| James Carroll "Jim" Beam|
(Lake Charles American Press retired editor and columnist)
|Born|| October 7, 1933 |
Long-term resident of Lake Charles
|Spouse|| Joann M. Beam|
James Carroll Beam, known as Jim Bean (born October 7, 1933), is a long-time newspaperman from Lake Charles, Louisiana, who is a staunch advocate for Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards. Though retired since 1999 as editor of The Lake Charles American Press, he has long continued to write columns and editorials for the publication.
Beam is the son of Charlie C. Beam (1905-1982) and the former Carrie Welch (1906-1979). His parents and a brother, David W. Beam (1939-1992), are interred at Orange Grove Cemetery in Lake Charles. Beam and his wife, Joann M. Beam (born November 1934), have at least two children, Joann D. Bean and Bryan Carroll Beam (born September 24, 1962), a Democratic former member of the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury.
Born in nearby Cameron in coastal Cameron Parish, Beam graduated in 1951 from LaGrange High School in Lake Charles. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from McNeese State University (then College) in Lake Charles. From 1955 to 1957, he served in the United States Army. From 1958 to 1961, he was a teacher in the Calcasieu Parish public schools. In 1962, he obtained a Master of Arts in history from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. He penned a thesis on U.S. Representative Arsene P. Pujo (1861-1939), a Democrat who held the since defunct 7th congressional district seat from 1903 to 1913.
In 1961, Beam became a reporter for The American Press and was promoted to city editor in 1965, to co-editor in 1982, and editor in 1992. Since 1975, Beam has covered the Louisiana legislature and writes regular political columns which have won awards from the Louisiana Press Association, the Louisiana-Mississippi Associated Press, and the Louisiana State Medical Society. His publications include Positively Beaming, a collection of 110 of his favorite columns, and A Matter of Trust, an excerpt of his Master’s Thesis that appeared in the Fall 1994 issue of The Tulane Lawyer. In 2000, Jim Beam was selected by the Advertising and Press Club to be the first “Lake Area Legend.” Although officially retired as editor, Beam continues to covers the state legislature and write editorials for The American Press. In 2017, Beam, along with former state House Speaker Jimmy Dimos of Monroe, lobbyist Maurice Mapes, and West Monroe Mayor Dave Norris, was inducted in the Louisiana Political Museum and Hall of Fame in Winnfield.
Most beyond Lake Charles have learned of Beam through the Moon Griffon radio talk show; now a sharp Beam critic, Griffon earlier had expressed admiration for the editor's independence. The website The Hayride: Southern Politics and Culture in 2012 dubbed Beam "a wolf in sheep's clothing," a columnist who "hides behind the so-called mainstream mantra, when clearly [his] opinions are liberal." Bean has proposed means testing of the state Taylor Opportunity Scholarship Program, named for the New Orleans businessman Patrick F. Taylor (1937-2004). TOPS has been a particular benefit of the middle class. The Hayride claimed that Beam is trying to foment class warfare.
To discredit Beam, one only needs to review the amount of money appropriated to education over the past twenty years and insert the results. The conclusion is more money does not equal better education!
Beam blames the TOPS formula that allows any student, regardless of his parents economic position, to receive financial assistance if they complete the TOPS curriculum requirements. He says it discriminates against the poor as it allows anyone to participate. So, according to Beam’s illogic, a government program that only requires the applicant to meet its criteria and doesn’t disqualify a person based [upon] race, gender, political preference, religion, or wealth is still discriminatory. This is a classic example of liberals only wanting equality when it suits their argument. To them, equality means there must be a victim and someone to blame.
The real problem is the failure to hold our higher educational administrators accountable. The biggest flaw in the TOPS program is that it allows higher education a pot of cash each time the Legislature trims the.budget because with each budget cut from the Legislature comes with a tuition increase from the universities. When tuition increases, TOPS must increase the benefit – allowing the higher education leaders to pillage the taxpayers rather than becoming more efficient. And that is the problem with government.Until the government becomes more efficient and Louisiana’s journalists like Beam write the truth, we will only see a further expansion of liberal ideas and failed policies.
- Beam's column challenging the claim by LSU journalism professor Robert Townley "Bob" Mann that Louisiana is "a sick and dying state."
- James Beam. Mylife.com. Retrieved on February 20, 2018.
- Jim Beam Biographical Sketch. Ereserves.mcneese.edu. Retrieved on February 20, 2018.
- Charlie C. Beam. Oldfindagrave.com. Retrieved on February 20, 2018.
- Bryan C. Beam. Intelius.com. Retrieved on February 20, 2018.
- Greg Hilburn (March 11, 2017). La.'s political legends take their place in Hall of Fame. The Monroe News-Star. Retrieved on February 20, 2018.
- Liberal Jim Bean: Wolf in Sheep's Clothing - The Hayride. Thehayride.com (December 31, 2012). Retrieved on February 20, 2018.
- Jim Beam (September 14, 2017). Is Louisiana 'sick and dying'?. Retrieved on February 20, 2018.