Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

So Congress has averted—for the moment—a government shutdown. Should we give them all lollipops? Or stickers?

I just shake my head anytime I hear Elon Musk described as a “free speech” champion. Sure. And Trump is all about “law and order.”

A lot of Americans have a completely distorted understanding of “free speech” and the First Amendment. And that of course has distorted our conversations on the subjects.

Elon is up on a high wire. He could absolutely lose Tesla. Or Twitter. Or both. Rocket Man is having some trouble at the pad as well.

So Musk is shutting down the Twitter accounts of selected journalists who rub him the wrong way?  It’s childish. It’s petulant. But he has every right to do it. It’s his ballgame. And that’s part of our widespread misunderstanding of free speech. Social media are not public utilities. We don’t have a “right” to a Twitter account, any more than we have a “right” to a newspaper column, a television program or a “right” to spray graffiti on our neighbors’ garages.

I would submit that in many cases news outlets have cornered themselves and even allowed themselves to be taken “hostage” by becoming dependent on Twitter and other social media to disseminate their work. If news outlets’ distribution model includes dependence on social media platforms owned by other folks, they are constantly at the mercy of others. Journalism needs to re-think this issue. And that’s a healthy thing.

Oh…do you plan to order your Trump Pokemon Cards?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Paul's Bio

I clearly have the attention span of your median fruit fly.Look! Airplane!

Sorry. I’m back.

It’s both a curse and a blessing. I’ve never bought this stuff about, “He who dies with the most toys wins.” But I do think that a wide range of life experiences helps us grow as people, and helps us better relate to other people. I’ve been fortunate. And I am beyond grateful.

I show up on time. I go like hell. I’m a good listener. I hold myself accountable. I own my mistakes. And I have a natural and an insatiable curiosity. I’m never afraid to say, “I don’t know,” when I don’t. But then I try to find out.

The flip side is I’m a lousy ballroom dancer and my clothes sometimes fit me funny.

Stuff matters to me. I care. But while I take that stuff seriously, I try hard to never take myself seriously. As a result, I have sometimes been told, “Paul, it’s hard to tell when you’re serious and when you’re just having some fun. Which is it? Serious or fun?”

My answer is “yes.” But I think that is a legitimate criticism. I promise I’m going to work on that.

This has been the quickest and strangest half-century I’ve ever experienced. During that period, I’ve been afforded amazing opportunities in news and sports journalism across all platforms. I have taught wonderful students at the high school and collegiate level. Always, I learned more from them than they did from me. I’ve been a high school administrator. I spent ten seasons as a high school varsity football coach. I’ve been an advertising executive. I’ve hosted nationally syndicated television entertainment shows. In maybe the biggest honor I ever received, I was selected by NASA to be “Chet The Astronaut” for the “Land The Shuttle” simulator at Space Center Houston. (All I can say there, is “Do as I say, not as I do.” I put that thing in the Everglades more often than not.) Most recently, I just wrapped up a decade as a television news director, during which time our teams distinguished themselves in holding the powerful accountable, achieving both critical and ratings success.

What does all that mean? It means I am profoundly grateful. It also means I’m ready for “next.” So here we are. Radically Rational. It’s an idea I woke up with in 2017. I scribbled “Radically Rational” on a piece of notebook paper and used a magnet to stick it on our refrigerator. I saw it every day, and it just would not leave me alone.

I am second in charge at Radically Rational, LLC. My wife, Jo (also known as BB), is the president. Clearly, I have failed in my attempt to sleep my way to the top of this organization.

I hope you will learn that I’m loyal as a Labrador. But I will admit that this doggie can bite every now and then. My promise to you? I will show up on time. I will go like hell. I will listen to you earnestly and attentively. I will hold myself accountable. I will never be the least bit hesitant to say, “I don’t know,” when I don’t.

But then I’ll try to find out. Let’s do it.