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Justin McLeod's Blog

July 20, 2012
(Page 9 of 40)

January 20

Lee Jackson Day vs. MLK Jr. Day

News 7 received a few complaints from viewers regarding our coverage of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.  They felt we covered too many MLK events, basically that it was overkill.  They also felt we didn't cover enough Lee Jackson Day celebrations.  The implication is News 7 favors MLK Jr. Day over Lee Jackson Day. 

Lee Jackson Day continues to be a controversial holiday.  Some feel those who celebrate it are racist.  News 7 hasn't taken a stance, nor would we.  No one at News 7 has ever said we can't or won't cover Lee Jackson Day celebrations.  In fact, we reported on Lee Jackson events Friday and Saturday in Lexington and then another event in Roanoke several days later.  Overall, it is true we covered more MLK Jr. Day events than Lee Jackson.  Why? Simply put, I think it's because more communities hold MLK Jr. events than Lee Jackson events.  There is no conspiracy on the news media's part.

I also received a few complaints about my coverage about the Confederate flag controversy in Lexington.  Last Friday, Sons of Confederate veterans lined the streets of Lexington to protest the city's new flag ordinance.  We interviewed several Sons of Confederate veterans as well as a shop owner who defended their right to fly the Confederate flag in Lexington.  I also interviewed a Lexington resident who basically called the Sons of Confederate veterans racist.    Needless to say, some Sons of Confederate veterans weren't happy I aired that interview.  The reality is Americans are still debating the cause of the Civil War 150 years later.  Some feel it was about state rights, others feel it was about slavery.  My job as a journalist is not to take sides.  My job is to present all sides.  I make no apologizes for interviewing the man who called the Sons of Confederate veterans racist.  I think if you watched the piece as whole, it was pretty balanced. 

I end with this thought.  Can't we put an end to this Confederate flag controversy?  The Civil War happened 150 years ago.  It is time to move on.  What's the solution?  I'm not sure but I am tired of hearing about it.

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January 10


Tim Tebow

There's been a lot of debate lately about Tim Tebow's religious displays during football games.  Last weekend, he painted John 3:16 across his face.  Some love it, others hate it.  Honestly, it doesn't bother me.  If he is religious and wants to show it, so be it.  If athletes can sign million dollar endorsement deals to wear Nike, why can't Tebow wear his religion on his sleeve?  If the cheerleaders can wear scantily clothed outfits on the sidelines, who am I to say Tebow can't display his religion?  What's next?  Athletes can't wear crosses around their necks?

There are downsides to Tebow's public displays of faith.  If he ever gets into trouble, say a DUI or caught on camera swearing, he will face more scrutiny and news media coverage than other athletes.  We as a society love to see famous people fall.  It reminds us we are all human.  If you wear your religion on your sleeve and then do something wrong, you come off as a hypocrite.  Is it fair?  No but you open yourself up to that criticism.  

I have a big problem when Tebow supporters say God is obviously on his side.  They argue that's why he is doing so well on the football field.  I don't buy this logic.  If something bad happens to you, does that mean God doesn't like you or doesn't like what you are doing?  Let's face it, bad things happen to good people.  If a christian gets cancer, I guess that means God isn't on their side?  You can't have it both ways.  

I wish Tim Tebow the best of luck...to a point.  Since I grew up not far from Foxboro Massachusetts, I will be rooting for the Patriots this weekend.  But I won't hate Tebow just because he loves his faith.

January 3

I am well rested after more than a week off from work.  I spent some of the time visiting family near Boston.  During my break, I saw a lot of movies.  Some I saw here, others in Boston because it will take awhile for them to get to this area.  Here's my take.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo -  I never read the book but saw the Swedish movie version.  David Fincher's American version is much more detailed.  That can be a good thing.  For example, Lisbeth's character is more developed in this version.  Rooney Mara is fine in the role but I liked Noomi Rapace better in the Swedish film.  My biggest complaint about this movie is that it is way too long.  David Fincher's movies often are.  I think he could have cut 20 minutes from this movie without hurting it.  It is more than 2 hours and 30 minutes.  Yikes.  I give this movie a B.

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