MEDIA GO NUTS OVER REV. JACKSON'S REMARK

"Nuts" may not have been one of the words listed in George Carlin's "Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television," but most television broadcast and cable channels and many newspapers acted as if it were when reporting on Rev. Jesse Jackson's apology for remarks that he made about Barack Obama in a Fox News Channel studio in Chicago when he thought his microphone was not turned on. Prior to the apology, video recordings of Jackson's (bleeped) remarks quickly spread over the Internet and were later picked up by other media outlets. Speaking barely above a whisper, Jackson is seen remarking that he wants to cut Obama's "nuts out" for "speaking down to black people." Politico.com reported that CNN anchors Don Leon and Wolf Blitzer "danced around the issue" as they interviewed Jackson later, "daintily referring to everything from Obama's 'manhood' to 'genitals,' 'male private parts,' to 'castration.'" The New York Times called it "a crude reference" and Brit Hume on Fox News later talked about "a certain part of [Obama's] anatomy." Later, Bill O'Reilly commented on his own Fox program that his network was not airing the video to embarrass Jackson. "If we were, we would have used what we had, which is more damaging than what you have heard," O'Reilly said.

HIGH SCORE FOR FOX'S ALL-STAR SPOTS

It doesn't come close to the price advertisers willingly shell out for commercials on the Super Bowl, but $450,000 is about what most ad buyers are paying for a 30-second spot on next week's All-Star Game. Broadcasting & Cable reported on its website today (Thursday) that some spots are going for as much as $550,000. (The average cost of a Super Bowl spot this year was $2.7 million.) According to B&C, Fox only has two more spots to sell out of an original inventory of 70. Meanwhile, Reuters reported that the network has outfitted Yankee Stadium with 21 high-definition cameras and 80 microphones, many of them to be worn by players, managers and umpires."

CHINA RELENTS; TO ALLOW LIVE COVERAGE OUTSIDE OLYMPIC VENUES

The International Olympic Committee indicated today (Thursday) that Chinese organizers have lifted restrictions that appeared to bar unauthorized live broadcasts from around Beijing and co-host cities. Some restrictions remained, however. Live broadcasts from Tiananmen Square, for example, will only be permitted between 6:00 and 9:00 a.m. and 9:00 to 11:00 p.m. Some observers expect that the square -- the site of bloody anti-government protests in 1989 -- could be used by Chinese dissidents to protest the government's policies on Tibet and Darfur.

SHOWS WITH NO ACTORS DOMINATE RATINGS

Suggesting that television networks may have little to lose by continuing to take a tough stance against the Screen Actors Guild, not a single TV program featuring actors made a significant showing in the ratings Tuesday night with the exception of NBC's always dependable Law & Order: SVU. All of the other top shows featured AFTRA -- rather than SAG -- members, who were covered by a previously negotiated contract with the television networks. The top-rated show of the night was NBC's America's Got Talent which drew a 7.7 rating and a 13 share, while ABC's Wipeout, the biggest new hit of the summer, wound up with a 6.1/11 and finished on top among the 18-49-year-old group chased by advertisers. Drawing the most viewers in that demographic group was Fox's season finale of Hell's Kitchen. It was pretty much the same story on Wednesday as Fox's So You Think You Can Dance won every half hour between 8:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. However, another "old reliable," CBS's CSI: NY took over the lead at 10:00 p.m.

FLORIDA STATION RECRUITING "CITIZEN JOURNALISTS"

WTSP-TV, a CBS affiliate covering the Tampa Bay/St. Petersburg, FL area, is advertising for 20 people to become "citizen journalists" for the station. Those selected will be given video cameras and accessories and instructions on how to use them; they will then be asked to send in ten stories about their community every three months that the station can air. The station said that it will pay the amateur journalists $20 for each clip it uses and that they will be able to keep their video cameras at the end of the year.

Brian B. at Movieweb
Brian B.