Monthly Archives: January 2013

Stephen Battaglio on Election Night: A Television History 1948-2012

Election Night: A Television History 1948 - 2012
Election Night: A Television History 1948 – 2012

In November 2012, the United States elected a president. Also right around the same time, author Stephen Battaglio released his latest book, an e-book to be exact, Election Night: A Television History 1948-2012. As described by the publisher, the book “is a fascinating and revealing look at the evolution of U.S. presidential election night broadcasts and how since 1948, this televised event galvanizes the nation. It explores the technical advancements in vote counting, live coverage from the field, how the networks get polling information and call a state for a candidate and how the drama unfolds in the control room. Through the lens of NBC News, Election Night highlights significant commentary by legendary news figures such as Chet Huntley, David Brinkley, John Chancellor, Tom Brokaw, Tim Russert, and Brian Williams.”

The book makes the most of the Kindle platform, utilizing the NBC large video archives, as well as offering historical audio clips in an enhanced edition [available here [or iTunes link here]. To find out more about his latest project, Battaglio accepted my invitation for another interview (I first interviewed him in 2011 regarding his book on NBC Today Show’s 60-year history.)

Tim O’Shea: You pull data for the book, including congressional hearings as well as the David Brinkley Papers/Archives. What was the biggest surprise/most interesting aspect of delving into Brinkley’s papers?

Stephen Battaglio: I loved David Brinkley. He is my favorite TV news anchor of all time. The humor that he managed to inject in his on-air commentary came across in his papers, especially in personal letters and internal memos. What you saw on screen was his true self.

Continue reading Stephen Battaglio on Election Night: A Television History 1948-2012

Garry Shandling Recalling Gilda Radner’s Appearance on It’s Garry Shandling’s Show

Garry Shandling is a fellow always seemingly ready with a laugh. But in this video excerpt where he recalls Gilda Radner’s appearance on his show, It’s Garry Shandling’s Show, there’s a vulnerability about him.

As he notes, Radner was dying of cancer. Radner was also a longtime, close friend of the show’s co-creator, Alan Zweibel.

Blog Now Features Tumblr and Twitter Streams

New Tumblr and Twitter streams for the right side of the blog
New Tumblr and Twitter streams for the right side of the blog

I am happy to announce that thanks to my finally mastering WordPress widgets, after a few years of ineptitude, I am now able to keep this blog a smidge more fresh.

How may you ask?

Look to the right of this post. Hopefully you should see my Tumblr and Twitter feeds. While I am striving to develop more interviews for this blog, in the interim, my RSS feeds should hopefully equally entertain my long-time readers.


Aw man: ABC, Fox Cancels Two of My Favorite Tuesday Shows

So it’s been a tough week for Tuesday sitcoms I like.

First up, James Van Der Beek made this announcement regarding ABC’s Don’t Trust the B—- in APT23:


Then I learned today that Fox had pulled the plug on the quirky as heck Ben & Kate.

In the case of ABC, there has been a great deal of buzz that the show would be considered far more successful if On Demand and streaming (aka metrics other than traditional TV ratings) were considered.

Here’s hoping this is the last season that shows are cancelled without all forms of ratings are properly considered.

And I also hope Van Der Beek is interested in doing more sitcom work in the future.

Georgia History That I Knew Nothing About: Columbians of 1946

While not well-versed in the history of racism in my home state, I was consider myself fairly well informed. Therefore I was surprised that it took until yesterday (thanks to a photo in AJC’s new Photo Vault Tumblr) to become aware that in 1946, there was a Georgia-based neo-nazi group called the Columbians.

Consider this excerpt from the Georgia Encyclopedia:

“During the summer of 1946, Atlantans witnessed the rise of the Columbians, the nation’s first neo-Nazi political organization. The group pursued a campaign of intimidation against the city’s minorities, patrolling those neighborhoods most vulnerable to racial transition, and threatening with violence those residents who dared cross the city’s “color line.” Although they attracted some support from Atlanta’s working-class whites, the Columbians were uniformly condemned by the city’s press and targeted for arrest by its political establishment. By the following summer the group had dissolved, following the conviction of its leaders, Homer Loomis and Emory Burke, on charges of usurping police power and inciting to riot.”

While racism still exists today on some level, I take some solace that as far back as 1946, the establishment fought it on some level. Not as much as it should, of course–but still some level of resistance is better than none. God, if only I could say there is no racism today, but that’s sadly would be a delusional belief.