"You people have lost your minds!"

I nearly jumped out of my skin. A nice and quiet Saturday in the office was suddenly interrupted by a very loud and obviously very angry John Hammer. I had my back to the door and thought I was in our world-wide headquarters in the Elston Building all alone. Obviously that was wrong.

"Wow, John. Let me catch my breath a sec-"

"What in the world do you people do, Timmons? Do you have meetings to figure out how to cover the most inconsequential news there is?"

For those who don't know, John Hammer is a rather large man who's worked hard for a living. He's on the south end of a life that looks like it's weathered a rough patch or three. His girth pretty much fills up my door frame. His hands, hard and calloused, are as big as hams. He's got more common sense than most and when he talks, not only do people listen, they should. He carries the wisdom of a generation that's been there, done that.

"John, it sounds like you've got some-"

"What the hell is wrong with you media types?" His voice boomed through a quiet and deserted third floor. Usually I enjoy my quiet Saturday mornings because I tend to get a lot of work done. Right now I was wishing there were witnesses.

"John, what are you talking about?"

"Obama and that attorney general from out west. Don't you know?"

Oh. The man they call the Hammer must've read some of the media carping over President Obama's comment about California's Attorney General Kamala Harris. Our president made mention of the rather obvious fact that Ms. Harris is an attractive woman. Some newspaper columnists had a field day harpooning the chief executive over such a politically incorrect gesture.

"Well John, in today's world-"

"We've lost our minds," the Hammer completed my sentence. Not exactly where I was going.

"Oh come on, John. I think-"

"You guys think you know it all," Hammer said, continuing to take my comments where he wanted. "There used to be a day when it wasn't against the law to tell someone they looked nice. Hell Timmons, I don't much care for Obama. But I don't like him because of important things, his socialist agenda, his ridiculous health care plan, the direction he's taking the economy, the country. But saying someone is good looking? Really? That's where you guys in the media draw the line? Losing jobs overseas? A national debt that increases more by the second than I used to make a year? More of our debt held by China? A Social Security system that's could implode? Hell, even that loud-mouth kid acting as a leader in North Korea? All that and you guys spend time on him complimenting a woman?"

"I'm not-"

"Thinking. You and all your media pals aren't thinking of anything except how to continue to lose touch with the American people. That's the problem, Timmons. Obama didn't do anything wrong. This is as stupid as that sports guy who said the Alabama quarterback's girlfriend was good looking. No one's putting anyone down. No one's saying anything bad. No one's being rude to women. Since when is it wrong to pay someone a compliment? Are we so far down the rabbit hole that we can't say someone's good-looking? Timmons, listen to me."

I was.

"You media types have to stop this. We have problems in this country, always have. And we've always come together and found ways to fix our problems, or at least found ways to work together and get by. We used to talk about prosperity and dreams. Now, our problems are growing and instead of helping get things back on track, the media is blowing little crap out of proportion so far that it overshadows the real stuff. You need to fix it and fix it now."

With that, the Hammer turned and was gone. I wondered if he realized how many people, both inside and outside the media, agreed with him but just didn't know what to do about it?

Two cents, which is about how much Timmons said his columns are worth, appears periodically on Tuesdays in The Paper. Timmons is the publisher of The Paper and can be reached at ttimmons@thepaper24-7.com.