In my circle of friends and family I am the one known as the jerk. I speak my mind, most of the time saying very insensitive but true things about people, family, and events. Most of the time I say what everyone around me is thinking, I’m just the only one who has the fortitude to say regardless of the repercussions it may cause me. This morning was no different. As my coworkers and I gathered around the “water cooler” for the morning talk, of course the conversation turned to the tragedy at the Indian State Fair over the weekend. It seems as people gathered for an out-door Sugarland concert, the weather turned stormy collapsing the stage. It seems the strong winds and bad weather caused an outdoor, erected stage to topple into the crowd, injuring numerous would be concert attendees and killing five. Also, it seems as though another outdoor concert in the vicinity was canceled due to the weather and someone in charge at the Indiana State Fair should have done the same. It is a tragic story and I sure that between the media and the courts society will find someone to blame. And by blame I mean fork over money to the victims. It will be a big deal for a while and then appear briefly in the news from time to time, I wouldn’t even be surprised if we don’t see some “nanny state” legislator try to pass some legislation in attempt to “never let this happen again”. Unfortunately the above story is all over the internet and this is the only angle the reader will see…….not necessarily. I’m going to go out on limb and say that the attendees must share some of the blame concerning this incident, hell I’m even going to say that hold the “lions share” of the blame. There is an old saying that goes way back, even before my time that would be very applicable here. I’m not sure that even I am insensitive enough to say it but it is about human intelligence and the rain. Unbelievably hundreds of people stood in front of that flimsy stage, where just a few minutes earlier a severe weather warning had just been announced. According to people in attendance, the skies were thunderous and a storm was imminent, yet hundreds of people decided to stand out in it to see Sugarland. Yep, that’s right Sugarland. We are talking about a Country-Pop group, which are now mass-produced in Nashville like cheap cell phones. Am I saying that the fair and other organizers shouldn’t share some of the fault, no. Another point that seems to stick out in my head is the fact that Sugarland wasn’t out on stage. The reports that I read state that it was “prior to the performance”, but it makes me wonder if someone backstage exercised something the crowd didn’t, good judgement. What I am saying is that just because deaths are involved should we casually dismiss the fault of the people who chose to stay in the weather and made a decision, a bad one albeit, that led to their injury and death. If common sense would have prevailed, people could have taken shelter and waited a year or so and seen Sugarland at one of the many casinos on their irrelevant tour. All at the price of the bus fare in any major city’s transit system. Now don’t get me wrong this incident at the Indiana State Fair is definitely a tragedy, as a matter of fact there are two tragedies here. The first tragedy of course is the fact that several people are dead and more injured, but it is also a tragedy that people don’t have the sense of judgement to get out of bad weather over nothing more than a Sugarland concert.
Fox has a long and interesting history with the GOP when it comes to right leaning pundits, slanted news stories, and favored guest. So I guess it was no surprise when the GOP debate last night was produced by Fox News, with Bret Baier the moderator and Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace leading the way with the questions. Also sponsoring the debate was the Washington Examiner with Byron York and Susan Ferrechio also asking questions. Although I believe Baier did good job moderating the last night, I think overall Fox dropped the ball. I’m not sure if Chris Wallace was making it his personal mission to debunk the notion that Fox is right leaning or what. Now I know that Wallace is a registered Democrat and has been known for being somewhat confrontational with Republican Candidates in the past, but his conduct during last night’s debate raised it to the next level. Now before you jump to conclusions let me explain why I believe Chris Wallace and Fox dropped the ball.Several times Wallace showed an obvious disdain for several of the candidates and even somewhat of a pompous attitude about him when asking questions and even responding to certain answers by the candidates. For one I loved Herman Cain’s response to Wallace asking multiple questions, almost bombarding, knowing that Cain could not possibly answer them. Wallace’s only objective was take what Cain had said in the past, bring them to the front on a national stage, and cast Cain in bad light. Cain came back quick with the appropriate response. Although some of his other tactics were uncalled for, he really dropped the ball when it came to Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Wallace not only seemed to have a personal vendetta against Gingrich, he also seemed to have a look of joy on his face knowing that he was getting next to the former GOP power. Wallace’s actions hurt Fox, the GOP, and everyone that attempted to watch the debate to see the best candidate shine. By sparring with Gingrich and asking irrelevant questions, he wasted time effort, and face time that could have been better spent. Gingrich came in struggling and left on top, he may not have won the debate but Wallace helped make him relevant last night. Fox must be held responsible for this as well. Should Wallace have even been on the question panel after his treatment of Bachman? It is definitely up for debate. Gingrich seems like a good guy and he has a record that he can be proud, but most conservatives, and especially moderates, believe his time has come and gone. Maybe it was Wallace’s intent to elevate Gingrich into the mix of candidates for no other reason but to water down the GOP process or maybe he is just a confrontational guy who inadvertently allows his biased political views to surface during the debate. If a journalist, who registered Republican, would have acted that way in a Democratic debate, you would have read about it way before this blog. Either way Chris Wallace has no business being directly involved in any political debate. Let’s just hope that his future questions are relegated to Sundays.