Wednesday, November 26, 2014

1414 The News Bar

This corner of the room has long said that no news organization can be excellent unless it’s in staggering distance from at least one decent saloon.

But that’s not what this is about.  Wine lovers have their fancy restaurants.  Sports lovers have a wide selection of sports bars.

But news junkies are out in the cold.

Think about it.  You want to watch baseball, football, basketball, hockey, soccer, tennis, even chess… you have your choice of places to get sloshed.

And it’s all on TV. ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN342, Fox Sports, Fox Sports Regional.  MLB network, HBO, NHL Network, CBS Sports, NBC Sports, ABC Sports, Bleacher Report, and on and on.

But news junkies have their networks, too. CNN, HLN, MSNBC, Faux, CNBC, Bloomberg, Al Jazeera, the Weather Channel, Russia Today and CCTV in English from China.   And for thoroughly modern news watchers, there’s E!
So while we’re outnumbered, we’re not outgunned.

But where are the specialty bars?

You want to see the Jets or the Penguins, you go to Biff’s Bar or Tug’s House of Sports or something named for some washed up ex player for the Atlanta Braves or the Washington Redskins.  (Attention PC police, note the example teams.)

Where is the Murrow Lounge?  Or Huntley & Brinkley’s Steak House and News Tavern? Or Farley’s House of Jameson and Stout? (No ice or we’ll throw you out.)

Just imagine what any of this would look like.  Dark wood, low lights.  A dozen big screen TVs scattered around, all with the sound up just as they are in a gazillion saloons called “The Dugout” or “The Gridiron.”

Come on in and cheer your team.  The Republicans. The Democrats.  The Military Industrial Complex.   The cops, the robbers, the snowstorm, the heatwave, the bus or plane or train accident.  No matter where you live, you could stop in and get into the bag while you watch Jodi Arias claim she didn’t kill her lover and wasn’t even there.  Or she was there but it was two people in Ninja costumes who did it.  Or she was there and she did it but it was self defense.

It’s much better to watch that kind of thing in the company of similar fans and while numbing yourself with Jim Beam.

Afghanistan, Ukraine, Israel, OPEC, global warming, riots, epidemics, vanishing airliners and kidnapped kids all become less depressing when viewed through the haze of 100 proof vodka.

Then, there’s the picking up and hooking up aspect.  If you’re wearing a Yankee jersey in The Play Ball Lounge, and she’s wearing a Red Sox hat, you know better than to approach.

Team clothing is optional in The Newsroom Cafe.  So you have to be brave and take your chances.

Or just keep your eye on the big screen.


--OPEC is about to meet.  They’re going to “decide” on prices as oil continues to tumble.”  And they choose Vienna because it’s far away from every oil producing country… a little bit of show off to show how they can be petroleum spendthrifts and you can’t.

--Happy Thanksgiving, y’all. Don’t overeat.  It’ll slow you when you battle the crowds on Black Friday.

--Because of the nature of the radio/TV beast, I’ve worked Thanksgiving and every other holiday you can name.  But others shouldn’t have to. Please stay home on Thanksgiving Day.

I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
Please address comments to

© WJR 2014

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