Finkelstein and Jesus

And now for something completely different.

Jesus was wandering around Jerusalem when he decided that he really needed a new robe.

After looking around for a while, he saw a sign for Finkelstein, the Tailor. So, he went in and made the necessary arrangements to have Finkelstein prepare a new robe for him.

A few days later, when the robe was finished, Jesus tried it on — and it was a perfect fit!  He asked how much he owed.

Finkelstein brushed him off: “No, no, for the Son of God there’s no charge! However, may I ask for a small favor. Whenever you give a sermon, perhaps you could just mention that your nice new robe was made by Finkelstein, the Tailor?”

Jesus readily agreed and as promised, extolled the virtues of his Finkelstein robe whenever he spoke to the masses.

A few months later while Jesus was again walking through Jerusalem , he happened to walk past Finkelstein’s shop and noted a huge line of people waiting for Finkelstein’s robes.  He pushed his way through the crowd to speak to him and as soon as Finkelstein spotted him he said: “Jesus, Jesus, look what you’ve done for my business! Would you consider a partnership?”

“Certainly,” replied Jesus. “Jesus & Finkelstein it is.”

“Oh, no,” said Finkelstein.”Finkelstein & Jesus. After all… I am the craftsman.”

“I understand, Mr. Finkelstein, but I am the son of God,” Jesus replied.

The two of them debated this for some time. Their discussion was long and spirited, but ultimately fruitful. They finally came up with a mutually acceptable compromise. A few days later.. the new sign went up over Finkelstein’s shop:



(Scroll down …)



(Scroll down …)



Photograph of the department store logo of Lord and Taylor


White House Chronicle

I was honored to be a panelist on the television show White House Chronicle, which was broadcast last weekend, and in what I believe to be a somewhat unusual step, is being re-broadcast again this weekend. The show is also published online at the show’s website, White House Chronicle.Steve O'Hearn on the White House Chronicle TV show

I had a total blast doing that show! I was very honored to be invited, and I was immensely impressed with the outstanding professionalism and integrity of everyone associated with WHC. And the other panelists – Bob Franken and Lauren Ashburn – are top notch in their respective areas of expertise and beyond. I was definitely with a very illustriuous group and it was a great privilege to be included.

One surprise to me was how incredibly funny everyone was! Llewellyn King is to be credited for a good-natured spirit that he instills in the show, a process that begins long before the show’s taping and made the entire experience very fun for me. It’s to his credit that the show is both relaxed and energetic at the same time, a rare combination that’s hard to foster, yet Llewellyn King makes it look easy. He’s well established as one of the most respected journalists in the business, but I’m not sure everyone is fully aware of what a great wit and fun individual he is.

Linda Gasparello exhibits great insight, and I know her to be quite innovative. Both she and Llewellyn are in tune with the quickly evolving state of technical changes in the industries of media and broadcasting, and the world at large. They recognize the current changes before other mainstream news outlets, and more than that, they recognize the potential implications in the future. Yet they are gracious enough to allow their guest panelists to share the spotlight. Each one of us had valuable contributions to share, all of which is to the credit of Mr. King and Ms. Gasparello.

Speaking of my fellow panelists, Bob Franken needs no introduction to news “consumers” like me, he’s one of the most accomplished journalists in the industry with impeccable credentials, not to mention a fantastic personality off camera as well. His insight into the state of technology goes far beyond what was able to be represented in this brief but power-packed broadcast, it was evident to me from the moment we all arrived at the studio that he’s on top of the major trends and more importantly – understands their implications and how best to navigate the future. And if Bob and Llewellyn ever decide to do a stand-up comedy act, I’ll be the first in line to buy tickets.

Lauren Ashburn is one of those remarkable and rare people to be a visionary and also to do something about it. She recognized the power of video on the web before most in the biz and oversaw USA Today’s work in that area while others were still figuring out what was going on. Many people talk the talk, Lauren is one of the rare few who have impacted the industry for the better in substantial ways. And if you happened to notice how much the camera loves her – and it does, everybody knows that – I can tell you this: she is even more of a babe in person. Yes, it is possible, I’m a witness.

If you view the program, you’ll see that I had a camcorder running during the broadcast itself. I began filming several minutes before the show began, and caught some interesting discussion before and after what you see in the broadcast. I’ll be coordinating the publication of that footage with the good folks at WHC in the very near future. Keep an eye out for it, and in the meantime, if you wish to be notified when it’s up, just follow me on Twitter, or send me a request via our online form, and I’ll be sure to let you know.

Shock drowning at 47 years old: R.I.P. Rajeev Motwani

I just read that Rajeev Motwani was found dead Friday in the pool of his Palo Alto home. Very bizarre.

Motwani was the 47 year old Stanford professor who served as inspiration and advisor to many Silicon Valley success stories. Google co-founder Sergey Brin posted a reflection on Motwani on his blog on Friday.

Perhaps we’ll hear more as a complete report of the cause of his death becomes public.

But in the meantime, the moral I get out of this is: no matter how much fun your life might be, no matter what impact you may or may not have on the world … life is short.

Live well.

Online Technology and Journalism

Today I met with my fellow members of the National Press Club’s “Joan Friedenberg Online Journalism Awards” committee. Together we selected the results for this year’s awards categories, to be officially announced by press release from the Club, later this year.

As good as previous years’ candidates have been, this year’s submissions were even more advanced, displaying better uses of technology, more innovating ways to integrate online capabilities into the reporting process and the news consumer experience.

But as close as the competition was, the overall results were virtually unanimous. Stay tuned for the results: they’ll be announced sometime in the next several weeks.