Ellis Henican Newsday columnist Ellis Henican

Henican is a columnist for Newsday. He also is a political analyst at the Fox News Channel and the host of a nationally syndicated weekend show on the Talk Radio Network. Show More

Some things are best left to professionals.

Things like brain surgery. And signing for the hearing-impaired. And international diplomacy.

Thankfully, no untrained amateurs were caught last week donning scrubs and drilling into anyone's skull. But we did have a very strange man at Nelson Mandela's memorial flapping his hands like a couple of live fish on a griddle, and Dennis Rodman is heading back to North Korea.

What? You thought the Worm's latest turn at diplomacy might be delayed by Kim Jong Un's decision to execute his own uncle, Jang Song Thaek? Think again. Dennis didn't become such a PR menace by worrying about what other people thought. This time, he's promising basketball diplomacy for the crazy Korean leader's 31st birthday. Need proof of how ridiculous all this is? Donald Trump has been defending Dennis.

You see, that's the thing with these barefaced amateurs. Not one of them has the sense to pull down the shades and stay inside.

In South Africa, Thamsanqa Jantjie tried to pass himself off as a sign-language interpreter at one of the highest-profile events ever. World leaders were there. The rest of the planet was watching on TV. And there was Flappy Jantjie, standing inches from our president, signing nothing but total gibberish.

Still no one can say why.

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But this much is certain from Pyongyang to Johannesburg: Some jobs really aren't for amateurs.



1. Saxophonist Bill Clinton

2. Regular guy Mitt Romney

3. Star Spangled singer Roseanne Barr

4. 2013 NY Mets, Jets, Knicks, Nets and Islanders

5. Drunken SantaCon Santas


ASKED AND UNANSWERED: Who asks better questions than Alan Alda? This year's Flame Challenge at Stony Brook University's Center for Communicating Science: How do you explain color to an 11-year-old? . . . If Nassau County's becoming Hollywood East, as Ed Mangano says, where does that leave the celebrity-choked Hamptons? Hollywood Far East? . . . Should DA Kathleen Rice change the name of her anti-prostitution "Flush the Johns" sting? How 'bout "Flush the Charges"? Two more cases just went kaput . . . Who knew soccer moms and dads had so much spare cash? Feds say "con artist" Robert Rocco built a $5 million Ponzi scheme inside the Dix Hills Soccer Club . . . 300,000 oxycodone pills between 2010 and 2012? The DEA says East Islip physician Carmine Mandarano was quite a busy scriptwriter . . . Did the thieves even know the truck they stole from Bay Shore's South Fehr Way was packed with toys for sick kids? Cops will find the truck, but where are the toys now?

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THE NEWS IN SONG: I seem to be what I'm not: "The Great Pretender" by Freddie Mercury, tinyurl.com/whodatfred




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There are so many networking groups on Long Island, they probably ought to form their own networking group. But only a few of these, like Adrian's Network, keep growing and attracting top professionals. A big part of the reason must be the utter authenticity and boundless energy of Adrian Miller, a veteran sales trainer from Port Washington who nurtures what she calls "freestyle networking with real results." There they were the other night, packed into a lounge on Manhattan's Upper West Side, a couple of hundred lawyers, accountants, financial planners and other business folks, a solid majority from Long Island, talking up their businesses and actually listening to each other. And there was Miller, smiling, circulating, making introduction, taking care that no one left without a few fresh contacts and a fat stack of business cards.

Email Ellis@henican.com

Follow on Twitter @henican