Excellent HBO report on asthma & air pollution
Yeah, you hear it all the time during sweeps, "a story EVERY parent should see..." But this story truly is one parents with young athletes should see -- a report linking a high rate of asthma in children to the coal-fired power plants in the Ohio River valley and other areas, at 10 p.m. today on "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel." Reporter Jon Frankel came to Ohio and Pittsburgh to connect the dots between asthma in kids and the power plants. Doctors blame the pollution from coal-fired plants for damaging lungs of kids whose higher rate of inhalation during sports brings more pollutants into their respiratory systems. In the second part, two former EPA investigators and former EPA head Christine Whitman complain about pollution controls not being a priority for the Bush administration. It’s a terrific piece of reporting that should be on free broadcast television for everyone to see. “Real Sports” repeats nine times through July 4, so you have plenty of opportunities to record it and share it with parents whose kids have breathing problems.
"Survivor" meets "Guiding Light"
This one is for “Survivor” fans. “Survivor: Panama -- Exile Island” cast members Cirie Fields, a fan favorite on “Survivor” last spring, and Melinda Hyder will do a guest shot on Procter & Gamble’s “Guiding Light” on Thursday (3 p.m., Ch. 12). Cirie, a nurse from South Carolina, finished third on “Survivor.” She’ll play an internal affairs officer who has scenes with Ricky Paull Goldin (“Gus Aitoro”). Hyder (who?) – the second person voted off the island last spring – will play a waitress at the restaurant, Company, and do scenes with Justin Deas (“Buzz Cooper”). Hyder lives in Tennessee and once sang at Dollywood. P&G has been a major sponsor on "Survivor" since the first season.
Dan Rather gone
We've all been waiting for the shoe to drop on Dan Rather.... and this morning it's official: CBS News announced that Rather is leaving CBS. His contract runs through November, but he's gone today. Rather, 74, has done little for CBS since being removed from the anchor desk a year ago after the botched 2004 story on President Bush's military service. He did a few pieces for "60 Minutes," and a "CBS Sunday Morning" report last Sunday. CBS will do a special about him this fall -- probably during November sweeps, to cash in on his name.
I've met him several times on the press tour, and always found him tightly wound. Once he stood through an entire press conference... and when we were talking to him afterwards, he said he planned to sit down for the Q&A but forgot. Weird.
What I'll miss most is Rather on Election Night, when he spewed all these wacky "Danisms" -- races being "as tight as Willie Nelson's headband" or "tighter than last year's bathing suit." I watched him on Election Night in 2004 figuring it was his last election, and it was.
So where will Dan end up? I can't imagine the old reporter putting away his notebook... Wonder if he'll join a cable network, or do documentaries for some cable channel, or write books, or teach? What do you think?