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RIP

NYT Ethicist Answers an Unusual Robin Williams Question

Well done. Reminding that sometimes 140 characters just doesn’t cut it, Chuck Klosterman in this weekend’s New York Times Magazine offers a thoughtful, intelligent and provocative response to a reader’s lament.

Rita Long, a reader in Oakland, thinks it was cruel and perhaps even immoral for the keepers of Koko the gorilla to inform the primate that Robin Williams, whom she met once, had passed away. From Klosterman’s reply:

Since an ape can’t comprehend the concept of “celebrity,” that [Williams] meeting should be no more intrinsically meaningful than any one-time interaction Koko shared with anyone else. It’s not as if Koko sits around constantly rewatching Moscow on the Hudson.

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Mediabistro Course

Personal Essay Writing: Master Class

Personal Essay Writing: Master ClassStarting October 21, work with the senior editor at Marie Claire magazine to polish and publish your essay! Whitney Joiner will help you to develop your voice, narrative, and identity, draft your pitch, and decide where to market your essay. Register now!

Post Critic Hands Column Keys to Kevin Spacey

Wonderful, classy move by Michael Riedel.

JuilliardLogoTo honor the memory of beloved Broadway actress and acting teacher Marian Seldes, who passed away this week at age 86, the Post theater critic enlisted her former student Kevin Spacey to write the words. From today’s Spacey piece:

As we waited for the Walk/Don’t Walk sign to change, Val [Kilmer] suddenly said, “Do you see that woman over there in purple?” Standing directly across the street was a tall, elegant woman, looking around with excitement, as if it were her first day in New York City — not mine — dressed in purple from head to toe.

“That’s Marian Seldes,” Val said. “She’s going to be your first [Juilliard] Shakespeare teacher. Wanna meet her?”…

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Howard Stern’s WNBC Nemesis Passes Away

When allaccess.com broke the news of Kevin Metheny‘s passing at age 60 in the Bay Area from a heart attack, the radio industry website respectfully made no mention of the fact that the 60-year-old heart attack victim was immortalized by Howard Stern in Private Parts as “Pig Vomit.”

However, much of the subsequent coverage – by the New York Daily News, TMZ and others - has bannered the WNBC program-director-days mockery. With TMZ opting for the original, pre-book moniker:

TMZPigVomitTypo

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Remembering the Simple Pleasures of Skip E. Lowe

When Harry Shearer wrote about Public Access talk show host Skip E. Lowe in 1998 for the New York Times Magazine, he got just one thing wrong. That wasn’t Lowe in the show’s opening credits; it was Mickey Rooney from A Midsummer Night’s Dream (as Lowe later corrected on his website).

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Otherwise, Shearer’s piece is absolutely the best way to remember – or, acquaint yourself – with Lowe, who passed away this week after a three-and-half-decades bi-coastal TV run. From Shearer’s September 1998 essay:

Skip E. Lowe Looks at Hollywood doesn’t so much re-invent television as de-invent it, returning it to those glorious days before focus groups, when the tube was safe for eccentricity and obsession. Regular TV could allow for such vagaries when the commercial formulas had not yet been ascertained and codified.

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RIP: John Slattery

JohnSlatteryPicSome terrible news. Just hours after filing a story for last night’s WCBS-TV Channel 2 broadcasts, the station’s veteran news reporter John Slattery passed away. From Larry McShane’s New York Daily News item:

General assignment reporter Slattery worked Wednesday, covering a Bronx attack on a 72-year-old Good Samaritan who stepped in to protect a mugging victim.

Slattery was among the city’s longest-serving television reporters, joining WABC-TV in 1979 and participating in the Emmy-winning coverage of the December 1980 assassination of ex-Beatle John Lennon.

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A Journalism Teacher Blessed with ‘Effortless Eloquence’

UniversityofHoustonLogoEarlier this month, at the criminally young age of 34, University of Houston journalism professor Jemimah Noonoo passed away. Before committing to the classroom, she had worked for Newsweek, the New York Times and the Houston Chronicle.

Cara Smith, editor-in-chief of UH student newspaper The Daily Cougar, took Noonoo’s class during her freshman 2013-14 year. Over the weekend, she remembered the many great qualities of her teacher and how the course very playfully ended:

On the last day of class, the last day I saw her, Ms. Noonoo had us do a “mock” twenty-year reunion.

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WABC Colleagues Will #NeverForget Engineer Donald DiFranco

There remains a prominent place in the 9/11 anniversary thoughts of ABC 7 anchor Bill Ritter and station colleagues for the late Donald DiFranco. Here for example is how Ritter remembered DiFranco in a 2010 anniversary essay, re-published this week on the station’s website:

DiFranco, a member of the Eyewitness News team, was on the top of one of the towers when it was attacked. Don was an engineer – and his first thought after the plane crashed into the building 20 floors below him, was to call us and tell us we might be off the air because of the crash. That was what he worried about.

I hope only that Don didn’t suffer.

DiFranco is also front and center in the Twitter feeds of Ritter and others at ABC 7. This touching photo montage created by Kellie Tarsia was re-tweeted by Ritter:

KellieTarsiaDonDiFrancoTribute

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That Time Joan Rivers Did the Cover of Cosmoparody

For The Observer, Lisa DePaulo has compiled a life-affirming hit parade of memories from journalists, journalism students and others who crossed paths along the years with Joan Rivers. Among those sharing anecdotes is our very own Lunch columnist Diane Clehane.

CosmoparodyCover

But the reminiscence we want to focus on here comes from Edward Shain, president of TSM Publishing. It harks back to the mid-1980s, when Rivers was at the peak of her live-performance powers:

In the spring of 1984, my partner Jerry Taylor and I were putting together a parody of Cosmopolitan magazine. We were struggling for a good cover idea and someone came up with trying to get Joan Rivers to do a cover shoot. We didn’t think it was possible but we were going to try, and so we called her agent. Next thing we know, we are sitting across from Joan and her husband Edgar in an elegant suite discussing in detail what the cover joke was going to be. She’s smart, funny, knowledgeable and straightforward. She has no entourage. It’s just the four of us. We come to an agreement on her fee and it’s done. We’re in a state of disbelief. We got Joan Rivers — THE Joan Rivers — for our Cosmoparody cover?!

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RIP: Joan Rivers

ShutterstockJoanRivers2011With this afternoon’s sad news that Joan Rivers has passed away, we turn to the FishbowlNY archives to pay tribute to a force of comedic nature. We covered Rivers quite a bit over the years and it is our sincere hope that in the Great Beyond, she and Johnny Carson can finally make peace. Here are three favorite coverage memories:

1) “Joan Rivers Remarries Gay Couple

Our most recent item involved Rivers ministering the marriage of a male couple. It was well-intended, during a book-tour stop on the west coast. And then, made officially legal at the Plaza Athenee New York.

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From Crystal… to Billy Crystal

On his 63rd birthday, Robin Williams shared the following photo via Instagram. It depicted him with Crystal, his co-star from the Night at the Museum film series.

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Last night, the most striking aspect of Billy Crystal‘s wonderful Primetime Emmys tribute to the late actor and comedian was the photo of Williams displayed throughout. The selection of that picture made Los Angeles Times photo editor Cindy Hively very proud:

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