WHY I’M A CARTOONIST — …and not a public speaker. It’s far to easy to make a fool out of yourself these days. Especially in a world of talk radio and sports talk radio (where it seems it doesn’t matter what you say, as long as you say it loudest and longest) and television (you’d think pundits would have learned from the election to just keep quiet until they’ve got the facts right).

Case in point: On a local news broadcast the other day, a piece of fluff about a Seattle basketball star who was performing in "The Nutcracker" was thrown in on the end of the show. "But you didn’t tell us if he had a speaking part," the news anchor quipped to the sports anchor. "It doesn’t say here," said the puzzled sports reporter. "But I’m sure he did."

Which would have made this perhaps the first performance of the Nutcracker ballet ever to include speaking parts.

Second case in point: I love football. I think it’s a magnificent sport, and with the season winding down, it is the ONLY thing that can get me to listen to the inanity that so often is sports talk radio.

One national broadcaster was splicing in Christmas songs between very loud sports opinions, when Mel Torme’s "The Christmas Song" came on.

"Take that garbage off," shouted the announcer, who began a five-minute rant. "Where’s the Nat King Cole original? That’s the problem with Christmas songs! Too many cheap imitations!"

Being called a "cheap imitation" mayhap would have surprised the late Mel Torme, who WROTE "The Christmas Song"…

Happy Holidays, everyone!

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