Trip to China

J-week ended for me on Thursday afternoon, April 16, when the Advisory Committee met for two hours to hear reports from faculty and have barbecue and enjoy a concert by Big T’s Blues band in front of the Overby Center.

I was up the next morning about 3 am and left the house at 3:30 for a 6 am Chicago-bound flight out of Memphis.  From O’Hare, I was to take a United Airlines flight to Beijing a little before 1 pm.  I was traveling from Chicago with Susan Shaw, executive director of the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications.

Our more than 13-hour flight took us almost over the North Pole before traveling south over Siberia to the capital of China.  We landed a little before 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Beijing time – 13 hours ahead of Oxford’s Daylight Saving Time.

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Reunion of 1960 Ole Miss Baseball Team

I was having dinner in the View restaurant above the Marriott at Times Square when I learned that the 1960 Ole Miss baseball team was having a reunion on the weekend of the series against Louisiana State University.

This was the team that went 22-3 for the season and beat the University of Florida for the SEC championship.  However, this also was the team that could not play in the regional tournament that leads to the College World Series.

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The Disarming, Informal Style of the Host of Studio B

We were scheduled to see Dr. Jim Pratt’s protege, Shep Smith.

Patrizia Barkley, Shep’s assistant, had greeted us in the lobby of the Fox News building at a few minutes before 3 p.m. on Wednesday, the last day of March, and we had settled on chairs a few feet from the news set when Shepard Smith came sauntering in to Studio B, accompanied by his father.

He sat down behind the news desk and fitted an ear phone in place while a make up artist dabbed his face here and there. He clicked on a computer and talked to various staff members and a mysterious presence in another room.

A countdown began and then the Ole Miss alumnus from Holly Springs led a fast paced news show with quick give and take and unusual cuts to uncommon perspectives. This is the hard news programming of daytime Fox News.

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