Friday, September 15, 2006

This just in

Like many, I watched Katie Couric's debut last week on the "CBS Evening News," and I enjoyed it. I even took a bold step: I programmed the TiVo to record the "Evening News" every night instead of ABC's "World News." The latter has long been my evening newscast of choice, but my enthusiasm for it waned after Peter Jennings died last year, and waned still more through the Elizabeth Vargas interregnum and into the era of Charlie Gibson.

Guess what: I switched back to ABC. The Couric show is too -- how you say? -- squishy. And so far, at least, it is too little about hard news, too much about Katie Couric.

What's more, I found myself missing my old friends, the ABC correspondents: Betsy Stark, Brian Ross, Dan Harris, Jeffrey Kofman -- and, especially, the marvelous White House correspondent Martha Raddatz, whom I would marry if she weren't married and I weren't gay.

But what can I say? A year and more after his passing, I miss Peter Jennings. Fortunately, he lives on, thanks to the magic of television. Here is a "Daily Show" segment that starred a wonderfully game Peter Jennings.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Good word

"(And as an editor, I don't have to actually report or write the story, only to be tormented by demanding editors. It's easier being the tormenter!)"

-- Richard L. Berke, assistant managing editor for news, the New York Times

Monday, September 11, 2006

Mi so la

Can someone please help me understand what it is that is so very satisfying about the Nairobi Trio?

I notice that a YouTube commenter asks a very similar question on that page: "Why is this SO funny?" There's something mysterious and ineffable going on here. Or perhaps I overstate the case. When is a guy in a gorilla mask just a guy in a gorilla mask? (And a trenchcoat.) (And a derby.)

Okay, just one more question: Why, at one point, does the baton seemingly transform itself into a banana?

Sunday, September 10, 2006


It pleases me that the Chicago Bears blanked the Green Bay Packers today, 26-0, in Green Bay. I'm a Bear fan from way back, and I intensely dislike the Packers. Why? Mostly it's that very unflattering color scheme of theirs. If today's outcome keeps even one person from wearing a Packers jersey to the opera here in Madison, we will all be better off.

So bear down, Chicago Bears. The Chicago Symphony Orchestra and maestro Georg Solti bore down. But did they wear Bears jerseys as they were in the process of bearing down?