Saturday, August 24, 2013

Song of Shelbyville

Former TV anchorman Don Shelby was in the news a few weeks ago, and not just because he’s apparently become a professional Lyndon Johnson in dotage impersonator.

Shelby had been the subject of rumors about becoming a candidate for Congress in CD3.  I must admit, as a boastful, lightly-informed, partisan talking head he does seem like a perfect fit for the position.  But, at least at this point, he’s playing coy about his availability:

I'm flattered I would be approached, but truth is, I'm not much of a partisan and my politics, for what they are, are a little goofy.  I would be a terrible congressman.  I would rat out every special interest hack and poser. Still a reporter.  Therefore, I would be relegated to some form of quarantine.

It would be a cosmic injustice if that level of ego and self-delusion doesn’t get a chance to play in the big leagues of Washington DC.  I’m keeping hope alive for a change of heart.

Before withdrawing his name from consideration, Shelby did a bit of a coquettish dance for his Democrat party suitors:

[The] Third can be won by a Democrat.  It voted for Kerry, and Obama twice.  But, that would make me a Democrat, if I ran.  They are pushing hard, the Washington crowd.  They think this is winnable, and I'm a guy who might do it.  But, that would mean that I had written my last news story.  I may just keep trying to bring ideologies together on science as a journalist.

If only he could abandon his long-held commitment to bringing us together through his objective, even-handed views on the issues, he could be one of our ruling elite.  But a man with the principles of a Don Shelby would never abandon his selfless principles, I’m sure.

Speaking of his journalism skills, the Star Tribune added this update to Shelby’s comments about Democrat John Kerry winning CD3:

Update: President George W. Bush won the Third District in 2004, beating Democrat John Kerry 51-to-48.

If nothing else, Don Shelby’s brief return to the public spotlight added the above quotes to the library of classics we’ve been compiling here over the years.

From 2007, on his disdain for participating in the political process:

"Under no circumstances is it ever right for a journalist to make a contribution to any politician, ever. As soon as you do, you have taken a side and you begin pulling for that person. You're going to try to do whatever for your party to win. For the longest time, I argued that we shouldn't vote, but I changed my mind in recent years after getting mad at the fact that not enough people were voting."

From 2010, on the reasons for his retirement from the media:

"I have determined that I can be of no further help to WCCO," he said. "My kind of journalism is passé — the long-form, investigative pieces that hold the powerful accountable."

From 2011, on his return to the media:

"I am so pleased that I’ll be back in the game—not just to be back in the game, but to satisfy the needs of people who, for 32 years, trusted me to tell them the truth,” Shelby said.

And on his continuing quest for the truth:
I've got to tell you that I wouldn't be comfortable in a hammock or passing a lazy summer day fishing if I could help find the truth of these matters and tell them to people.
Why study the sciences? Fair question. I want to know, among other things, if the science supporting global-warming theory is correct or if some people -- fossil fuel producers, politicians who represent those businesses or states big on fossil fuel production, and blowhard pundits -- are correct in saying there is nothing to worry about.

And from last year, what promises to be inscribed on stone archway entrance to the Shelby Archives:

Which, at long last, brings me to my point. I dislike hubris. So did the ancient Greeks. It was, in fact, a crime. Roughly defined as extreme pride, hubris also has come to mean an absolute, unshakeable confidence in one’s own opinion, without regard to the facts.

Despite his passing on the Congressional race, something tells me this isn’t the last we’ve heard from Don Shelby.