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Joe McQuaid's Publisher's Notebook: A word on Cain, then giving thanks


November 20. 2011 7:16PM

I was going to write about Herman Cain and the 'interview that wasn't' here at the Union Leader last Thursday, but it's not worth much ink. We had an earlier interview here with him and I found him a likeable, intelligent guy with a good sense of humor. But Cain is going nowhere fast this presidential season, so I will only say that (a) he is not well-served by his staff; and (b) it is funny that in an era when candidates complain about the drive-by media, the Cain campaign cancels an hour-long interview with the state newspaper.

Instead, I write about Thanksgiving.

My friend, John Harrigan, likes to note that Thanksgiving is a great holiday because you don't have to buy presents for anyone. At least, I think it's Harrigan who says that. Harrigan says so many things, I sometimes forget some. But I know I am thankful for John and his friendship, his fine columns for our Sunday News, and for his unique defense of the special place that is our North Country.

I am grateful at Thanksgiving for the men and women who labor with talent, tenacity, and strong coffee to write, report, create, print, bundle, and deliver this newspaper and its websites to New Hampshire and beyond. And let this be a warning to home-delivery subscribers of the Union Leader and Sunday News: We have a very big package of news, ads, and information coming your way this Thursday morning. Bend from the knees, please.

I am grateful that the Union Leader and most other New Hampshire newspapers remain independently owned and operated. I thought of this the other day when reading that longtime Concord Monitor Publisher George Wilson had died. His Monitor, and Lebanon Valley News, are worthy competitors and adversaries. It is no easy task to compete with the faceless and remote mass and massive media these days. But as a Granite Stater, I'm thankful so many do.

I am thankful at Thanksgiving for my health, creaky though it sometimes is. People who have their health are crazy to complain about every ache and pain. Wait a minute. If they are crazy, maybe they don't have their health? But you know what I mean. We all know people who carry, in dignity and silence, some very tough physical burdens. I am thankful for their example and their courage.

I am thankful for the America that celebrates this special holiday, although I'm not sure if public schools are allowed to teach just whom the Pilgrims were thanking, that long ago autumn. A friend went to a Thanksgiving rehearsal at a local Catholic school and was reminded of how nice it is that, at least there, God can be mentioned.

I am thankful for my family and I wish you and yours a happy Thanksgiving and I hope those with loved ones overseas in the service of our country will have them home soon, safe and sound.

Write to Joe McQuaid at

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