David Folkenflik Folkenflik is NPR's media correspondent.
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On the odd occasions that I'm traveling and television beckons and I have no recourse to the Colbert Report or ESPN or a good book or a warm glass of milk with animal crackers or even a two-by-four to smack against my forehead, I'll watch The Tonight Show. And there's invariably only one bit Jay Leno does that amuses me. It's his bit where he shows photographs to people on the street, in the mall, etc. And usually it's a picture of someone fairly prominent, like, say, Vice President Cheney or the Pope, and the response rolls back, with a trace of uptalking uncertainty, something like, "Is that Gallagher?" And no, it isn't. And Leno laughs gently but he always seems slightly amazed. But he shouldn't be. And now comes proof, as if we needed it, from the number crunchers at Zogby International, a polling firm...
Usually, as you may have realized, I make this about me as much as possible. Today's news however, focuses a lot on the "I"s. First, there's Israel (and Lebanon and Hezbollah, and for that matter, the Palestinians). NPR's Eric Westervelt is preparing a story on the pullout of Israeli troops from southern Lebanon. Strife correspondent Anne Garrels is in Gaza, where Israelis are at a not-so-low-grade conflict with Palestinian combatants. (That's also where Fox News reporter Steve Centanni was abducted yesterday. The cable network has now identified the kidnapped cameraman as Olaf Wiig of New Zealand, and says negotiations are underway for their release.) Immigration. Carrie Kahn is working on a piece planned for today's All Things Considered about the rising number of illegal immigrants coming into the country from Mexico just south of San Diego. She's finding that's occurred largely because the deployment of National Guard troops to Arizona and New Mexico to intercept illegal immigrants have pushed them further west. The Indian Ocean (See? The "I"s have it.) is absorbing a spill of 1.4 million gallons of crude oil, reportedly after a cargo ship in distress and a Japanese supertanker smacked into each other. The environmental toll is not yet known. From the Sci desk (kind of rhymes with "I") we are learning the ramifications of what happens when you're NASA and you lose your wedding pictures, or, in this case, the video footage of the first steps taken on the moon...