Updated: 8/16/15; 18:44:23

pedantic nuthatch
Life in a Northern Virginia suburb of Washington, D.C. B.M.A.T.C., and Etruscan typewriter erasers. Blogged by David Gorsline.

Sunday, 9 May 2004

Somehow, ABC has taken the television journalistic high ground from CBS. Netsurfer Digest reports on the flap over Ted Koppel's "The Fallen:"

If you're a patriotic American, so the reasoning goes, you practice ignorance of the soldiers killed in Iraq. Your government doesn't willingly release photos of returning dead and you don't publicize the names of the fallen. Well, ABC broadcaster Ted Koppel doesn't buy that. On the night of Apr. 30, he read the names and showed photographs of the more than 500 US servicemen killed in combat and 200 dead in accidents in Iraq since the start of the invasion of Iraq. Koppel has received much criticism ever since he announced his controversial plans. Koppel's critics accuse him of making a political statement or of a crass grab for ratings, which he vehemently denies. ABC says it's all about showing respect. Still, Sinclair Broadcasting refused to run the program on its eight ABC stations, although ABC managed to find ways around that boycott in most cases. In an interview at Poynter Online, Koppel explains why he decided to do this and why he's upset that after more than 24 years on the air, people could think he'd stoop to chasing ratings. ABC offers Koppel's list of names online with brief details but no pictures.

I respect the ladies and gentlemen who have lost their lives in what is a very bad business for us. They were doing their job; they were doing their duty.

The fact that there is alarm about losing 500 people, that there is alarm in the White House that citizens will be alarmed about losing 500 boys and girls—when I think of the thousands that we lost in Vietnam, well, I just become illiterate. I don't know what to say.

posted: 8:25:30 PM  

We did our over-the-hump performance weekend.

Today's show was sign-language interpreted (RCP uses some grant money to fund interpretation for one performance of each run). The man of the pair of signers did an excellent job of using his body to help you keep track of who was speaking: he would slouch against the proscenium for the stoner Shadow, and cross his legs at the knee for the somewhat queenly Jonas Slonaker. I watched him interpret Doc's last monologue, about the lights sparkling over Laramie, "It's the blue lights that's bouncing off the clouds from the airport and it goes tst tst tst tst... right over the whole city." The signer would make a little starburst with his hands for each "tst," and I started to tear up, watching this. I've never wept over that monologue before, and I think what it is, what makes me teary, is the re-collection, the re-cognition of a feeling through a different prism. A sad sight doesn't make me cry, but a description of the sight, when I already know all the words of the description, just might.

Leta saw the show last night, or saw most of it. She's fighting a cold, and hopped up on Benadryl, she dozed off during my Harry Woods monologue. I was disappointed because I am acquiring some pride in my work on that bit, and last night was really her only opportunity to see it in full performance.

So I came out into the lobby this afternoon, and there she was. At 2:20 this afternoon, she turned over the rehearsal she was directing (H.M.S. Pinafore for Victorian Lyric Opera Company) to her music director and choreographer and drove like a banshee to Reston to see the second and third acts of the show.

She earned some major girlfriend points today.

posted: 6:50:11 PM  

Laura Miller on bailing out on a book that you've lost interest in:

Some might see this as evidence of a culturewide case of literary attention-deficit disorder, but it's hard to justify time wasted in the reading of unloved books.

posted: 6:33:26 PM  

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