Written by Robert McMillan Friday, 22 January 2010 00:00
Over the last two and one half years, I have often said to myself, “Thank God I have this column to write.”
Now, you might ask where am I coming from with that kind of thought? Well, it is simple. As an issue developed, we would thrash it out in a positive way on my TV show – Face-Off. Starting n May of 1993 I co-hosted the show with Larry Levy for fourteen years. Larry was a columnist and political editor for Newsday. Larry is now at Hofstra University where he heads the National Center for Suburban Studies.
Over the years, we covered everything from local politics to national issues with our guests ranging from local level legislators to United States Senators. As a new issue developed, producers for Face-Off would reach out to people Larry and I would suggest for the show. We always tried to be civil in our approach and provide more light than heated exchanges.
Today, with everything from healthcare to Afghanistan and from an enormous Federal budget deficit to the growing concerns about the realistic fixing of environmental challenges, this column every week gives me the opportunity to express myself.
Face-Off was a delight for me. After I left the show because my wife and I are spending more time in Florida, the show was cancelled. The cancellation has nothing to do with my leaving. It was the result of cuts across the board at WLIW-21 and its “parent company” WNET-13. In fact, there is, today, no local issue oriented programming on WLIW. That is too bad for people in the Metropolitan area.
What surprises me is, that even after two and one half years, there is hardly an event I attend on Long Island where someone does not approach me asking why Face-Off is no longer on TV?
Beyond the show enabling me to express myself on controversial issues, it was great to chat with guests off the camera. Both Larry and I met a large number of interesting people and even made new friends.
That is why being able to write this column for all 18 Anton Community Newspapers and reach 70 different Long Island communities keeps me thinking and accelerates my energy each week. Also, if you remember, two different columns of mine were read on the Internet in Australia and China with interesting comments and questions coming to me by email.
Another positive, as a result of writing this column each week, has been requests to speak at various Long Island organizations about everything from China to healthcare and from the Panama Canal to some of my life’s experiences.
When you stop thinking, it probably means you will stop living. Thank you for taking the time to read this column each week, and I welcome your comments.