AMERICANS HAIL THE QUEEN
Barbara Walters's two-hour special on Britain's royals reigned supreme Monday night, winning every half hour between 8:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. The ABC documentary, The Royal Family, averaged a 10.4 rating and a 16 share (14.16 million viewers), peaking in the 8:30 p.m. half-hour with a 10.7/16 (14.75 million viewers). Somewhat surprisingly, October Road, the ABC drama that followed at 10:00 p.m., recorded a lowly 3.8/7 (5.3 million viewers), despite the strong lead-in from the Walters special.
ALMOST HALF THE U.S. NOW GETS NEWS FROM THE 'NET
Forty-eight percent of Americans now say that the Internet is their primary source of news -- up from 20 percent just a year ago, according to the latest Zogby-We Media poll. By contrast 29 percent of Americans say television is their primary source of news; 11 percent say radio is; and only 10 percent say newspapers. Among the younger (18-29) demographic, the Internet is the choice of 55 percent. (Several critics took aim at the pollsters' presumption that the Internet is a "source" of news, suggesting that in most cases it is only a platform for news from such actual sources as newspapers, radio and television networks and stations, and magazines.)
FOOD NETWORK HOST DIDN'T FEED THE QUEEN OR THE PRESIDENT
The Food Network has fired culinary star Robert Irvine after learning that the Dinner: Impossible host had padded his résumé. Irvine had claimed that he had prepared meals for Britain's Royal Family and for various U.S. presidents. Irvine apologized for the fabrications, which were first exposed by the St. Petersburg Times, saying in a written statement, "I am truly sorry for misleading people and misstating the facts." In its statement, the Food Network said, "We rely on the trust that our viewers have in the accuracy of the information we present, and Robert challenged that trust."
WACO EDITOR LAMBASTE'S ABC PRIMETIME FEATURE
The editor of the Waco Tribune-Herald has condemned an ABC Primetime feature that employed actors and hidden cameras set up at a roadside bakery near Waco to draw attention to racist attitudes towards Muslims. The segment, said editor Carlos Sanchez, "may have been entertaining. It may have been engrossing, perhaps even a little illuminating. But it certainly wasn't journalism." Sanchez particularly objected to ABC's decision to blur the features of one of the racist locals filmed at the bakery in West. "So instead of exposing that racist for what he is, ABC protected the man. He becomes a symbol for a community. Our community." Sanchez acknowledged that there were some genuinely "heroic" moments in the feature, especially one in which a local minister stood up to the actor playing a racist clerk. "But journalism is about informing, not manipulating," he wrote. He himself apologized for a front-page story that his newspaper ran about the Primetime segment. "Had I seen the ABC segment before we ran our story, I would have challenged the play of our story."
ANTI-KORAN FILM WILL AIR ONE WAY OR ANOTHER, SAYS FILMMAKER
Despite appeals by the Dutch government for him to shelve his 10-minute film Fitna, which attacks the Koran as a book that foments violence and discrimination, lawmaker Geert Wilders insisted Monday that if Dutch broadcasters refuse to air it, he will personally post it on the Internet. When a video featuring Wilders -- allegedly a clip from his film -- appeared on YouTube, it touched off efforts by Pakistan censors to shut down the site in their country. The result was that YouTube was briefly shut down worldwide. Dutch newspapers quoted Wilders as saying that the clip was not from his film and that he had no hand in posting it on YouTube.
FAMED CHINESE DIRECTOR LATEST TO CRITICIZE SPIELBERG'S OLYMPICS EXIT
Zhang Yimou, arguably China's leading film director, has called Steven Spielberg's decision to quit his post as an artistic adviser to the Beijing Olympics "very regrettable." Spielberg linked his decision to withdraw from the Olympics' production team to China's relationship with Sudan, whose war against dissident factions has reportedly led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands. Spielberg's decision was also criticized by Olympic gold medalist (badminton) Ge Fei, now a member of the Chinese legislature. "The Olympics is simply a sporting event," he told the official Xinhua news agency. "Political issues shouldn't be involved in it."
ON ELECTION EVE, CLINTON VISITS STEWART
Jon Stewart to Hillary Clinton Monday night on the eve of primary elections that are likely to decide who the nominee of the Democratic Party will be: "This election is about judgment, and yet tomorrow is perhaps one of the most important days of your life and you've chosen to spend the night before talking to me. Senator, as a host I'm delighted. As a citizen, I'm frightened." Clinton: "It is pretty pathetic."