News, notes, and observations from the James River Valley in northern South Dakota with special attention to reviewing the performance of the media--old and new. E-Mail to

Friday, August 24, 2007

Oh, say, can you whine!

The South Dakota media and blogorazzi are in the thralls of petulance. They are whimpering and whining to mama, or whoever can stand listening to them, that Sen. Tim Johnson would not submit to interviews during his rehabilitation, but they find out that he has been talking to ABC newsman Bob Woodruff, who will broadcast a special on talks between him and the Senator on Nightline next Tuesday after the Senator's homecoming to South Dakota.

For those who have been using their heads for the past few years giving themselves colonoscopies, recall that Bob Woodruff was an ABC anchor before he went to Iraq to cover the war in person. In January 2006, he and a cameraman were riding in a convoy that was struck by a roadside bomb and an ambush attack. Woodruff suffered severe brain injuries. After intensive rehabilitation therapy, he returned to work in February 2007.

After his return to work, Woodruff and his wife published a book on his experience, In An Instant. He also started the Bob Woodruff Family Fund for Traumatic Brain Injury. The Fund is set up to provide therapy services to military personnel who, like Woodruff, suffered brain injuries and damages.

The injuries that Bob Woodruff suffered were very similar to what Sen. Tim Johnson suffered in a hemorrhage.

The biggest story to come out of all this is the advances made in medicine that rehabilitate people who have suffered disabling injuries and enable them to resume their lives and their work.

Bob Woodruff has a special interest in talking with Sen. Johnson. Sen. Johnson has a special interest in talking to a person who has been through the rehabilitaiton process and whose presence is testimony to the kind of recovery an injured person can make.

Visits with Bob Woodruff have an obvious therapeutic effect. Visits from buzzard-flock journalists with agendas set by the mean and petty politics of South Dakota--and their constant refutations of the tired adage that there is no such thing as a stupid question--would be counterproductive and depressing. Put simply, if you want to get healthy and return to work, stay away from Bloody Mary.

Let the journalists and the blogabillies whine and send their voices forth in the exercise of their First Amendment rights. Meanwhile, some of us can take comfort in the fact that journalists like Bob Woodruff and Senators like Tim Johnson know what the real important work is and will do what it takes to get that work done.

[Simultaneously posted at KELOLAND Blog.]

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Aberdeen, South Dakota, United States