Capital Citizen with Clinton Yates (Mar. 17)

Mar 17, 2014

Local columnist Clinton Yates takes your questions about politics, pop culture, people and whatever else you like from D.C.

Thanks for joining us today, folks. It's another snowy Monday, but the NCAA men's hoops brackets are out if you're into that sort of thing.

Also, early voting for the D.C. mayoral race started today, so you know, early/often etc...

Let's get started.

Is this normal? Why does it feel like we did something extra to deserve this level of snow, because I can't stand it.

On a basic level? Not really. According to the Capital Weather Gang this is the third biggest snow on record this late in the season. But I have another theory. I think that ever since they decided to move daylight saving time back a couple weeks, the notion of snowstorms after has given us a naturally different feeling.

The days become longer, your mind starts to prepare for spring, so to then get hit with a semi-vicious amount of the white stuff is a double downer. 

Honestly, though, it's kind of nice today. And it's actually a fair number of inches. It was a smart move to cancel things last night, and if you're planning on reveling today, you don't have to feel that guilty about it if you never went to work to begin with.

Do you have a St. Patrick's Day tradition? If not, where should I take my friends for happy hour?

I'm not Irish, so no, in fact, I don't. I actually think that as far as "drinking holidays" go in terms of American tradition, St. Patrick's Day is on the "amateur hour" medal stand, right up there with New Year's Eve. 

But tonight, I'd just suggest you stay closest to home. The weather might not be completely awful, but I wouldn't suggest carrying out that multi-step barcrawl if you don't absolutely have to.

Is it just me, or is that weather video on Vimeo that people are sharing en masse just not that funny? Is that okay? Also, how do you think DC-area teams will do in the NCAAs?

I happen to think it's funny, but then again, the guy who made it is a friend of mine, so I can just laugh at/with him. Sure, maybe the actual concept is funnier than the execution, but it's a viral video. We're not talking about handing out Emmys. 

As for the NCAA's? My answer is pretty basic: poorly. I'l be beyond shocked if AU beats Wisconsin, and GWU will have their hands full with Memphis.

If you want to expand that out to Virginia and VCU, I think this could be a letdown year for VCU, but if Virginia's defense keeps it up, they become extremely hard to beat. 

Do Vince Gray and his master spin artist Chuck Theis legitimately believe their lies at this point? Do they think anyone else believes them?

Well, whenever you talk about a candidate and their campaign manager, you need to take two things into account. One: the candidate is running to win. Two: the other is being paid to help the candidate achieve the goal.

In short, it doesn't matter what anyone on Gray's staff actually thinks, as they are paid to communicate a message.

Also, it's not clear that Gray has really lied about anything. I think what the Mayor hasn't done is taken into account the fact that many people don't in fact care about whether or not he's lying, they just not that at this point, it happened. A lot of voters consider that a stain, and the polls have shown as much.

I happened to catch Jim Graham on NewsTalk this morning. Did he really say that elected officials shouldn't be responsible for the actions of their staff?

Yeah, I saw this and found that to be very bizarre.

Graham was basically trying to distance himself from the fact that Ted Loza, one of his former aides pleaded guilty in connection with a potential bribe situation involving the taxi industry. Which for one, to me, is beyond arrogant, and actually pretty scary.

If elected officials are responsible for the people they hire, then what is the point of having public officials at all? Or for that matter, how do you prevent abuse of that if such a norm is standard?

Jim Graham, not dissimilar to Vince Gray, seems to the think that being on the exactly side of the letter of the law is more important than the overall impression things give, fairly or not. I don't thing he's right about that.

I'm using my snow day to watch a saved by the bell marathon. Do you have a favorite episode??

That's not a show I ever watched, so no. What's yours?

What is your theory on the disappearance of MH370?

Oy. Theories are difficult because you don't want to irresponsible sound like an idiot, but I do find it extremely quizzical that in 2014, planes can just "get lost" altogether.

 I'll say this, though. If they ever find that plane, or any of the potential survivors, I'll be shocked.

You've said you have always had a soft spot for radio and now do appearances as a contributor for WTOP. Despite the fact that they really go hand-in-hand, I have to ask: which was your first love: writing or broadcast radio?

The truth is that I have a whole lot more than a soft spot for radio. I love it. Simple as that.

My first love, though? That's hard to say because I've realized over the years that I liked certain forms of writing before I ever really realized it from a storytelling standpoint. Radio as entertainment was kind of a separate thing. Not to say they're not related, but I think you get my meaning.

It was what initially motivated me to get into the actual business of media though, which is something I've said before. Writing however, is something that I don't know what I'd do if I suddenly lost the ability to do it. I'd probably be a really unhappy person.

What is your favorite movie of all time?

Probably The Godfather Part II. But I'm also not the kind of person that has to think a movie is "good" to really enjoy it. Although, that flick is awesome, IMO. Beyond how well I think it's executed.

March Madness! Who you got?

I could see Michigan State winning it all this year.

By the way, if you've lived in the Northeast for any amount of time the 30 for 30 from last night "Requiem for the Big East" was an asbolute must-watch. Such a great story about how a conference was made under very specific circumstances, and then eventually collapsed due to a combination of greed and demand.

The Post has made a bunch of offseason acquisitions. Who do you expect will have the biggest impact on the 2014 squad?

Haha, our now bi-weekly question about the company softball team. 

I'll say one thing, we lost Eric Detweiler from the outfield, after he took a job in North Carolina, and that's a huge deal. His UZR was off the charts.

There are so many new additions this season that it's tough to say who's automatically going to have the most impact. That's the fun part!

I think we're going to wrap up here, but thanks again for the questions. Hopefully the next time we talk it'll actually be warm outside. Have a good week, all.

In This Chat
Clinton Yates
Clinton Yates is a D.C. native and an online columnist. He was born at GWU hospital the week before Ronald Reagan ended up there for the wrong reasons. When he's not covering the city, pop culture or listening to music, he watches sports. A lot of them.
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