Tuesday, June 20, 2017


Good evening, good readers.  This is your pen pal and newspaper columnist, Cholly Rollie, broadcasting from Sunny Florida and bringing you the top newspaper stories via television.

But first, a word from our sponsor, Toilet Tissue...

Today the news isn't good, which is pretty much why it is news.  You've heard before that “No News is Good News” and “Good News is Worse.” We'll hear what Washington has to say about that in just a minute, but first here's a few words from your local station…

In other developments around the country, and around the world, we have a statement from China.  What they are saying is in English, not Chinese, and it's troublesome.  We'll have that report right after these brief messages from our sponsors...
China and Yahoo have announced an earthshaking partnership to explain the meaning of life. Details at the top of the hour following a commercial...

Those of you who are newspaper readers will be pleased to know you are now television viewers at no out of pocket cost.  Email us and tell us how you enjoy our new broadcast “Your Newspaper Via Television.” No salesman will call. Full details after a short commercial break...

I'm Cholly Rollie back again for you Readers-Now-Viewers, with an important quiz/question for you:  Should the government fund free television sets to broadcast this free newspaper on television?  If so, who or what should pay for it? By A.) increasing the already outrageous national debt? Or, B.) by passing on this cost as part of the pensions, medical and dental coverage, insurance and other perks provided from here to eternity for members of Congress? We'll give you our thoughts on this as well as our cover story on USING THE F word following a short commercial break...

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Monday, June 12, 2017


I am a lifelong believer in women.  My mother was one.  My wife is one.  My three daughters are too. My grandmothers were women as well. By now you have my point - Creatures known as “women” run in my family.  In some cases they actually ran the family.

I'll give you one example of this: My paternal grandfather, Thomas F. Reilly, was a wealthy contractor (referred to in one local newspaper as “the tyrannical old Irish land baron”). He may or may not have been as the paper described him. However, when I marched down to see him dressed in my very first long-pants suit, he pulled a “magic” act on me by fishing out dollar bills, or more, from each of my pockets. For a 12 year old kid in the middle of the Great Depression, there was a lot to love about a tyrannical land baron. Notwithstanding this he once crossed verbal swords with my grandmother, the formidable Katherine Soden Reilly, who reminded him “Tom Reilly, I was born at the top of the hill!” So much for the pecking order back in the Emerald Isle.

But after laying this foundation about women, where do we go from here?  Who knows?  Any man who thinks he knows all there is about women should probably go to Washington, D. C. where insanity is so much in vogue.  All I can give you here, dear reader, is the narrow perspective of one man born of woman.  Which simply put is: women are pretty terrific, but not perfect, whereas men are simplicity itself, abounding in shortcomings, but basically happier souls.  When is the game on? Who wants a brew? Are there any chips?

It is probably better that we have both men and women in this world.  Some guys want to become women but the reasoning for this is above my pay grade.  If you are interested in exploring the matter, you can always go to The New York Times and confuse yourself further. The Times devotes an inordinate amount of editorial space to the question(s) of the sexes and spin-offs of same. My view is somewhat cynical on The Times prioritization - they need a break from their drumbeat on the Pope, Vatican and all things Jewish.

In sum, I'm a fan of womanhood.  I've always found their “instincts” to be on the mark.  They are weak when they should be, stronger in times of sadness and most of all, best able to triumph over the “joy of childbirth”.  On the latter point alone they'll always get my vote. 

Wednesday, June 7, 2017


In this world of constant communication, we are probably better off without any kind of quality control. Even the bits and pieces we accidentally overhear tend to make us cringe. We are blessed that we don't have to hang in for entire conversations of idiocy.

Here's an example: Dear Friend and I were having dinner for two in a delightful restaurant. A diner nearby whipped out her cellphone and proceeded to tell whomever was on the other end about everything that was on her plate. She missed no detail, item by item. On and on. For diners all around her, there is precious little news in asparagus.

And news, I suspect, is what most of us are looking for. How that news is communicated varies from time to time and place to place but there is one thing for sure, change is the name of the game. Take a short trip in the time machine back to the earlier days of broadcast network news (You may have to get help from your parents, or your grandparents, for this one.)

There are names from the early days that few remember now. Lowell Thomas, John Cameron Swayze, Douglas Edwards.  The true golden era of scheduled broadcast news featured Walter Cronkite, Chet Huntley & David Brinkley. There was John Daly, John Chancellor, Mike Wallace, Barbara Walters and a host of others, including Tom Brokaw, Roger Mudd, Martin Agronsky, Frank Reynolds, Harry Reasoner, Peter Jennings, Bob Shieffer, Howard K. Smith, Dan Rather and Connie Chung.  Today we have Scott Pelley, Lester Holt, David Muir.

During those golden years I was routinely around broadcasting news, mostly in Manhattan. I had opportunities for face to face conversations with the executives who ran the news departments as well as the TV anchors themselves.  All of us have favorites in life and I am no exception.  I liked David Brinkley for his quick wit and lack of pretentiousness.  I can still see him banging on an old typewriter on a small table pushed up against the wall in a bull ring surrounded by other reporters and nameless staff.  Of all the major television anchors, Walter Cronkite was king in my book.  Not just because we shared the same (November 4) birthday, but I admired his print background as a war correspondent for United Press. In those days having worked at newspapers gave news anchors extra credibility.        

The first network news program was broadcast in May of 1942 over WCBS-TV. I should point out that the early history of claims regarding “the first” is cloudy fame. But still the consensus is that this was the time and place.  And who was the “anchorman” for that historic broadcast?  None other than Milo Boulton.  Remember the name.

Milo Boulton.

Thursday, June 1, 2017


During the 1940s (a decade we older people refer to as “The War Years”) German submarines lurked in the Atlantic Ocean waters just off the east coast of the United States. Today one of them, U -576, lies underseas 35 miles or so off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. When that sub was discovered in 2014 it came as news to many that World War Two was fought so close to our own shores. Not all of us were surprised however. Walking the New Jersey beaches as kids during the 40s we had to use a can of turpentine placed near the bottom step of the boardwalk to remove “tar” from our feet. That black mess had ominously floated ashore from ships torpedoed by enemy submarines.

If you were in grammar or high school during those years you were lucky. Too young for military service yet old enough to take advantage of home front freedom, grassy green though we were. There was an additional benefit to living in New Jersey or right next door in Pennsylvania.

By and large censorship kept the general public in the dark about the war. There were propaganda films and selected film footage shown in weekend “newsreels” at local movie theaters. Most citizens were believers in “a slip of the lip can sink a ship.” Try that one on today where “leaks” are a way of life with the media.

As opposed to earlier generations, youngsters ages 12 to 16 were given previously unknown freedom during the 1940s. It was possible to pile a large gang into an old car – much like the clowns did in the soon-to-be-late Barnum & Bailey Circus – or hitchhike south to the Jersey shore some 65 miles away. Coast Guard sailors patrolled the Jersey sands on lookout for Nazi saboteurs. In fact, German landing parties actually made it to New York and Florida, although they were all apprehended. Rumors of potential enemy presence held a great promise of excitement for youngsters. We hid out in the sand dunes to avoid the Coast Guardsmen (more accurately their dogs.)  

Happily, none of us were ever discovered. No Nazi made it into Somers Point or Ocean City. Plus, we won World War Two.

End of story.