Bravos to music critic Michael Hochandadel
Amid the noise and haste of the modern world, there is Michael Hochanadel. His reviews of musical events are unparalleled. He obviously enjoys music, understands music and can turn his thoughts and feelings into words, which is no easy feat. He surely made me wish I hadn’t missed Mike Stern last week. You go, Mike, keep up the prose.
For a brief few minutes, I wasn’t baffled about how Hillary and Trump are the best the United States has to offer.
Cruz wasn’t wrong to call out NY on values
If you’re a New Yorker who is offended by Ted Cruz calling out Donald Trump for his “New York values,” ask yourself why? Is it because the media says you should be offended?
Let’s be honest, most people understand that his statement had nothing to do with how the people of New York came together after 9/11. In addition, Mr. Cruz is not talking about the vast majority of people north of the “city” who incidentally voted in droves against Andrew Cuomo in the last election, when he only won 11 counties outside of New York City.
Instead, Cruz is talking about the liberal big government, big taxes, entitlement mentality of New York City, and to some extent, the other major cities of this state.
As a lifelong New Yorker, I applaud Mr. Cruz for calling it like he sees it and enough with political correctness. It’s time to open our eyes to the reason why New York is ranked 46th out of 50 as one of the worst states for taxpayers, and 49th out of 50 as one of the worst states in which to retire. As far as jobs go, the 50 counties outside New York City collectively rank dead last in private-sector job creation in the nation since November 2010. The facts are out there — look them up. They might help to explain the mass exodus of people leaving New York — in that we are ranked No. 2 in the nation. Maybe they have just had it with “New York values.”
Gazette jeopardizing role as outside critic
Most people would tell you there are three branches of government — the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches. Within and between them are the requisite checks and balances envisioned by our Founding Fathers.
To many, though, the press has long been a fourth branch. Through the protections set forth in the First Amendment to the Constitution, the press has often provided the checks and balances when the official three branches have failed to do so.
In Schenectady recently, the press — The Daily Gazette — has shed its role as a critic and has joined forces with the local executive and legislative branches. Some may welcome the change; I, for one, do not.
Now, as anyone who has taken on the press knows, the challenge is generally a losing battle. As Mark Twain said: “Never pick a fight with people who buy ink by the barrel.” Although the computer key has long since replaced the barrel of ink, the same principle applies.
Still, some fights are worth taking on, even if they are losing ones. The newly espoused role of The Daily Gazette is one such battle.
Under The Daily Gazette, I read during my first 25 years in Schenectady, we had a dispassionate, non-cheerleading role. Editors Art Clayman, Joe Slomka and Carl Strock took their shots at the city and those of us trying to get things done. (I know; I received my share of attacks.) Even when I disagreed with their viewpoints, I had no problem with them because they had “no dog in the fight.”
This past fall, we learned The Gazette was an investor with the casino owner and developer in a housing project to improve further the College Park neighborhood. While the project is a good one, the question that remains unanswered is whether a newspaper can remain objective when it is partnering with those advancing a particular agenda.
Now we learn the publisher of The Gazette is a member of the task force the mayor created on making Schenectady a Smart City. In and of itself, the task force is a good idea, and, I am sure, it will make important recommendations. Again, though, the unanswered question is how The Gazette can objectively assess what the task force recommends if its publisher is a member of the task force.
The fourth branch of government — the press — has long served us well. It serves us far less well when it joins officially with the Executive and Legislative branches and abandons its role as critic.
Roger H. Hull
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