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News: Versace, Bush and PBS, Bully, Boston DJ, Hairspray

road.jpg George W. bush tries to eliminate the $420 million federal subsidy for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. House rejects his bid by a vote of 357-72.

Versaceroad.jpg The NYT' Cathy Horyn recalls the days surrounding the Versace murder: "Ten years on, I asked [publicist Ed] Filipowski what stands out in his mind from that week. He and his partner, Julie Mannion, were inside the house the whole time, and Ms. Mannion had stayed with Versace’s body in the morgue, at his sister’s request, until she and her brother Santo could arrive from Italy. Mr. Filipowski thought for a moment and said: 'How personal and private they kept everything — that’s what I remember. With everything that was going on outside. It was: 'Our brother is dead.''"

road.jpg Bonding: John Travolta's dance with 007.

road.jpg Was NYC's steam explosion caused by human error? "CBS 2 HD learned that on June 10th, Con Edison was doing work at the very corner of 41st Street and Lexington Avenue where the explosion occurred. Crews were called to replace an eight-inch section of steam pipe that had sprung a leak."

road.jpg Rockstar's Bully videogame coming to the Wii.

road.jpg Good Morning Baltimore: Hairspray hits its home town.

Scottroad.jpg Gay Boston DJ Barry Scott brutalized as police attack, claiming DJ "incited a riot" among partygoers following the officers' arrival on a noise complaint. Lawyer: "What it was motivated by was clearly rage that was out of control, and virtually every witness that I've interviewed thus far would confirm and corroborate that. This officer and his companion acted out of complete rage." More here and here.

road.jpg Is this really artist Jenny Holzer's "Twitter" account?

road.jpg Hillary Clinton cancels West Virginia campaign appearances at gay businesses, citing logistical problems.

road.jpg Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith to host "Welcome to L.A." party for the Beckhams at L.A.'s Museum of Contemporary Art this weekend.

road.jpg Fire Island dance festival opens this weekend: "Fire Island Dance Festival 13, running this weekend, will feature six world premieries along with emcees Whoopi Goldberg, Michael McElroy and Phylicia Rashad. Battleworks Dance Company, CorbinDANCES, MOMIX, Tapaholics, Trey McIntyre Project and choreographer Darrel Grand Moultrie will each present a world premiere. Other performers include Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, The Chase Brock Experience, Jorge Guzman & Willem De Vries, Pascal Rioult Dance Company and Travis Wall & Ivan Koumaev."

road.jpg How Michael Jackson might look today without all the plastic surgery.

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Comments

  1. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting should be shut down. It's an anachronism from the broadcast TV era—when only a very limited band of frequencies were available for broadcasting.

    In the age of cable—and 1,000 channels of nothing—there is no longer a need for the federal government to fund the type of "highbrow" programming that has such a small audience it needs to be protected. All programming is now niche marketing, and all the valuable programming PBS ever provided is now commercially viable.

    Children's shows; educational programs about science, history, and different cultures; theater, dance and classical music; political reporting and round-tables; classic films; British imports; gay-themed shows; local news and cultural programs—all of these are now readily available on commercial television. Most of them have their own channel or channels, and some of those channels even present programs without commercial interruption.

    The only reason PBS is still around is because it's a sacred cow to liberal, well-educated voters/viewers. I don't often agree with king George, but it's well past time to defund the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

    Posted by: 24play | Jul 20, 2007 2:25:37 PM


  2. While it's true that PBS's programming is not replicated on cable or network TV, PBS has a track record of almost obscene corruption and should be cut loose from federal funding. As a non-profit, it might simply need an endowment such as foundations and Universities use. Contrast PBS with C-Span. C-Span is even more publicly minded than PBS and it's funded by cable companies. C-Span probably has the highest standards of editorial neutrality of any broadcast journalism, and makes much better use of the Internet than PBS. It's also much more a fourth estate than any cable news program.

    Posted by: anon (gmail.com) | Jul 20, 2007 3:17:36 PM


  3. Blah, blah, blah. I'm glad to support PBS--and apparently a majority of American Citizens are also supportive of it.

    Posted by: BIMBO_ERUPTION | Jul 20, 2007 4:31:08 PM


  4. Bimbo: Apparently?

    Please do share with us the polling or PBS fundraising data that supports your claim. 'Cause otherwise all I'm getting from your comment is "blah, blah, blah."

    Posted by: 24play | Jul 20, 2007 4:37:41 PM


  5. 24Blah, The last time they tried to eliminate funding the polls showed the majority of Americans support funding public television--and they contacted their Congress people as well.

    Posted by: BIMBO_ERUPTION | Jul 20, 2007 4:56:25 PM


  6. Bimbo: Well, that's not exactly supporting your claim with facts, now is it? But because I'm in a charitable mood, I don't mind doing the heavy lifting for you.

    The only polls I can find on the Web regarding public opinions of PBS (1999, 2004–2006) were commissioned by PBS itself.
    Call me crazy, but I think a PBS-sponsored poll on public perceptions of PBS has a credibility problem. You don't by any chance have poll figures from an objective source, do you?

    Furthermore, their own data (Roper poll, 2006) on the self-described viewing habits of the respondents shows that 31% of them "frequently watch" PBS, compared with 32–38% for each of the major broadcast networks (ABC, FOX, NBC, CBS). But when you look at ratings for PBS they're absolutely miniscule compared with the networks, so that's a very clear sign that something's not kosher with PBS's polling data.

    Like I said above, PBS is a major sacred cow. Although almost no one watches it, every baby boomer has had it ingrained in his head that PBS programming is unique, valuable, and irreplaceable. But if you crafted a poll asking Americans if in 2007 they can and do get each of the types of programming I mentioned above from a source beside PBS, I think you'd see them agreeing that PBS no longer provides a unique service deserving of taxpayer support.

    Posted by: 24play | Jul 20, 2007 5:34:26 PM


  7. It's not so much that they provide a unique service, it's that they provide it at a cost low-income and poor people can afford. It gives their kids an option to watching a channel driven entirely by product ads and an option to watching stereotypical and shallow characters behaving badly. It's not that broadcast television doesn't offer several alternatives to the latter, but one must admit that those certainly seem to be an exception.

    I think it's a low price to pay for those of us who are privileged enough to have an income. I have to admit, I rarely watch PBS anymore except to catch goofy old British sitcoms or old Doctor Whos. But we'll go in phases and occasionally tune in watch something spectacular on Nova or something and I'll think how awesome it is that anybody who has a TV can tune in and watch it. I know that my brother's children really benefited from exposure to PBS. It's hard to say how much TV a kid should watch, but in reality I've seen a lot of parents plop their kids in front of one just so they can get some work done. Right or wrong, a lot of people do that and to have PBS as that option is really great for those who can't afford any of the myriad kids stations on satellite.

    And honestly, when I walk in my neighborhood, I occasionally hear PBS programs playing on TVs in different people's apartments and it makes me remember how my friend Gabi upon moving to Chicago from Mexico City at the age of 5 knew no English whatsoever. She learned everything she needed to get a good start from Sesame Street and Electric Company. I know it's not cool to be pro-immigrant, even legal immigration for some, but there are plenty of poor U.S. citizens without continuous or proper education that have really benefited from PBS being broadcast for free on the airwaves.

    Again, it's not about it being a unique service - it's about it being a sole link to something a little more intriguing (or in the case of their children's programming, appropriate) for those in our country who don't or can't subscribe to cable or satellite.

    Posted by: Rey | Jul 20, 2007 8:14:15 PM


  8. rey -- damn man, brilliantly good point. a lot of gay people tend towards elitist viewpoints in spite of claims of progressiveness, and i'm really glad you got your point out there. well said, and thanks.

    Posted by: dan | Jul 20, 2007 9:12:07 PM


  9. Almost no one watches it? That's a peculiar statement. I watch PBS. Yes, that's right. I'm the one. It's quality television that's free. But even to say that it offers nothing unique is disingenuos. The news is better, documentaries, concerts from artists not named Timberlake or Spears, hell there was a ferret competition the other day that was quite entertaining. As far as the corruption, I'm not familiar with the "track record." I hardly think, however, that shutting it down is the answer. Here's an idea, let's clean it up.

    Growing up, my family couldn't afford cable. I loved documentaries, and PBS was there for me. I learned when I watched that channel.

    Did I mention that it's free? I say keep funding PBS, and maybe perhaps stop funding Haliburton by attacking other countries.

    Posted by: dattexas | Jul 22, 2007 2:01:18 AM


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