Friday, October 28, 2005

The Waiting Game...

No, not for indictments in the Valerie Plame case. We're talking about changes to network news programs.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Blogging banned... one New Jersey high school.

Hit the books!

In this corner, Monster Microsoft. In this corner, Giant Google. Now hit the books...not each other!

Are Judith Miller's days numbered?

If the answer is at the New York Times, it appears to be "yes."

The new chief of CBS News...

...comes from CBS Sports.

Is it a number or a milestone?

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Federal shield law update

Reporters testify on Capitol Hill...

"The Greatest Game Ever Played"

I admit to being somewhat amused at the amount of attention that has been given this week to last Saturday's USC-Notre Dame football game. (An important confession -- I am a graduate of USC.)

I didn't watch every second of it, but there is no doubt that the excitement of that game -- especially its last five minutes -- was about as real as it gets in today's overly-commercialized, overly-hyped, overly-televised world of sports. That might have something to do with the two teams having a real rivalry...not some media-generated claim of such, but I digress.

What has caused me to shake my head over the past few days is the media-generated "was this the best game ever?" discussion. I admire the professionalism of these journalists, but I think a reasonable person would admit that there is no way to possibly answer that question...just two, three or four days after the game was played. Or maybe ever.

Let me give you an example -- I've loved sports since I was a child, and I think the most exciting, "best" game I ever saw was the 1990 USC-UCLA football game. The quarterbacks -- USC's Todd Marinovich and UCLA's Tommy Maddox -- were absolutely sensational. Each threw for about 2,000 yards...oh, wait, that's hype; I'm trying to avoid that :) I was at the Rose Bowl that day and my memories of what I saw remain vivid.

The best "championship" game I ever saw was 7th game of the 1991 World Series between the Minnesota Twins and the Atlanta Braves. I've always admired great pitchers, especially those who deliver a super performance in a big game. The 10 shutout innings that Twins' pitcher Jack Morris threw in that decisive final game is a feat that baseball fans can relish for many years to come. I watched it on television, and, man, I wish I could have been inside the Metrodome that night.

Any reader with a wealthier experience of sports at this point can legitimately say "Hey, wait a minute, you're forgetting about..." And off the top of my head, any of the following might apply: The great Pittsburgh Steelers/Dallas Cowboys rivalry of the 1970s, Notre Dame-Michigan State and the 10-10 tie, the 1980 U.S.A.-U.S.S.R. Olympic hockey game, the 1958 NFL championship game between the Baltimore Colts and the New York Giants, the 6th game of the 1975 World Series between the Boston Red Sox and the Cincinnati Reds, the 1981 NFC championship game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Dallas Cowboys...and the list goes on.

And that is my point. It is almost impossible to quantify what makes a single game the "best ever." So, perhaps we should give up trying and simply enjoy what we see. If a particular game or a particular player registers in our mind as "the best," so be it. Why shouldn't that be good enough?

60 a couple more

60 minuites will still be the overall length of this week's 60 Minutes program. But there will be a few more minutes of content. I'm interested to see if the reason behind it is troubling to anyone.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Coverage of the Supreme Court

A press release from the Radio-Television News Directors' Association, and its call for better radio and television coverage of the U.S. Supreme Court.

RTNDA Asks Chief Justice To Allow
Radio and Television Coverage of Supreme Court
WASHINGTON—The Radio-Television News Directors Association has asked John G. Roberts, Jr., newly appointed Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, to allow radio and television coverage of Court proceedings.
In a letter to Roberts, RTNDA president Barbara Cochran said, “Just as the public is given meaningful access to an overwhelming number of state courts through audiovisual coverage, it should be given meaningful access to the arguments made before this Court, many of which involve profound social, political and legal issues. Chief Justice Rehnquist recognized the merits of allowing the citizenry to witness the events taking place inside the Court when, in response to requests from RTNDA and others, he released audiotapes of the oral arguments in Bush vs. Gore.”
Cochran went on to say that audio coverage, while welcome, is not enough in this day and age: “As an initial matter, RTNDA hopes that you will make the public release of audiotapes of Supreme Court oral arguments your standard practice…In the present day, however, meaningful access necessarily means televised proceedings…only television has the ability to provide the public with a close visual and aural approximation of actually witnessing judicial proceedings without physical attendance. When electronic coverage is banned, the public is forced to depend on secondhand accounts filtered by the perceptions of reporters, which necessarily limits their understanding of the judicial process.”
Roberts said during his confirmation hearings that he was open to the idea of televising Supreme Court proceedings.
RTNDA supports legislation introduced by Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) to allow television and radio coverage of the Supreme Court. Cosponsors of the bipartisan bill include Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Charles Schumer (D-NY), Charles Grassley (R-IA), Russell Feingold (D-WI), John Cornyn (R-TX) and George Allen (R-VA).
Please visit to read Cochran’s letter. You can see a complete history of RTNDA’s efforts to open up the courts at
RTNDA is the world’s largest professional organization devoted exclusively to electronic journalism. RTNDA represents local and network news executives in broadcasting, cable and other electronic media in more than 30 countries.

Bob Edwards is going strong...

...who needs NPR when you are still THE voice to listen to in the morning.

Coo-per! Coo-per! Coo-per!

At least one columnist says he's seen enough of the Anderson Cooper mania.

Cuts at newspapers big and small

Not the best "news" that a newspaper can deliver...but necessary, some say.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005