Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Quote of the Day (Charles Osgood, on the Fiscal-Cliff Congress)

“Call them irresponsible.
Isn’t it demonstrable?
Throw in great self-righteousness, too.”—Charles Osgood, The Osgood File, January 2, 2013 WCBS Radio Network Broadcast (to the tune of “Call Me Irresponsible”)

In the late Seventies, Charles Osgood came out with a book puckishly titled, Nothing Could Be Finer Than a Crisis That Is Minor in the Morning. That’s one way of viewing the fiscal cliff—invariably described since New Year’s Day as “averted”—except, as the veteran CBS newscaster noted in his deadly hilarious spoof of the situation several days ago, all our nation’s representatives have done is kick the can down the road.

Let the yahoos on Capitol Hill bray on. If there’s any pleasure to be derived at all from the agony they’ve just put us through (and will do again—just you wait), it’s a reminder of the pleasures of listening to the whimsical, wise Mr. Osgood, who turns 80 today. I haven’t had a chance to watch CBS’ television news show Sunday Morning as much as I’d like in recent years, but whenever I have tuned in, I see that the program that Charles Kuralt started more than 30 years ago remains in good hands with his replacement.

I have more than a passing interest in this fine longtime newsman. He not only came from my hometown of Englewood, N.J., but studied drama with John Travolta’s mother at my alma mater, the late, much-lamented St. Cecilia High School.

Over the years, Osgood has appeared as a guest on the annual Christmas show of another radio legend, WNYC –FM deejay Jonathan Schwartz. It’s somehow appropriate, as both are throwbacks to a more civilized time—so it’s doubly hard even to conceive of anyone filling their respective niches.

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