Blogs > Frye on the News

Keeping his eye on the news and offering commentaries and insights on what is happening in Oakland County, around the world, on the tube and in the news.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Enjoy the Thanksgiving Holiday and be safe if you're on the road, be calm if you're in the air (or waiting to get into the air), and be happy if you're at home.

Let's hope we have a dynamic but not dangerous Black Friday, though some footage of stampedes might be a tad bit entertaining.

Let's hope that things are OK in the Koreas and that world war doesn't start.

Let's hope the Lions make it into the 3rd quarter within a single digits, which would make the Kid Rock halftime show more spectacular.

And speaking of Kid Rock, let's be thankful to have someone willing to step up and defend the Detroit area and Michigan. He does a lot to help out people around here, and he prefers to do it quietly, on several occasions lending a hand and asking that his name not be included.

Here's to more like him, even with the Waffle House entertainment, too.

And here's to the last calm Thanksgiving for a few years or more for Rick Snyder and his family. From here on, you're expected to make everything better.

I'd also like to thank the readers of, for their input and their passion, for their interest and their insight. They criticize us rightfully when we are wrong, point us in the right directions for stories, and let us know when we're on to something.

I'm also thankful for the many partners we've met and worked with, including CMN-TV in Troy, The Macomb Daily and Daily Tribune, The Morning Sun in Mt. Pleasant, The Michigan Chronicle, Fox2, and WADL. Moreover, we have a great community of contributors, far too many to mention, but you can find many of them on our blog page.

Happy holidays, all.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Calm down with the pat downs

I just don't see people getting all up in arms about pat downs. I only hope they go quickly. It's the complainers who slow things down.

The TSA workers should have two fundamental jobs:

- No terrorist attack from a passenger
- Fast-moving lines.

Now, those two goals are opposing, so it's the challenge of the TSA to figure out how BEST to do this. It may take some time, but it's got to started, so let them experiment.

Myself, I'd prefer the scanner, as it just seems much much quicker.

Friday, November 19, 2010

An appeal is OK, it's still murder, mom

Yes, there will be an appeal in the Jonathan Belton case. He was convicted today of murdering an Oak Park Public Safety Officer.

Some thought the mother's statement, "It's not over," as he was led out of court and to a lifetime in prison, means that there's a chance of the case being appealed.

Well, it will be appealed. It's automatic and because the teenager has a life to look ahead to, he'll be given an appellate lawyer.

Of course, it doesn't mean he'll win. Geoffrey Fieger complained about the judge's ruling, but he didn't put on a case. He hoped for an argument to win the case and considering the evidence prosecutors had (stolen cell phone used by defendant, lost gun, presumably taken by defendant), well, Fieger didn't have much a chance.

So there'll be an appeal, and he'll get another day in court. But I'm guessing he's not finding much sympathy.

Of course, I can't believe Nancy Seaman is getting a new trial, so who knows?

Friday, November 5, 2010

Olbermann no fool

Keith Olbermann is no fool, I think, though perhaps some of his political leanings are foolish.

But his decision to donate money to political campaigns, prompting today's suspension from MSNBC, must have been an attempt to bring this issue into the headlines and force some discussion.

The rules are clear, and he violated them. The suspension is right. He wasn't fired (yet?), and his management must decide what to do with him. His push to the left from straight news was more honest, instead of hiding his leanings, and MSNBC has gladly followed his lead. They've enjoyed success, their best ratings ever, according to the AP story. They are still far behind the left-leaning Fox News, though.

So will they fire him? It will be interesting to watch, because he's an asset to them.

That's what makes me think he is forcing this issue. He's protesting the rule, forcing his management to decide what it means.

He could have helped those candidates more by talking about them and encouraging voters (and thus donors) to support them, but he gave them each $2,400. Not much money in the big picture, and not much compared to being featured on a national cable show.

So why donate to them? I could see donating to someone running for city council in your hometown or someone running for a position that would affect your home value, your quality of life. If someone runs on a platform of shutting down your closest high school, or raising your taxes, or cutting your library or your police, I think you should be able to step up and say, Hey, I want to help my horse in this race.

If you give money, that's OK. It's your right.

If you use your program to make them sound right, when in fact, they impact YOUR LIFE, that's wrong.

So Olbermann did the opposite. He gave a small amount of money to people in different states, Kentucky and Arizona.

He's challenging the rules, perhaps even looking for an out on his contract. I don't know. But this seems calculated.

I think it is worth looking at the rules media companies have. We at The Oakland Press cannot work on campaigns, but what if my wife wants a sign up? I do have an opinion and I vote, so could I put a sign up?

I haven't tried, because I haven't cared enough. But I have dreamed of getting one sign for each candidate and changing them out depending who called me last. So when a neighbor would ask, why'd you switch, I'd say, because so-and-so won't leave me alone. I'd be like a one-man poll in the neighborhood. But that would just be me having fun.

I think campaign signs should be treated more like art, such as combining George W. Bush with I Support Gay Marriage on the same yard. Get people thinking, or at least wondering.

But sometimes the rules come off as stiff, and another liberal group (well they don't see it that way but if the shoe fits), Public Broadcasting, went a little too far. Their edict that staffers could not even attend a rally hosted by comedians, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, was unfair, I thought.

A person, even a journalist, should be allowed to go where ever they want. You know, sometimes people go to things to find out something, even if they are not part of it. Plus, does NPR ban reporters from going to church in case they one day have to do a story about a church issue? And they shouldn't go to football games, in case a story of concussions or public dollars for venues comes through their organization. What about bars? We do lots of stories on alcohol, smoking in public and taxes on booze and food.

Ever person has some bias; it exists. In fact, some bias inside is what makes a reporter say, This is a story; someone may be interested/upset/outraged by this. If there was no bias, then you'd go to the meeting, cover the first agenda item and have your story.

The key is to be fair on the air or in print or online. Be fair in your coverage. Silly bans like these are phony and pointless, simply pretending that something is so. And people are smart enough to not buy it.

Furthermore, banning an opinionated political partisan broadcaster from participating is ridiculous. Plus, don't the owners of these companies make contributions.

Oh yeah

I meant to say, thank heavens the election is over.

Now we can focus on what matters, the presidential race for 2012.

I'm pulling for Brett Favre, whose telecommunications bill would improve workplace morale for all just as heath care reform has done for older people.