If Ted Simons were a jazzman, he'd be Paul Desmond, the longtime alto saxophonist for pianist Dave Brubeck and a master of the melodic and understated amid the tumult. Simons is so well informed about local politics and Issues with a capital (and Capitol) I that it's scary sometimes. Maybe he forgets stuff as soon as he's done with an interview, but somehow we doubt that. The unflappable and fair-minded Simons continues to stand out as a straight-shooter and general good egg in a media market increasingly dominated by uniformed screamers. He makes people feel comfortable on the set, even when he's asking the occasional tough question. For this, we applaud him — loudly.