I have to start with a confession or disclosure or whatever the politically correct term is: I have personally met both Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch. Not just some quick meet-and-greet, but some real, honest-to-goodness, hang-out-together time.
Well, maybe it was only four or five hours. And I really don’t think they remember when and where and why we met. But I do, and I have the pictures to prove it.
So when I heard that presidential candidate Mitt Romney wants to fire my good friend Big Bird, well, you can understand why I was so upset.
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (BURRISS) -- Boy, am I ever dazed and confused. In just a few weeks we’ll be talking about how, in late October 1938, hundreds of thousands of people thought a radio dramatization about a Martian invasion of the earth was real. And a question has always been, how could these people be taken in like that? I mean, all they had to do was change the channel, and they would have had a pretty good clue that nothing serious was going on.
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (BURRISS) -- All the way back in 1811 a movement began in England which lent its name to people who are accused of being opposed to technological developments: Luddites. So serious was the movement that it was a death penalty offense for anyone convicted of destroying lace-making machinery.
So, at the risk of sounding like a Luddite, I have to say, “I told you so.”
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WMOT) -- In what may be an apocryphal story, Abraham Lincoln supposedly greeted Harriet Beecher Stowe, the author of “Uncle Toms’ Cabin,” as “the little woman who wrote the book that made this great war.”
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (BURRISS) -- Poverty, healthcare, education, housing, international affairs. All of these topics are being batted around in presidential campaign ads. And if the past is any indication, they will consume more and more radio and television time until the election in November.
But ask yourself this: what have you actually learned about what the candidates are going to do about these issues? The answer: precious little.
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (BURRISS) -- Classes start at M-T-S-U this week, and as nearly 26-thousand students come back to campus, we in the college of mass communication find ourselves facing the perennial question, "Are we a trade school or are we an academic school?" Although the question may seem like mere ivory tower rhetoric with no practical value, in fact, the answer strikes at the very heart of what we do, and how our graduates will shape the future of our field for years to come. And, it could very well shape what you the audience see and hear across all media forms.
MURFREESBORO, TENN. (BURRISS) -- How many of you remember a long time ago when software companies tried all sorts of schemes to prevent piracy? There were key disks you had to periodically insert into your computer. There were access codes and there was copy protection. Eventually all of the schemes were cracked, but the supposed downfall of software companies never happened.
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WMOT) -- Humanity returned to Mars last week, and I was reminded that it was Pythagoras who linked music and the cosmos through the concept of music of the spheres.
Let’s go back more than 50 years to 1956. that’s when Bill Buchanan and Dickie Goodman teamed up to produce a two-part sound collage, “The Flying Saucer.” The format of the records was a series of questions asked by a reporter, and then answered by a spaceman using snippets of dozens of songs, including “The Great Pretender,” “Long, Tall Sally” and “Heartbreak Hotel.”
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (BURRISS) -- Ever since the First Continental Congress, the government has been dealing with leaks of classified information. In fact, the first president of the Congress, Henry Laurens, and the secretary to the foreign affairs committee, Thomas Paine, were forced to resign their offices because secret correspondence was published in Philadelphia newspapers.
Now the defense department is proposing new regulations to both prevent leaks, and to monitor the media for publication of classified information.