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Monday, July 26, 2010

A Case About Owning an Idea

More than thirty years ago, between 1957 and 1964, CBS provided television stations with a program called "Have Gun--Will Travel." The program starred "Paladin," a fictional cowboy who dressed in black, carried a derringer pistol, and handed out calling cards with a picture of a chess knight. More than forty years ago, in 1947, Victor DeCosta, the plaintiff in this case, began to appear, as a cowboy, at rodeos, hospitals, and charitable events. DeCosta dressed in black, carried a derringer pistol, handed out cards with a picture of a chess knight, and called himself "Paladin." In 1963 DeCosta sued CBS, claiming it had unlawfully copied his idea. Eventually, this court decided that CBS may have copied DeCosta's idea, but, the laws under which DeCosta had sued did not prohibit CBS from doing so. This court held that DeCosta had failed to prove a violation of trademark, or other relevant, laws.

My thoughts on this are simple, maybe DeCosta deserved some payment for his idea, but Richard Boone with CBS's media outlet made it a much fuller and enjoyable character.  If it had been left to DeCosta, the idea would have never captured the imaginaion of so many.  Should the originator of an idea own that idea to the exclusion of everyone elses use?  Something to ponder.

Yes, I love this character and I credit Richard Boone for brining him to life.  His portraial was perfect and it would be very difficult for another actor to create such a such a believeable and rich character. 

Friday, July 23, 2010

Died at 93 - Daniel Shore

Daniel Schorr, a longtime NPR contributor, broke stories during the Cold War and Watergate that won him numerous awards -- as well as the enmity of presidents, died today. He was 93. 

The last few years he wrote commentary on world issues.  I often did not agree completely with him, but I did charish his wisdom that cames from a long life of experience.  He open a Twitter account about a year ago; a bit late in life, but then who wants a bunch of nuts tweeting you when you're 92.  LOL  Actually one reason this is such a sad story is that he was still active in his commentary.  It seems like the last time I heard him on NPR was two weeks ago.  That is really an inspiring thought, to be able to do what you love for a long time and right up to the end of your time.

Here is a longer sumation of his carreer posted on NPR.

Schorr, who once described himself as a "living history book," passed away Friday morning at a Washington hospital. He was able to bring to contemporary news commentary a deep sense of how governmental institutions and players operate, as well as the perspective gained from decades of watching history upfront.

"He could compare presidents from Eisenhower on through, and that gave him historical context for things," said Donald A. Ritchie, Senate historian and author of a book about the Washington press corps. "He had lived it, he had worked it and he had absorbed it. That added a layer to his broadcasting that was hard for somebody his junior to match."

Schorr's 20-year career as a foreign correspondent began in 1946. After serving in U.S. Army intelligence during World War II, he began writing from Western Europe for the Christian Science Monitor and later The New York Times, witnessing postwar reconstruction, the Marshall Plan and the creation of the NATO alliance.

Schorr joined CBS News in 1953 as one of "Murrow's boys," the celebrated news team put together by Edward R. Murrow. He reopened the network's Moscow bureau, which had been shuttered by Joseph Stalin in 1947. Ten years later, Schorr scored an exclusive broadcast interview with Nikita Khrushchev, the U.S.S.R. Communist Party chief — the first-ever with a Soviet leader. Schorr was barred from the U.S.S.R. later that year after repeatedly defying Soviet censors.

He covered the building of the Berlin Wall as CBS bureau chief for Germany and Western Europe. In 1962, he aired a celebrated portrait of citizens living under Communist rule in East Germany.

Dan Schorr On His Own Career

He was reassigned to Washington in 1966. Other reporters in the bureau were already covering major institutions such as Congress or the State Department, so Schorr assigned himself to cover the implementation of President Johnson's Great Society programs.

Daniel Schorr On...

President Nixon


The Fall Of The Berlin Wall

Edward R. Murrow

Sept. 11


The Creation Of CNN

Lessons Learned And Shared

"No one had such a beat," recalled his bureau colleague Roger Mudd. "He was everywhere. He had almost carte blanche to cover Washington."

David Broder, a longtime political reporter and columnist for The Washington Post, added: "I think he's unique in the sense that he's been at the center of so many different stories, both here in Washington and overseas, for so long. He kept his perspective so well and does not ever exaggerate what's taking place, but really let you know why it's important."

Becoming Part Of The Story

Schorr was surprised to find himself on the so-called Enemies List that had been drawn up by Richard Nixon's White House when he read it on the air. The list — naming hundreds of political opponents, entertainers and publications considered hostile to the administration — became the basis for one of the charges of impeachment against Nixon.

Schorr, along with some other members of the list, counted his inclusion on it as his greatest achievement.

Schorr won Emmys in each of the Watergate years of 1972, 1973 and 1974. Over the course of his long career, he was honored with numerous other decorations and awards, including a Peabody for "a lifetime of uncompromising reporting of the highest integrity." Schorr was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the Society of Professional Journalists.

"He was sophisticated about the government and how it works," Mudd said. "He was a damned vacuum cleaner, is what he was."

'Killer Schorr'

In 1975, Schorr reported on assassinations that had been carried out by the CIA. "The anger of the administration can be gauged from Richard Helms' denunciation of Schorr," historian Garry Wills recounts in his 2010 book, Bomb Power.

Helms, then the CIA director, confronted Schorr in the presence of other reporters at the White House, calling him names such as "son of a bitch" and "killer."

"Killer Schorr: That's what they ought to call you," Helms said.

In 1976, Schorr reported on the findings of the Pike Committee, which had investigated illegal CIA and FBI activities. The committee had voted to keep its final report secret, but Schorr leaked a copy to the Village Voice, which published it.

Schorr At NPR

Analysis And Commentary

Daniel Schorr's Bio

Schorr was threatened with a $100,000 fine and jail time for contempt of Congress. But during congressional testimony, Schorr refused to identify his source, citing First Amendment protections. The House ethics committee voted 6 to 5 against a contempt citation.

But CBS had already taken Schorr off the air. He ultimately resigned from the network that year.

"CBS found that, like other big corporations, it did not like to offend the Congress," Mudd said. "He broke his ties to CBS and before they could fire him, he resigned."

An Enduring Career

In 1979, Schorr was hired to provide commentary for the fledgling CNN. The network inaugurated its programming the following year with his interview with President Jimmy Carter. But in 1985, his contract was not renewed, which Schorr counted as his second "firing."

"Schorr was always a person to challenge what the government was saying and being skeptical and contrary," said Ritchie, the Senate historian.

"It really is true that I would sometimes stand up for principle at the risk of my job," he told his son Jonathan for an interview on NPR's Weekend Edition last year. "It is also true that when I lose my job I get terribly nervous."

Upon leaving CNN, Schorr joined NPR, where he had been doing occasional commentaries for several years. He had been a senior news analyst for NPR ever since. He also wrote a column for the Christian Science Monitor for decades.

"What passes for commentary today is almost all opinion," Ritchie said, "but Schorr was part of that breed of commentators who dug up information before they pontificated about it."

Schorr was born in the Bronx in 1916, the son of Belorussian immigrants. He got his first scoop at age 12, when he saw the body of a woman who had jumped or fallen from the roof of his apartment building. He called the police — and the Bronx Home News, which paid him $5 for the information.

"It was the first time I'd ever seen a dead person in my life," he told NPR's Robert Siegel in a 2006 interview on All Things Considered marking Schorr's 90th birthday.

"Why didn't I react more emotionally to that? It was the essential journalist who manages to absent himself from the situation and simply report it without feeling it," Schorr said.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

This will make you want to wear a Seatbelt!

This is the new "WEAR YOUR SEATBELT" Ad The UK Is Doint, Started by some dude not hired to do it; but because the casue is important to him, he came up with this idea and now is being hailed across the world as a beautiful commercial.

What in the world am I doing?

Looks like I manage to post only once a month these days. I have been busy this summer. I've moved my photographic endeavors to a new level in that I'm getting a photo club started in Fayetteville, TN and taking some web classes on improving my "seeing" photographically speaking.

Every weekend has me someplace doing something. The last week starting Saturday the 10th, Em and I took off to Tampa, Florida where I attended and ASHE conference (Health Facility and Equipment Engineering Stuff) and we returned late Saturday the 17th after spending a night in Chattanooga where I went to the Hunter Museum of American Art. I loved it and recommend all photographers to go and see how the painters do it. I envy their skills. They can do with a brush what takes a photographer a ton of equipment to try and achieve and they can create environments that we camera guys just can't mimic because of the need for all that equipment to capture what we have in tour heads. I hope to post some examples of what I mean soon.

This month my photo club is tasked with taking pictures that frame the subject. I gave this photo as an example, but I cheated.

I didn't drag my daughter down to a factory and have her pose in front of industrial equipment. I photo shopped her in (and none to professionally either) someone else's picture. In my defense, it was a quick experiment I did some time ago. It was a quick find when I emailed out the example to the club members. I just wanted to get them to see that framing your subject wasn't restricted to looking like a framed picture setting on a mantel.
I discovered summer Rodeos too. Not the big Civic Center Arena type although I have gone to those before. Locally we have several going on within 50 miles of here and they are extremely access able so you can get some great action shots.

And I've discoverd Re-enactments too. LOL  Photography is a great reason to get out and exerience things.

This is turning out to be a great summer.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Hot Days and Hot Girls Don't Mix Well In Politics

It was a hot day and honestly this young lady was the best looking thing at this event.  When she turned away from the podium, I couldn't tell if she was just over heated or discussed by what she heard.