About Walter Brasch

Columnist, author, journalism professor. Latest book is BEFORE THE FIRST SNOW: STORIES FROM THE REVOLUTION, a look at the couterculture from 1964, as seen through the eyes of a "flower child" who is now middle-aged--and of the reporter who covered her story. The book is available through Amazon.com . . . Check out website, www.walterbrasch.com for further info. Or, just write me: walterbrasch@gmail.com

Donald Trump: A Problem Even for Conservatives

By Walter Brasch   The bully of the playground continued to be in the media spotlight and charging ahead to the Republican nomination for president. In the 11th Republican debate, Donald Trump, bold and arrogant as always, kept up the attack against his three remaining opponents. To the man who once delighted in being called The Donald, Sen. Ted Cruz was “Lyin’ Ted,” a reference he made more than just a few times. However, several political fact checkers over the past three months have dismissed Trump’s claims as little more than half-truths, exaggerations, and lies. Politifacts, which checks candidate statements, revealed that about three-fifths of what Trump said during the campaign are incorrect. Among some of the errors Trump has … Continue reading

The Trump Tower of Egotistical Exaggeration and Lies

  by Walter Brasch   When the presidential primaries began more than a year ago, the two leading candidates were Hillary Rodham Clinton for the Democrats and Jeb Bush for the Republicans. It seemed at that time that there would be another Clinton–Bush race in the general election. That, as any voter knows, has changed drastically. Sen. Bernie Sanders, officially an independent but running as a Democrat,  has shuffled off his one-digital support to being about equal to Clinton among Democrats, tying with Clinton in Iowa, beating her in New Hampshire, but losing in Nevada. Sanders’ supporters tend to be younger and are energized by his presence and persistence in pushing a liberal agenda that focuses upon individuals and how … Continue reading

Sick of Presidential Politicians Grubbing for Votes

  by Walter Brasch   Like millions of Americans in the middle of February I have the flu. Unlike millions of Americans I have a deadline. Forced to stay at home, sucking Vitamin C drops, I have read newspapers, listened to radio, and watched television as a source of diversion. Dominating the media is the campaign for the presidency. In Iowa, all of the candidates went to fairs, restaurants, and anywhere there was any sign of carbon-based organic life to grab votes. Because hogs and corn stalks haven’t yet been granted the right to vote, the candidates resorted to talking with humans, and making sure that everyone got more useless swag than the presenters at the TV awards shows. The … Continue reading

Marching Bands and High School PE

  by Walter Brasch   The Millard Public Schools in Omaha, Neb., will not allow its students to substitute marching band for its requirement that students take three semesters of physical education. The proposal would save about $75,000 a year, according to the administration. But, the administration also said if the proposal was implemented it would negate the district’s emphasis on wellness and promoting physical fitness. There are two issues here. First, as almost everyone who ever was a member of a marching band knows, it’s physically challenging. Every member must not only march, sometimes at a rapid pace, but also read music, do maneuvers and play an instrument at the same time. Some parades are a mile; the Rose … Continue reading

A Large Problem for Circuses

    By Walter Brasch   By May, there will be no more elephants in the Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey circus. The circus management had originally said it would cease using elephants by 2018, but revised its estimate by two years. Management said the cost to retire the elephants to the Ringling Brothers Center for Animal Conservation in Florida is less than it had first anticipated. The 13 Asian elephants on tour will join 30 others at the 200 acre facility, which has a $2.5 million annual budget. “Our family’s commitment to save the majestic Asian elephants will continue through our breeding program, research and conservation efforts at the Center,” said Alana Feld, executive vice-president of Feld Entertainment. P.T. … Continue reading

Sarah Palin’s Quixotic Quest for Relevance

      By Walter Brasch   She’s back and tightly holding Donald Trump’s coattails. That’s right, Sarah Palin, having again found the media spotlight, is casting her shadow across the more thoughtful conservatives. This past week she declared her undying love and support of Trump’s attempt to seize the presidency from the more experienced and knowledgeable candidates in the Democratic, Republican, and Green parties, and is blathering her way throughout Iowa, New Hampshire, and several early primary states to stir up Trump’s far-right base. At a media circus press conference this past week in Ames, Iowa, Palin gave the far-right wing goose bumps of excitement with her opening declaration, “Looking around at all of you, you hard working Iowa … Continue reading

Major Catastrophe: Major Media Problem

By Walter Brasch   On Oct. 23, Southern California Gas technicians discovered a leak of methane from a failed casing on one of the pipes in its Alisa Canyon storage facility, about 30 miles northwest of Los Angeles. The company estimates it will be the end of March until it can plug that leak from the pipe that is about 9,000 feet deep. About 77,000 tons of methane, a greenhouse gas that can widen the ozone hole in the atmosphere, have already gone into the air. Residents in the area have complained of nausea, dizziness, headaches and nosebleeds from the sulfur-like odor that is put into natural gas to identify it. Residents of about 3,000 households have been relocated. Hundreds … Continue reading

Blathering in Front of TV Cameras

    By Walter Brasch   Several TV networks covered the Rose Parade. ABC, NBC, RFD, the Hallmark network, and Univision had frequent interruptions to unleash commercials on us. The Home and Garden network ran the two hour parade uninterrupted—except for endless on-air self-promotion about HGTV and its programs. The networks had commentators who chatted with each other and seemed to spend more time enjoying being on air than in reporting the parade. They aren’t unusual. TV news—including parade coverage—has become more of a personality-based medium than a news medium. The Happy News TV anchors chat with each other. A few seconds here. A few seconds there. “With Tonight’s weather forecast is Susan Brown” has been replaced by: “Hey, Suze, … Continue reading