Friday, April 29, 2005
Scott Simon At the Dollar Tree
Scott Simon used to be my favorite broadcast journalist. I always made sure to hear his analysis of the news with Daniel Schorr, followed by Simon's own personal essay. I still listen to Weekend Edition Saturday, but my enthusiasm for Simon has cooled after he publicly supported Bush's invasion of Iraq http://www.current.org/ethics/ethics0316news.shtml and attacked Michael Moore in the Wall Street Journal. http://www.opinionjournal.com/la/?id=110005402 Moore's methods are sometimes flawed, but he's no Joe McCarthy. McCarthy used lies and innuendo to destroy the careers of countless State Department officials, while Moore goes overboard in pointing out aspects of Bush's policy that the "respectable" media were afraid to touch. (The news media were exaggerating the threat of the American Communists long before "Tail Gunner Joe" began waving his "lists" of Communists. And to my knowledge, Moore has never destroyed anyone's career.) But while doing some shopping at the local Dollar Tree, I was reminded of Simon at his best. His book, Home and Away: Memoir of a Fan (2000) was on the shelf, and I bought a hardback copy for a dollar. I'm no sports fan, but Simon's memoir gives me insight into fandom. By framing his autobiography in relation to Chicago sports Simon endears himself to his readers--even nonfans like me. I used the memoir as a model for my own reminiscences of growing up as a railfan (possibly to be seen in an upcoming issue of Classic Trains). If you're in a Dollar Tree, look for Home and Away. It's definitely worth a buck.