Blogs > Jim Collins' Editor's Notebook

Jim Collins is editor emeritus of The News-Herald and also serves as executive in residence at Lakeland Community College. His popular weekly column appears each Sunday in Comment in The News-Herald.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Lights! Camera! Action!: It’s back to the studio

Famous Quotes from History: Dec. 17, 1903, Orville to Wilbur Wright, as Orville climbed out of their aircraft following a flight of only 120 feet:

“Oh well, back to the old drawing board.”

Those were my thoughts precisely after learning that Steve LaTourette and Dan Troy will be pulling their names off the November ballot.

We had completed 11 televised interviews with candidates for local offices and I thought we were finally done with them. Now, it’s back to the drawing board.

The interviews, which are time-consuming and require a good bit of effort, are enjoyable to do but also good to finish and look back on as they disappear in the rear view mirror.

Because they take a healthy bite out of the afternoon, I count the days until they are over. But now, thanks to Steve and Dan, they are not over. So once again we will be trudging to the TV studio at Lakeland Community College, listening to the instructions as Phil and Sam tell us to turn off our cell phones, spell our names for the sound checks and settle back across from a new cast of characters we will face on the firing line.

Well, half the characters will be new. The other half will be the same people we interviewed in July.

Instead of LaTourette it will be Geauga County Prosecutor Dave Joyce (R) running against Dale Blanchard (D) for U.S. Congress. I have interviewed Dale several times, most recently a few weeks ago when he and Steve sat across from The News-Herald interviewers and expounded on their views to help lift the country by its bootstraps.

And instead of Troy it will be Mentor-on-the-Lake Mayor John Rogers (D), who will be taking up the gonfalon against Lori DiNallo (R) for state representative from the 60th Ohio District, which is essentially the western end of Lake County.

All four of the subjects did well last time around. The interviews were a snap for Steve and Dan because they have held office for what seems like eons. Now it is up to Dale and Lori to do as well as they did in July against a fresh set of opponents. Fortunately, they are good-natured people and are willing to do it all over again.

I hope all of you understand what is going on here. More than that, I hope you understand why all this is happening.

The reason Dan Troy pulled off the ballot was because after many years as a Lake County commissioner — and with two years remaining in his current term — he decided it was important for him to stay on as a commissioner because he was needed in Painesville and he was not as desperately needed in Columbus.

Matter of fact, I encouraged him in this very space a couple of weeks ago to get out of the statehouse race and stay on as commissioner, so I am happy that he did what he did.

Dan said several other people asked him to stay as a commissioner. So his move was neither a surprise nor a shock.

Steve LaTourette’s move, on the other hand, was both surprising and shocking. Anyone who says otherwise is subject to wild flights of reverie and should not be trusted in matters involving the judicious use of the truth.

If you did see it coming (and of course, you didn’t) you should be able to make a comfortable living at the blackjack tables in Cleveland.

We conducted the 11 interviews in July this year because several candidates asked me to. The requests were based on the mania for early voting.

It’s also a lot easier to schedule the use of the Lakeland TV studio in July because the fall semester of classes has not yet begun. The later in the year we do the interviews, the more I have to throw myself to the mercies of Phil and Sam and their bosses to find available time in the studio.

I presume you have watched these interviews from time to time over the years. The first ones were filmed in a makeshift studio at The News-Herald in 1982, and while the quality left much to be desired, the reception by the voting public was encouraging.

Since 1984, they have been filmed at Lakeland, and the overall quality of the pictures as well as the sound is first-rate.

This year’s interviews will start running on the Lakeland channel in September. If you have a favorite candidate, watch for the scheduling and be sure to tune in. I guarantee you will like what you see.
Watch me and one of your favorite News-Herald staff members as we hold the candidates’ feet to the fire.

Well, that’s a bit of an exaggeration. But you know what I mean.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home