Politics and the press

In case you’ve been wondering about the whereabouts of former Channel 24 anchor Christianne Klein, wonder no more. We get word that Klein is now in the employ of Assemblyman Sam Aanestad, R—Grass Valley, as his press secretary in his run for state Senate. Klein, you may recall, appeared a month or so ago as a guest on ABC’s Politically Incorrect and was introduced as a political commentator for KNVN. And that job description finally came true in her last bit of work for Channel 24 (actually the new NCN show) when she interviewed local politicians to get their reactions to the president’s State of the Union address. Actually she interviewed Rep. Wally Herger and Chico City Councilmember Rick Keene for the local Republican response. They both gave it the thumbs up. For the Democratic side, however, Klein interviewed Chico State political science Professor Steve Brydon. Apparently Klein either couldn’t find any or is unaware of the fact that there are actually office holders around here who happen to be Democrats.

If you haven’t seen muralist Scott Teeple‘s latest work on the side of a parapet wall sticking up from the roofline over the old Channel 24 offices on Fourth Street, you should check it out. The best vantage point is probably from the steps of the Chico City Council Chambers. He just finished it about a week or so ago. “I wasn’t sure how it was going to look,” he said. “You couldn’t tell with the scaffolding in front of it. I was a little nervous.” Turned out it’s a fine piece of work, and, as I told Teeple, it highlights an otherwise horrible piece of architecture that plaques our downtown skyline. Just kidding. There should be a city-sponsored dedication soon. Teeple, good guy that he is, deserves some press on this one. Oh wait, he already got some.

I don’t know about you, but I am diggin’ this year’s “Winter Olympic Games Brought to you by Pepsi, Ford and Britney Spears.” As the kids say, “It’s real sick.” (I have trouble keeping up with the modern-day use of adjectives. I just got used to the word “trippy.") Usually these games, these cold-weather, slip-sliding events, don’t exactly tickle my fancy. But this year, as I watch the events unfold on my TV set, I find myself almost involuntarily jumping to my feet right there in the living room, wearing a red, white and blue windbreaker, pumping my fist in the air and shouting at the top of my lungs, “USA! USA! USA!” I think what I find most satisfying is that this year the Olympic Committee has sanctioned sports that rich young white Americans can win—both the guys and the gals. Why, if not for the snowboard halfpipe, we’d be getting pretty much shut out of the medal award ceremonies.

They come at us like pollen count warnings. I figure it’s just a matter of time before they are part of the nightly weather forecast. “And tomorrow,” the chortling weatherperson will say, “we can expect this high-pressure ridge to move on out of here, bringing in a chance of rain and snow at higher levels. And,” he or she will say without missing a beat, “be sure keep your eyes open and your fallout shelter ready. The White House has issued another high-terrorist alert. The third this month!” An icon—maybe a reasonable facsimile of Osama bin Laden's head—could be placed on the national weather map at places like the Hoover Dam and the Golden Gate Bridge. And I predict that as the Enron investigation heats up and moves closer and closer to the White House, these high-level terrorist alerts will increase as well.