YOUTUBE REMOVING WAR FOOTAGE
Only days after the publication of Bob Woodward's State of Denial, in which he claims that 800-900 attacks are launched against U.S. troops in Iraq each day -- but go unreported by the press and unacknowledged by the government, the New York Times reported today (Friday) that video footage of such attacks posted on YouTube.com are being routinely deleted by operators of the website. "More than four dozen videos of combat in Iraq viewed by the New York Times have been removed in recent days, many after the Times began inquiries," the newspaper observed. However, it said, new videos, often of the same incidents that had been deleted, are added daily. The videos, taken by both Arab TV reporters and American servicemen, show American vehicles being blown up and U.S. soldiers firing at their attackers. In several of the videos, the U.S. soldiers do not appear to be seriously injured after being attacked and begin returning fire. Julie Supan of YouTube told the Times that it had reviewed videos of the attacks after users complained about their content and removed them if they displayed "graphic depictions of violence in addition to any war footage (U.S. or other) displayed with intent to shock or disgust."
CBS NEWS SLAPS EMPLOYEE FOR EMAIL TO GOP
CBS News has reprimanded employee Vincent Cammisa, a tape archivist, who sent an email to the Republican National Committee, saying: "Please send me information on how I can become an intern for some perverted, phony family-values Congressman. I know there's no shortage of Republican hypocrites on the Hill, so please rush me the info ASAP. And don't forget to keep covering-up your dirty little secrets, it makes great fodder for your enemies." After the email was disclosed by the conservative website RedState.com, the following statement from CBS News exec Linda Mason was posted on the CBS blog Public Eye: "CBS News standards do not allow CBS personnel to identify publicly with either party. Vincent Cammisa is an archivist and has no part in gathering or producing the news. He has been spoken to and told to do nothing like this again. This email in no way reflects the views of CBS News."
STAR WARS: THE CGI SERIES
Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi will be returning to the screen, but this time they'll be animated, and the screen will be much smaller -- the size of the one in your living room, George Lucas indicated Thursday. In an interview with the Associated Press, Lucas said that his company is currently producing a new digitally animated version of Clone Wars. "It basically has all the main [Star Wars] characters, Lucas told the AP. He indicated that the show will be ready to air next year but that it hasn't been sold to a network yet.
MEL GIBSON INTERVIEWED FOR GOOD MORNING AMERICA
Diane Sawyer has landed the first interview with Mel Gibson since his DUI arrest last July during which he made several anti-Semitic remarks. ABC said Thursday that the interview has already been taped and will air on Oct. 12 and 13 on the network's Good Morning America. Conspicuously absent from the ABC news release was any mention of a primetime airing of the interview. In previous years it would have routinely appeared on Sawyer's Primetime news magazine. However, the long-running program was removed from the network's regular schedule by ABC programmers, who nevertheless said that it would continue to turn out as many shows this year as last, airing them as specials or to fill in for failed shows.
COURIC'S RATINGS SLIP FURTHER
The CBS Evening News with Katie Couric saw a further audience exodus on the first two days of this week, even as viewers tuned into the nightly news programs in greater numbers for news about the Amish school shootings and the sex scandal involving Florida Congressman Mark Foley. According to Nielsen the viewer numbers broke down this way: Monday: NBC, 9,940,000; ABC, 8,490,000; and CBS, 8,100,000. Tuesday: NBC, 8,630,000: ABC, 8,490,000; and CBS 6,550,000.
TOP PRICES PAID AT CHER AUCTION
Every auction item turned out to be trés cher at a Sotheby's/Julien's Auctions sale of 700 items belonging to Cher that went under the hammer in Los Angeles Wednesday night. The auction house said that buyers paid roughly twice the estimated worth of the items, with one Bob Mackie-designed costume that she once wore on The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour going for $60,000, 20 times its estimated worth. The auctioneers had originally estimated that the items would fetch around $1.5 million; instead, they brought in $3.5 million. Reuters said that Cher had promised to donate part of the proceeds to charity and use the rest to redecorate her Malibu home. Meanwhile, a Christie's auction of Star Trek memorabilia Thursday night also fetched big prices, as Jean-Luc Picard's captain's chair went for $52,000, nearly six times the pre-auction estimate of $9,000.