How's this for a conflict? This past weekend I had to choose between going to New York and attending the prestigious Peabody Award ceremonies, sponsored by the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Georgia or an opportunity to participate in the 14th annual Washpot Festival in Garfield.
Since I had already plopped down money for non-refundable airfare, I opted for New York. But I promise that if the good folks in Garfield will give me a rain check - or however that works at Washpot Festivals - I will be there next year.
Greater Garfield, as you know, is headquarters to the Yarbrough Worldwide Media and Pest Control Company and home to Junior E. Lee, the only political pollster in the United States who is also a certified pest control professional.
• • •
Speaking of Junior E. Lee, you may be wondering why there is no analysis this week on the Democratic and Republican primaries. Two reasons: First, our policy has always been to allow all the other political pundits to go first. It is important that we not steal their thunder. Political pundits get really cranky about that kind of thing. Second, Junior is still spraying for fleas in Arveen Ridley's barn and just hasn't had time to crunch the numbers.
• • •
I asked officials in the Methodist Church if the denomination was going to take a position on the recent Guns for God law, which allows weapons in houses of worship. This was after both Episcopalian and Catholic authorities in Georgia had announced no guns will be allowed in their churches. The Methodists say this is a decision that is up to their individual churches, although I suspect their druthers are that you leave your firearms at home.
Interestingly, a number of Baptist churches seem to be split on the issue in spite of their lobbyist's support for the bill in the recent session of the General Assembly and his claim to represent all 1.3 million Baptists in the state.
Julie Pennington-Russell, pastor of First Baptist Church in Decatur, writes that many Georgia Baptists found that remark "astonishing" and said "it is unthinkable for any Baptist to claim to speak for even one other Baptist, much less 1.3 million." Amen to that.
• • •
You may have missed the news but the University of Georgia equestrian team won the national championship a couple of weeks ago in Waco, Texas. It was their sixth national title. Congratulations to coach Meghan Boenig and her team. They don't get near enough recognition for their quality program and the success it begets.
• • •
Sometimes you just can't make this stuff up. A recent story from Reuters, an international news agency headquartered in Europe, cites an increase in the number of hangings in Iran.
According to the agency, the Iranian government has executed 537 people, many without a trial, since last August when a so-called "moderate" president was elected. To get more information on this disturbing news, Reuters says - I assume with a straight face - that it sought comment from the public relations office for Iran's judiciary but the calls went unanswered. Well, stone me with a rock. The Iranian judiciary has a PR office? I need to get out more. Or maybe Reuters needs to get out more.
• • •
Talk about perseverance: Bob Brennan recently received his bachelor's in English from Georgia State University at the ripe young age of 85, a quest he had begun in 1951. In the interim, he had a distinguished career in the media, including Southern bureau chief for CBS News in the 1960s during the turbulent civil rights era and later as a highly-respected local television news director in Atlanta.
Brennan was one of the earliest members of the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games and served as press chief during the 1996 Games. Other than Billy Payne, the man who led the effort to get the Olympic Games to Atlanta and served as ACOG's CEO, I don't know anyone who understood the true spirit of the Olympic movement better than Bob Brennan.
• • •
Finally, I am headed off to the coast to hear Sea Island Acquisition LLC's side of the story regarding its proposed development on the south end of the island that has kicked up such a fuss. While I'm there, I may give them a quick tutorial on media relations. They could use it.
You can reach Dick Yarbrough at email@example.com; at P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, GA 31139; online at dickyarbrough.com or at www.facebook.com/dickyarb.