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Wasted Space May 29, 2011

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I was in Washington, DC last week escorting nearly 150 7th grade students from Ohio. It was the standard DC trip with all the usual monument and memorial stops. This group decided to include a visit to the Newseum. “A  250,000-square-foot museum of news — offers visitors an experience that blends five centuries of news history with up-to-the-second technology and hands-on exhibits.”

The building is actually the second Newseum. The first was opened in 1997 in Rosslyn, VA just across the Potomac from DC. Admission was free. After 3 years the trustees decided they wanted to be in the thick of things and moved the museum to new digs just three blocks from the Capital. The Newseum’s Board hired architect James Stewart Polshek to design the state-of-the-art building. The new Newseum opened in April, 2008. It’s now a paid ticket. The group price for students is $11 plus tax. The adult  price will set you back $21.95 plus tax.

Located just off the National Mall at 6th St. NW and Pennsylvania Ave. the building’s façade is all glass allowing passersby to see Newseum patrons walking through the seven levels of galleries, theaters, retail spaces and visitor services.

The first thing that struck me upon being inside was the incredible waste of space. A seven story atrium of air wastes at least a third of all useable display space. Yes, they have a Bell Ranger news helicopter and a small broadcast satellite hanging from the ceiling but most of it is empty. Now I’m no economic genius but I’ll bet that chunk of DC real-estate was a pricey piece of land being just three blocks from the Capital and all. So to leave more than a third of your available display space to air seems like just another DC boondoggle. Couple that with a horrible layout that forces you to walk to the ends of each floor to find either a too small elevator or the emergency stairwells to change floors. Really, really dumb.

But we haven’t even talked about content yet. In my cruise through I couldn’t help feel the Liberal arrogance seeping through the displays. Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck were labeled ‘radical’ in the ridiculously small amount of references to either Fox News or any conservative leaning journalist. Fox founder Rupert Murdock’s contribution to journalism was barely more than a few paragraphs of facts.

O.J. Simpson's suit

Putting their professional jealousy aside, I would think the man who has created the largest news organization in the world would rate more than a single panel in a long line of panels featuring the likes of the ‘Scud Stud’ Peter Kent and the suit O.J. Simpson was wearing the day he was acquitted.

I was impressed they included this panel

Everywhere you look the Newseum ostensibly pronounces the virtues of ‘free speech’ and the First Amendment is even inscribed on 50 tons of Tennessee marble on the building’s Pennsylvania Avenue façade. Yet, I came away with the undeniable feeling it was all for show. This empty, vacuous building reflected the values of the current Liberal media. The Newseum was created by The Freedom Forum which was formed under the direction of Al Neuharth, former publisher of USA Today newspaper. Funding was provided by a foundation started by publisher Frank E. Gannett in 1935, called the Gannett Foundation. The foundation took on the name of The Freedom Forum in 1991.

The Freedom Forum describes itself as “a nonpartisan foundation dedicated to free press, free speech and free spirit for all people.”

Each year, the Freedom Forum gives out the Al Neuharth Award for Excellence in the Media. Past winners include Walter Cronkite (1989), Carl T. Rowan (1990), Helen Thomas (1991), Tom Brokaw (1992), Larry King (1993), Charles Kuralt of CBS (1994), Albert R. Hunt and Judy Woodruff (1995), Robert MacNeil (1996), Cokie Roberts (1997), Tim Russert and Louis D. Boccardi (1998), John Seigenthaler (1999), Jim Lehrer (2001), Tom Curley (2002), Don Hewitt of CBS (2004), Garrison Keillor (2005), Bob Schieffer of CBS (2006), John Quinn and Ken Paulson (2007), Charles Overby (2008) and Katie Couric (2009).

Every one of those names, with the possible exception of Tim Russert, is a flaming Liberal. I rest my case.

View of Capital from Newseum roof terrace

8/28 Rally August 29, 2010

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Me on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial

I just got back to Florida from the Restoring Honor Rally in Washington, DC. I flew in early Saturday just in time to make the event. I’m still trying to process the enormity of it all. I heard one news outlet was quoting a source saying there were just 87,000 participants. As I live and breathe, I can attest to there being over 400,000 people packed on the Mall between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument. Why can I say that? Ohio State stadium seats over 100,000 and you could have fit at least four stadiums in the footprint of the mass of humanity that came to rally for Faith, Hope and Charity.

Rally was inside the black lines - 8/10th's of a mile long

Honor Rally from Washington Monument

It’s so predictable the liberal press will do anything to denigrate the will of the people when it does not follow their liberal agenda. Well I was there and I know the truth. God Bless Glenn Beck, the Special Operations Warrior Foundation and every person who joined the awesome throng honoring those among us who represent the best in America.

Here are some images from the rally.

Inside the Lincoln Memorial

Honor Rally, behind the stage, from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial

Man praying at the base of the Washington Monument

Honor Rally Patriot

Washington, DC October 13, 2009

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America the beautiful

I just returned from another escort job to Washington, DC. This trip was a group of senior citizens from Westerville, OH. This was the first time I had been back to Washington since Obama became President. The trip was the usual fare, monument walks, museum tours, Ford’s Theater, Kennedy Center, Arlington, Mount Vernon…practically the same as the high school tours…just a little slower. My group was a lovely bunch—31 seniors whose voracious appetite at the buffet line rivaled any eighth grade group I’ve escorted.

Washington monument

Washington monument

Every time I visit DC my patriotic juices are stirred to the core as I see, up close, the very symbols that represent what our country is all about. And that’s what so disturbs me about those who see and visit the same things and end up interpreting them 180 degrees from me. If you’ve read any of my blog you’ll know I am very conservative. I believe in a strict interpretation of the Constitution, a Federalists approach to state’s rights and a near Libertarian view of how much intrusion the Federal government should have in our lives.

Lincoln memorial

Lincoln memorial


Korean monument

I lost count of the number of Obama bumper stickers I saw on cars in and around the Capital. Most had Virginia or Maryland licenses so they were locals. They live and work in the cradle of our country’s government. A city filled with monument after monument honoring the genius founders of our country and still more monuments honoring the sacrifices of ordinary men and women who, believing in the wisdom of our founder’s words, served their country and paid the ultimate price. With the exception of the newest presidential monument, the FDR memorial, every other major monument in Washington is for a President who represented the beliefs I hold so dear.

Korean memorial

Korean memorial

So why do so many people embrace liberalism? Why do they choose a philosophy that is virtually the opposite of what our nation was founded on?  I had a nice eight-hour bus ride back to Ohio to ponder that question.

Being a liberal is like being a child. Liberals don’t like rules. When someone else succeeds they whine, “it’s not fair”. They stomp their feet demanding the same results even when they’re not deserved. Liberals will take the easy path every time. They see the success in others and never consider the sacrifice and hard work it took to achieve. They assume success was somehow stolen or bequeathed from some unfair birthright. To a large degree, I think this stems from the fact that a majority of liberals don’t have a strong belief in God and therefore reject the notion that everyone’s natural gifts; intelligence, athleticism and beauty, are bestowed upon us from the Creator.

Mount Vernon

Mount Vernon

Liberals need to read the words of our founding fathers again. Those geniuses realized everything we have is endowed to us by our Creator. In creating the Constitution, the founders were not creating equality for all but rather were creating laws ensuring everyone’s right and ability to pursue life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as they see fit. Sadly, many Americans have either not read/been taught or choose to misinterpret those wise words from the framers of our great nation.

Do you have a group interested in touring Washington, DC? Call Prime Tours at 877-289-5554 or visit www.goprimetours.com

Liberal or conservative, I promise an excellent tour.