Vol. 12, No. 3,009 - The American Reporter - October 19, 2006



Media Beat: ALL-STARS TAKE THE FIELD
by Normon Solomon
American Reporter Correspondent
Washington. D.C.

Printable version of this story

WASHINGTON -- A few summers ago, baseball's All-Star Game inspired me to=

compile a roster of the nation's foremost media players. Now it's that tim= e of year again; I've reviewed my lineup of media stars -- and guess what? =

Except for the designated hitter, they're all still at the top of their = games!

So, here is America's beloved Media All-Star Team of 2001:

Starting Pitcher: Cokie Roberts

Tossing a classic mix of curveballs and changeups, Roberts can baffle an= yone with more than a superficial knowledge of American history. Her delive= ry, like her wisdom, is utterly conventional.

Reliever: Christopher Matthews

The spinning pitchman of "Hardball" on cable television, Matthews curren= tly makes frequent use of the spitter when the wind is at his back. Formerl= y a nominal lefty, he is now proudly ambidextrous.

Closer: George Will

This hurler has cultivated an elaborate windup. Yet he can also throw a = mean fastball from a stretch position. Will specializes in wide curves that= nick the right edge of the plate. Catchers dread handling his arch-knuckle= r -- and sometimes get embarrassed when Will argues that even his wild pitc= hes are strikes. If riled, he resorts to the beanball.

Leadoff Batter: Jim Lehrer

His lackadaisical "News Hour" style belies the fact that Lehrer is adept= at the well-placed bunt and beats many throws from across the diamond. Boo= sted by multi-year endorsement contracts from the agribusiness giant Archer= Daniels Midland, he's an excellent corporate-team player.

Cleanup Batter: Dan Rather

Off at the crack of a bat, Rather can stretch a cliche into a stand-up t= riple. He often hits line drives up the middle.

Designated Hitter: Patrick Buchanan

Known as a "Ty Cobb wannabe" for his flashing spikes and surly manner, t= his slugger always swings for the fences. Crouched far to the right side of= the plate, Buchanan doesn't seem to mind that he rarely connects. Dugout m= ates say he complains that batting was much more enjoyable before the days = of Roy Campanella. (Although Buchanan has been benched a lot lately, he rem= ains a media all-star because many key players go back a long way with him.= )

Center Fielder: Barbara Walters

This consummate pro has decades of experience playing shallow center fie= ld. While she defends her turf in the sunny outfield, observers have become= heavy-lidded to the point of somnolence.

Left Fielder: Michael Kinsley

Affable and almost erudite, Kinsley has the unfortunate habit of roaming= the middle of the outfield for most of each game, thus leaving vast expans= es vacant. Some people swear that he has never come near the left-field lin= e, even to snag a simple pop-up.

Right Fielder: Rush Limbaugh

Limbaugh, who likes to hug the right-field line, boasts of many putouts = in foul territory. However, he is rued by umpires, who find him abusive and= prone to hallucinations.

Shortstop: David Gergen

At bat, Gergen is a deft switch hitter. Wearing a mitt, he's a fast man = in the pivot -- able to pull off a double play with dazzling agility that m= akes all his maneuvering look easy. Fans marvel that he always seems to lan= d on his feet.

Catcher: Mike Wallace

This seasoned receiver knows how to call the signals without antagonizin= g the front office.

Pinch Hitter: Katie Couric

Nice and savvy enough to be safe when it counts, Couric makes every "Tod= ay" look professional, even when sliding around without purpose.

=

Manager: Bill Gates

If winning is the bottom line and sharing can be understood as market sh= are, then Gates is a great guy to run the team.

Bat Boy: John Journalist

Nat Girl: Jane Journalist

Team Mascot: Merrill Lynch

Team Owner: Rupert Murdoch
He has a reputation as a foxy mogul with plenty of acumen. But some players= grumble that Murdoch's team is weakened by his refusal to allow southpaws = on the mound.

Stadium: Disney-AOL TimeWarner-News Corp-GeneralElectric-Viacom P= ark

The media All-Stars wouldn't think of playing the game anywhere else.

Norman Solomon's latest book is "The Habits of Highly Deceptive Media." = His syndicated column focuses on media and politics.

Copyright 2006 Joe Shea The American Reporter. All Rights Reserved.

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