for 5 APR 10: Best in Show-Up
Many churches were crowded with worshipers and visitors Sunday. But only one could make the claim that it's the area's "Best All-Around" church. I'm not sure how you define that - but I'm assuming it does NOT offer special services for Jews and Muslims.
The station known for being the "News Leader" has been honoring the leaders of other areas in metro Columbus in recent days. WTVM's first "Best All-Around" awards were determined through online voting -- and yes, there was an award for best church. Did people vote based on the preaching? The music? Or the most effective air conditioning system, to keep everyone comfortable?
If you haven't checked the list of winners, you probably couldn't guess the Best All-Around church. It's not one of the big-name Columbus mega-churches, or even one with a TV broadcast. It's Smiths Station Baptist Church. Maybe it's because the church web site mentions regular blood pressure checks, but doesn't post any sermons.
To be fair: the Ledger-Enquirer's "Readers' Choice Awards" also has a church category. Last summer it honored three of the largest congregations in Columbus. But WTVM only honors one - and this one certainly was unexpected. Perhaps Smiths Station has the only area Baptist church encouraging members to watch TV newscasts.
Let's face it: both the newspaper and TV awards are popularity contests. If any business can get out the vote well, it's likely to win. I'm assuming that's what happened at Smiths Station Baptist - but I'm sure the "Best All-Around" plaque will look good next to a Ten Commandments marker.
How else do you explain another curious winner of a WTVM award? The "Best All-Around Criminal Defense Lawyer" for 2010 is none other than Mark Shelnutt -- who was too busy with his own trial in recent months to handle anyone else's cases.
This award clearly reflects the loyal support Mark Shelnutt had, during last year's trial where he was acquitted of all federal charges. But think about this - if Shelnutt really is the best criminal defense attorney, why did it hire someone in Atlanta to handle his defense?
By comparison, the Ledger-Enquirer has a generic "attorney" category -- and last year's top three were all relative unknowns. None of them have TV commercials or high-profile clients. And if they're not good enough to speak at news conferences announcing NAACP lawsuits....
There's also a disconnect when it comes to the top private school. Glenwood School celebrated winning Best All-Around -- but it wasn't in the top three on the Readers' Choice list. But then again, neither contest dared people to nominate the top PUBLIC school.
Let's face another fact here - these two contests are handled by television and newspaper sales departments. They hope a nice award will bring a nice self-promotional ad in response. That's why WTVM probably isn't concerned about the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail failing to win Best All-Around golf course - since those courses are all over TV already.
Yes, I know what some of you probably are saying - you didn't win an award for Best Web Site or Best Blogger. OK, that's true. But that's because neither WTVM nor the Ledger-Enquirer has categories for such things. The Readers' Choice award for columnists comes close - but my blog is set up only for a single-column format.
(Check the Ledger-Enquirer's list for columnists, and you'll find Bill O'Reilly was named over Kaffie Sledge or Sonya Sorich last year. Hopefully the local ladies won't take that as a slap. It might convince O'Reilly to overlook the next big prom scandal in our area.)
With congratulations to all winners, let's wrap up other notes from the weekend:
+ Columbus Police told the Ledger-Enquirer a 19-year-old man was robbed in the South Commons parking lot, near Golden Park. Yes, there apparently was crime at Spring Fling - and not from that carnival booth claiming to offer steak and lobster.
+ Dick McMichael's blog interviewed Rep. Sanford Bishop about his vote for the health care reform act. Bishop says he can't understand why Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue "doesn't want health care for all Georgians." Now hold on - I think the governor is for it. He simply wants people to go broke paying doctors directly, instead of going through the federal government.
+ Georgia Attorney General Thurbert Baker told National Public Radio he's a "little bit disappointed" by calls in the legislature for his impeachment. He'd be even more disappointed if there were actually enough upset lawmakers to take a vote on the idea.
+ Georgia linebacker Montez Robinson was arrested in Athens on domestic battery charges. The Macon Telegraph noted it's his third arrest in six months - and as a defensive player, Robinson ought to know how "three and out" works.
+ Instant Message to the North American Air Defense Command: You have some explaining to do. Where was your "Easter Bunny tracker," to match your "Santa tracker" in December? Or does the NORAD staff repent of lying every year, during Lent?
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