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Posts Tagged ‘Gore Vidal’

BBC is no CNN. “At Some Point It’s Almost Parody”

Gail Shister
TVNewser Columnist

Hartman_11.1.jpgIf you’re looking for bells and whistles on Election Night, the BBC is not your cuppa tea.

“I don’t think the BBC will ever be, or aspire to be, the bells-and-whistles network,” says CBS exile Rome Hartman, executive producer of “BBC World News America.”

“Fundamentally, we’re about great stories. Graphics help, and they’re cool. I have a lot of admiration for David Borhman and what he’s doing at CNN. But at a certain point, it’s almost parody.

“If the technology is just there as a ‘Gee whiz!’ it’s probably not the right thing. If it helps tell the story in a clear and understandable way, it’s perfectly fine.”

The BBC’s “U.S. Election Night” will be broadcast live from the network’s Washington bureau to more than 200 countries around the world beginning at 6pmET. In the Colonies, it will be seen exclusively on BBC America and BBC World News.

Former ABC Newsman Ted Koppel will join co-anchors David Dimbleby and Matt Frei in the studio “to step back and paint the big picture,” in Hartman’s words.

In a cheeky twist, contributors will include Ricky Gervais, Christopher Hitchens, Richard Schiff, Jay McInerney and Gore Vidal.

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CNN/TIME Politics ’08: Greenfield, Graydon and More

greenfield_10-14.BMPThe CNN/TIME Politics ’08 conference kicked off yesterday with Time Warner CEO Jeffrey Bewkes saying, “There has never been and never will be a substitute for quality.”

TVNewser twittered the first panel, moderated by Campbell Brown, and featuring this line of from Vanity Fair’s Graydon Carter that got the biggest laughs (on trying to book Gore Vidal on TV): “They want him to talk about Marilyn Monroe, he wants to talk about James Monroe.”

The second panel, moderated by the New York Times’ Frank Rich, featured CBS’ Jeff Greenfield, journalist/author Peggy Noonan, CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin and others. Greenfield brought up the way the journalist-politician trust has changed. He reminisced how Lyndon Johnson once said, “If I’ve lost Walter Cronkite, I’ve lost the country,” regarding Vietnam. “Who could you say that about today?” he asked.

Noonan used some descriptive language to talk TV news options. “If you want to take a warm bath in George Bush‘s greatness, you will go straight to Fox,” she said. “If you want to take a cold shower in ‘George Bush is the devil,’ you will go straight to (Keith) Olbermann.”

After the panel, Greenfield grabbed a few of the panelists, including moderator Rich (pictured) for a potential CBS package. We also turned the tables and interviewed Greenfield (after the jump).

panel_10-14.BMPTwo final notes about the TVNewser twittered final panel, featuring a lively interview between Anderson Cooper and Lewis Black (and the audience). If there is a way to get video of Black’s total excoriating of an audience member who blamed big government for the country’s problems, we’ll search for it. Black later somewhat apologized, and said he only got so worked up because of something that happened earlier in the day. But it did leave Cooper slightly uncomfortable. “This isn’t awkward for me at all,” joked Cooper.

Also, an audience member asked the CNN anchor if he ever wanted to just scream his opinion about an issue he was covering. “The last thing anyone wants to hear is some overpaid, blow-dried news anchor giving their opinion,” Cooper said. “I think there’s enough of those already.”

Click continued to see TVNewser’s interview with Greenfield, who talks about the CBS web cast, his prediction for a potentially-long Election Night ’08 and more…

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