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Journalism vs. Commentary; and Remembering Maurice Jarre

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A lot of huffing and puffing here about my last post. The reading comprehension here can be rather surprising at times.

I said I was a fan of both Keith and Rachel. Watch them all the time. I suppose I hold them to a higher standard as I feel that now is our time. A time for real change. I didn't vote for Obama to savor the thrill of having our first black president. I did so because I thought he was smart and tough. I want Obama to undo much of what was done these past eight years by the crypto-fascists in the Bush administration. And a good part of that would involve a press that was on the ball. On the case. Keeping an eye on what is going on. Making sure that Americans are properly informed about what our government is doing. Something that was scarce during the Bush years.

Journalism is what is required now. And, yes, some commentary. But more journalism than commentary. That's what a newspaper does. That's why newspapers are quoted so often as the sources of actual news on this very site. Newspapers are about journalism. The internet, and sites like this, are about commentary. People sign on and give their opinion. But that is not journalism. That is commentary, internet style, whereby most people are not trained as journalists and the comments of many posters here are anonymous. You can piss on anyone you want, say anything you want, and so long as it is within the boundaries of HuffPo politesse, you are in.

The sine qua non to understanding the garbage barge of the internet is the AOL home page. The AOL home page, which makes Us Weekly look like Paris Match, wants its readers to focus on the latest unflattering photos of stars or their DUIs. The AOL home page is where polls rated George W. Bush as one of the ten greatest presidents, even as late as last fall. The AOL home page is where they wrote that I had "picked a fight" with Maddow and Olberman.

Perhaps this comes as no surprise, but there are never, ever any names that appear as authors of the monstrously boring and mind-numbing content on the home page of this popular server. Never. Ever. AOL just keeps churning out all of that trash on their digital welcome mat, and you never find out who is responsible.

That's the Internet. Some great, serious, lofty thinking, one click away. The AOL home page, like a filthy dinner plate, just begging to be scraped and washed, another click away.

I'll take the Times any day. Judith Miller, or no. As for Keith and Rachel, I would never pick a fight with them. You think I want Keith Olbermann gnawing on me on national television? You haven't been gnawed till you've been gnawed by Keith. And Rachel? I love Rachel. Doesn't everyone? But just as I don't want root beer for dinner, I like my "news programming" a little straighter, at least during these times.

Now a quick note on something infinitely more interesting.

I wanted to acknowledge the passing of the great Maurice Jarre, the composer who died last month. Jarre was nominated nine times and won the Oscar three times for Best Score for Lawrence of Arabia, Doctor Zhivago, and A Passage to India.

Music has clearly played such an essential role in great movie-making. I once had the rare honor to present John Barry the Oscar for his score for Dances with Wolves. Barry was nominated seven times and won five Oscars. In addition to the Kevin Costner film, Barry won two Oscars (score and song) for Born Free and best score for Lion in Winter and, my personal favorite, Out of Africa.

Whether it is Oscar winning scores such as those for The Wizard of Oz, The High and the Mighty, The Sound of Music, Star Wars, or Jaws, or other memorable music that propels certain images of films straight into your brain, like Gone with the Wind, Psycho, The Godfather, or A Hard Day's Night, music can contribute to making the difference between a popular motion picture and a classic.

What are your favorite movie scores?

The sun is just rising over the burning desert. Cue the incredible music of Maurice Jarre. What could be better than that?