Bakst hits the road

M. Charles, a bright light amongst columnists, will be missed at the Other Paper
By PHILLIPE AND JORGE  |  September 10, 2008

We echo the words of BeloJo columnist Bob Kerr when he wrote last week that local readers, and especially political junkies, will miss M. Charles Bakst when he retires after more than 40 years at the institution he’s worked for nearly his entire adult life. P&J regularly hear people complain about Charlie, where he stands on issues, how they find him “annoying” etc. To that, we say, “So what!”

At Casa Diablo, we believe that Vo Dilunduhs have been truly fortunate to have had such a hardworking, passionate, and courageous journalist in our midst for all these years.

Think about churning out three columns, week after week, for years. We know a little something about that, so take our word for it: the hard work and dedication it takes to produce work of the quality of Charlie Bakst’s on a regular basis is beyond impressive. This guy is a workhorse, a hardcore newsman who cuts no corners and does it the old-fashioned way — he works.

Of course, Charlie has always accused Phillipe & Jorge of just “making up” the stuff we write. We’re not upset about this. We just wish that Charlie wouldn’t broadcast our trade secrets.

In particular, Charlie’s heartfelt advocacy for those who seek fairness and equality — immigrants and same-sex couples, who merely wish to have the same right to marry as the hetero majority — will be missed. Beyond Bob Kerr, we don’t expect to see this sort of passionate defense of civil rights in the pages of the Other Paper again.

Yes, you (and we) will miss M. Charles Bakst. He has been a paragon of everything that is good and vital about our daily newspapers, and an inspiration to print news people throughout the region. 

Farewell to Faye
Your superior correspondents were further saddened to hear that Faye Zuckerman, the irrepressible and indefatigable correspondent for all manner of fundraisers and social events, is also leaving the BeloJo.

One would have to have a heart of stone not to smile when you saw Faye out on the town, covering her beat. She was also among that rare reporters who would actually mention P&J in here columns. It’s amazing she wasn’t fired. We love you, Faye.

Palin’s not so special
There was an interesting and revealing article in Sunday’s New York Times on a promise of sorts made by Republican Vice Presidential candidate Sarah “Darwin” Palin during her acceptance speech at the GOP convention in St. Paul.

Addressing the parents of children with special needs, she claimed that they would “have a friend and advocate in the White House.” Perhaps she was referring to the family pet, Nancy the Wonder Moose, because nothing in her public record indicates that she would be a friend to folks with disabilities.

Palin’s alleged understanding of disability issues would seem to be based entirely on the fact that she is the recent mother of a special-needs child — her son, Trig — who has Down syndrome. We suspect that most folks would not consider her cutting the state’s Special Olympics budget in half to be part of her pledge of advocacy for children with special needs.

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Related: Beating the press, Harold Wells made up this headline, too, If words could kill, More more >
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