Friday, April 22, 2005

Like I've Said, You Just Never Know Who You'll Influence

I've said something like that somewhere on this darn thing...

This is from a Mike Drew column in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal last year. I bring it out in part as a continued tip of the cap to my friend Jerry. BTW... don't take this as a pro-Michael Moore post (I like some of his stuff, but not all of it), just a good story.

Taff said that when he started in broadcasting, "a guy took me under his wing
and taught me the business. He said, 'Pass it on,' and I said I'd do that.
"It's been such a joy. I should have been a teacher. I take kids on stories
and into the studio, and when I'm through they know everything I know."
Then, the big surprise. Taff recalled a Davison (Mich.) school board
election in the early 1970s, when he was anchoring and doing commentary on Flint
television. Taff said: "Michael Moore, 17, with the amazing mind we see today,
was elected to the board. But it wouldn't seat him because of his age, though
nothing in the rules demanded that. So my commentary said, 'We'll be on you,
until you seat him.' "The next day I got a call from a little bitty voice.
It was Mike, asking if he could come down and shake my hand. I said, 'sure,' and
three carloads of kids showed up. Mike and the rest were intensely curious about
learning news and how to use film. For a year and a half, twice a week, they
showed up. He'd grown up around United Auto Workers feeling sorry for
themselves, and he said, 'I'm going to show the world.'
"One day, years later, he was filming in Milwaukee, and I asked him if he remembered me. He introduced me to the group around him as 'the man who taught me to have courage.' I wish I'd taught him to have a little more balance."
Quite a story, but it demanded verification. A couple of days later I got it, from
Moore. Moore wrote of Taff: "He was the one media person in a town dominated
by General Motors to have the courage to report the truth."

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