|Scalding coffee isn't only thing that hurts|
There's a lot of reasons I love our new location (stand by for a completely biased commercial - come visit your favorite Montgomery County daily at our new digs, 201 E. Jefferson St. at Athena Center - OK, back to our regular programming). The first is that I love history. After all, how cool is it to work in a building that was built in 1910 (well, part of it was the Old Central School and was put up in 1873) when Ulysses S. Grant and William Howard Taft respectively were leading the country as presidents? Even better, a year after the doors opened, CHS won the very first Indiana boys basketball state championship.
These are the things I think about every time I walk into this building.
Alas, once inside I tend to get busier than a barista at an all-night chess tournament. History is forgotten and like a lot of you I roll up my shirt sleeves and get to it. It's also why I love Saturday mornings. The pace is a little slower. I get those old records off the shelf and, while I still get things done, enjoy the day a little more.
So it was the other Saturday morning. Bob Seeger was accurately pointing out that today's music ain't got the same soul as the songs we grew up with. I was pouring another cup of steaming hot coffee when-
"You in here, Timmons?" the deep bass rumble that is John Hammer boomed.
It was hard to answer. I wasn't sure what was worse, the peeling skin on my fingers from where the coffee was scalding me or the fact that my heart decided to start rocking to the beat Seeger was pounding out.
"Heavens to Murgatroyd," I shouted. "I have no idea how you keep getting into a locked building, but for crying out loud, John could you give a guy a heads up?"
"You guys can dish it out," he growled, "but boy you sure can't take it."
You have to know the man they call the Hammer. He stands well more than six-feet, weighs somewhere north of 300 and for a man older than me doesn't seem to have much fat on him at all. When he talks, his voice carries that deep booming base that lands somewhere in the middle of your ear and travels all the way to your bone marrow.
"I don't know why you think I can't take it," I shot back. "You come in here and-"
"No, not that, Timmons," he sighed. When it comes to me missing the point, Hammer has less patience than a 4-year-old at a carnival. "I mean the media in general. You guys want to rip on Trump all the damn time. It's all you guys do."
"Now hang on a minute John," I reasoned. "The role of the press is to be a watchdog of the government, to keep an eye on things so that we don't have the equivalent of the fox guarding the hen-"
Hammer's look said I wasn't making progress.
"Timmons, has a U.S. president ever been attacked the way this one is? Hell, I lived through Watergate. Not event Nixon and for sure not Clinton during the sex scandal caught as much hatred and crap as you guys dish out every single day on Trump. You guys aren't being watchdogs, you're all over him like attack dogs."
I had to admit that some of the reports floating around out there are pretty over the top.
"Thing is," Hammer continued. "Trump fires back more than anyone else has. He calls you guys names and all kinds of stuff. Some don't like that but I think if you get punched enough then you either have to start swinging back or lay down. I kind of like a president who doesn't lay down."
I couldn't say if Hammer was right or wrong, but I don't think he's alone in those thoughts.
"Tell you what, Timmons," Hammer said. "If the media doesn't want to lose everything it has to social media, you need to get back to being fair and stop attacking a guy just because you don't like him."
Hammer left. Sometimes I hate it when he's right.
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