmen parrot the rhetoric while aides work out the details.

Until that and more changes, Gross writes, that sound you hear is a growing number of unemployed Americans doing what the Allentowners in Billy Joel’s song do. They’re “Filling out forms, standing in line.”

“And we’re living here in Allentown.”

‘The Ball at the Mall’

On Saturday evening, A Better Memphis and The Voice of Raleigh and Frayser Community Action Network will co-host the 2010 Harvest Ball Black Tie Affair at the Raleigh Springs Mall, 3384 Austin Peay Hwy.

‘The Ball at the Mall,’ which organizers say is North Memphis’ first black tie affair, will honor eight distinguished citizens working to better the Memphis community.

Honorees this year include MPD Precinct Commander Colonel Bishop Mays for Excellence in Public Service; Dr. Kia Tate of STAR Academy Charter School for Excellence in Education; and Methodist North and South Hospitals CEO Dr. Michael Ugwueke, who will accept the award for Business of the Year.

“There are great organizations that are out here working to improve the quality of life for our citizens, and the Harvest Ball is where they can not only be rewarded and recognized for their service, but also raise money for their continued success,” said Antonio Parkinson, founder and director of A Better Memphis, a nonprofit dedicated to community empowerment through advocacy, education and organization.

Proceeds from the Harvest Ball, scheduled to begin at 7 p.m., will benefit the work of A Better Memphis and its community partner organizations.

Yuletide for Fido

Jolly old St. Nick will be at the Memphis & Shelby County Humane Society, 935 Farm Road, Sunday from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. for photos with four-legged friends and their human families. For a $20 donation, you’ll receive a printed 4″ x 6″ photo and a photo CD.

“It’s very popular,” said volunteer manager Linda Larrabee. “We do this annually, and I think people still want to give at the holiday season.”

And from now until Christmas, each time an animal is adopted from the city’s shelter, Friends of Memphis Animal Services will merrily hang an ornament on their ‘Home for the Holidays’ tree in celebration. Their goal is to have the tree completely draped in cat and dog ornaments by Christmas Day.

Starry Nights … and Memphis Tunes

The Memphis Music Foundation is one of the many partners that work together to fill Memphis Christmases with starry nights again.

Anyone who drives through Shelby Farms’ fields now adorned with bright Christmas lights for the “Starry Nights” Memphis tradition may not be immediately aware that the Music Foundation handles an audio soundtrack for the experience.

According to foundation president Dean Deyo, “We build a small low-powered FM radio station on the grounds of Shelby Farms and play the music soundtrack on it. As people drive through, they can tune to FM 106.5 and hear the music.”

Over 50 Memphis artists contributed a holiday song in their own style. Examples include the Bar-Kays doing Frosty the Snowman – with funk.

“It is all automated and will run for 37 straight days during the Starry Nights run,” Deyo said.

Other artists include Todd Agnew, Joyce Cobb, Star and Micey, Reba Russell, Sid and Steve Selvidge, and many more.

Dansette

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