Tuesday, November 29, 2005

News from the F, G, and H segments

The lights came on early this morning at the 19 Minutes World Media Headquarters, as we were tasked to host the local broadcast of NPR's Morning Edition. Lots of news about the President's visit to the southwest to talk about immigration reform, the recurring theme of which was that people were either for it -- or against it. A story about the upcoming parliamentary elections in Canada, and an interesting piece about a guy who drives a hydrogen fuel cell car to his daughters' soccer practices.

Each hour of Morning Edition is divided into five segments -- the most important stories, naturally, go into the "A" segment, and the variety of other pieces get slotted into other segments, sometimes depending on importance, sometimes depending on length, and sometimes based on subject matter (the business report, for example, airs in the E-segment of Morning Edition's first hour).

But hosting Morning Edition also affords an opportunity (a responsibility, really) to browse the wire services and newspapers, as I try to pull together relevant newscasts. And in the course of the morning, that means running across plenty of material that doesn't make the Morning Edition cut - nationally or locally.

We start with news from the US Supreme Court, which somehow didn't warrant a piece by NPR Legal Correspondent Nina Totenberg. The high court declined to hear an appeal by a California man, Shawn Gementera, who was convicted of stealing mail and required to stand in front of a post office for eight hours wearing a sign that read "I stole mail - this is my punishment". He was originally sentenced to wear the sign for 100 hours, but the judge reduced the sentence. Gementera claimed the sentence amounted to cruel and unusual punishment.

Interestingly, the court delivered its decision to defense attorneys by Federal Express.

We move on to news of the death of Stan Berenstain, one of the creators of the Berenstain Bears of children's literature. This is not an especially humorous development, but it does point to the discovery I made just a few months ago that the name "Berenstain Bears" came from the authors, and not from the variety of bears depicted in the stories. Keep in mind that I made this discovery at the age of 36. (On a related note, I learned only last year that the word "booty" -- as referenced in the K.C. and the Sunshine Band disco hit "Shake Your Booty" -- does not refer to the listeners shoe.)

And finally, we check in with Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter, who used a news conference in Harrisburg to assert that the NFL and the Philadelphia Eagles have treated star wide receiver Terrell Owens unfairly by suspending him for the season and preventing other teams from negotiating for his services (such as they are). The Republican lawmaker says he may refer the matter to the antitrust subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which, coincidentally, he chairs.

In a related story, Specter also plans to ask the committee to take up the matter of requiring other 29 NFL teams to give the players on Specter's fantasy football team ("The Specter of Doom") more playing time.

Concomitantly, the NFL rules committee says it is considering reinstating Owens, but also requiring the Eagles to hire Specter to replace injured quarterback Donovan McNabb.

Further bulletins on these important stories as events warrant.


Carol Davidson said...

If Stan Berenstain had waited another two years to die, you'd have watched enough PBS Berenstain Bears to know that Stan Berenstain was one of the creator. You have so much to look forward to.

I'm still hoping to avoid the "Mister Rogers is dead" conversation.

Mitch Teich said...

If nothing else, at least Mr. Rogers isn't an industry on the same level - I mean, you won't have to explain why you can't go to "Mr. Rogers On Ice" this year.

Carol Davidson said...

You cannot imagine the images "Mister Rogers on Ice" has conjured up for me.


I need professional help.