The clock that's been ticking since November on The Chase, NBC's highly promoted Jerry Bruckheimer crime drama, has finally struck midnight. NBC has pulled the low-rated show from its Wednesday timeslot in favor of an extra hour of contest show Minute To Win It. There are several unaired episodes in the can, but don't expect to see them except possibly as a summer burn-off.
News accounts of the political turbulence in Egypt on Wednesday made much of the fact that some demonstrators turned on American television crews, seizing cameras from ABC and throwing punches at Anderson Cooper. But the violence was much worse than reported. Fox News correspondent Greg Palkot and producer Olaf Wiig (who in 2006 was kidnapped and held for 10 days by jihadists in the Gaza Strip) were attacked with a Molotov cocktail, then beaten so severely Wednesday that they were hospitalized overnight. Fox News kept mum about it until the netowrk was able to get the men to a secure location.
UPDATE: Now comes word that ABC reporter Brian Hartman and three crew members were carjacked and threatened with beheading on the road between downtown Cairo and the city airport. They talked their way out of the situation, as did ABC's Christiane Amanpour and her crew in a separate confrontation. As the situation in Cairo continues to deteriorate, deaths among the journalists covering it seem almost inevitable. I wonder if the smartass critics of the so-called lamestream media, on both right and left, are paying any attention.
ANOTHER UPDATE: CBS's Lara Logan was threatned as well.
The Kennedys has finally found a home. The Hollywood Reporter says the miniseries will debut on ReelzChannel,a cable movie network that's available in about 60 million American homes. The miniseries, starring Greg Kinnear and Katie Holmes, has been searching for a venue the past three weeks after the History Channel folded in the face of Kennedy family pressure and decided not to show it.
It's not exactly television, but...
The veteran sitting across the table from me looked weary after delivering yet another speech against a war that has neither a point nor, apparently, an end. It was started years ago by a Republican president, long since discredited, the veteran noted. Yet the Democrats who until a few weeks ago controlled both the White House and Congress didn't raise a finger to stop it. "I don't understand how much more money has to be wasted or how many more lives have to be ruined before we admit it's been a huge mistake,'' Kyle Vogt told me. "We can end this thing with the stroke of a pen.''
He wasn't referring to Iraq or Afghanistan, but America's truly endless war, the war on drugs. Declared 40 years ago by President Nixon, it chews up $41 billion in government spending each year while sending two million Americans to jail. Yet Nixon's goal of a drug-free America ("the final issue is not whether we will conquer drug abuse, but how soon'') seems no closer to anyone but the drug warriors themselves.
"All these years later, the people running the drug war keep promising us the same thing they have from the beginning, that they can decrease drug use,'' Vogt said. ``They just need a little more time and a little more money. Why do we listen? We wouldn't tolerate that from a physician who was treating us and not making us any better.
"And if everything your physician told you to do made your illness worse, you'd quit doing it and find another doctor.''
Vogt, who served four years as a military policeman on a Maryland army base, speaks as a veteran of the front lines of the drug war. He's one of an increasing number of former drug warriors turned doves. Their organization, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), includes some 4,000 people -- from beat cops through Gary Johnson, the former governor of New Mexico -- who once played roles in enforcing drug laws. Read my full op-ed column in Tuesday's Miami Herald.