Sunday, February 20, 2011

CBS Sunday Morning on February 20, 2011

Charles Osgood opened CBS Sunday Morning on February 20, 2011 with discussion of the standoff in Madison, Wisconsin and noted that Cynthia Bowers would give a report. The "cover story" ["Don't count on it"] would be by Martha Teichner on the lack of public pensions being paid in Prtichard, Alabama. The story "Fit for Fashion" contained the quote: even a kick in the back is good if you're facing the right direction. The next story previewed was by Harry Smith on Jessie Eisenberg. The next preview was on Gypsy Rose Lee, who was said to remove her clothes from the inside out. Other stories were man and machine, John Glenn, Smell the Roses.

The news stories were Madison, Wisc, unrest in the middle east, Republican Congress.

Weather: winds down, storms in the Midwest.

In the February 20 broadcast, CBS Sunday Morning had a "Sunday Journal" on the events in Madison, Wisconsin which appeared prior to the cover story on Pritchard, Alabama. Within the journal story: This is what democracy looks like in Madison, Wisconsin.

The cover story appeared next, and shared a common theme with the journal piece of public workers: no way out in Pritchard, Alabama. The juxtaposition portrayed the public worker position in a favorable light. Osgood previewed the cover story by noting the Wisconsin workers would be receiving their pensions (for now) but not so in Pritchard. The Pritchard story began with a view of Alfred Arnold, a fire fighter, who, along with his wife, have not been receiving pension checks. On the city's side: "If the money's not there, we can't pay it." There ae 27,000 residents in Pritchard. Staggeringly underfunded pension plans in many states. Joshua Rauh (sounded like "Rowe") at Northwesern University [Kellogg School ] has tracked the problem. In 1999, Prtichard declared bankruptcy; the city ignored a court order to replenish pension fund. Woulda, coulda, shoulda. In 2009, Prtichard filed for bankruptcy again. Pension checks stopped in Sept. 2009. Robert Hedge represents employees in class action suit. City now owes 2.5 million in bank payments. Charles Kennedy, captain of the police force. Pritchard mayor Ron Davis. "If the retirees are not getting anything, I don't think any of your should be paid either." A. J. Cooper Municipal Complex. One news piece which mentions Pritchard:
Are Teachers "Special"? Please. Of Course Teachers Should Have Their Pensions Cut Of other discussions on the pension funding problem: The state of California's real unfunded pension debt clocks in at more than $500 billion, nearly eight times greater than officially reported.
That's the finding from a study released Monday by Stanford University's public policy program, confirming a recent report with similar, stunning findings from Northwestern University and the University of Chicago.

Almanac. Feb. 20, 1962. John Glenn goes into orbit, on Friendship 7 (3 orbits, 4.5 hours). John Glenn was on "Name that Tune." Retired from space program in 1964. Returned to space in 1998, at age 77. Will turn 90 later this year. Of the original Mercury 7, only Glenn and Scott Carpenter survive.

The next story was Gypsy. Rita Braver did the story on the 100th anniversary of the birth of Gypsy Rose Lee. Above all, she was her own creation; even her name was invented. She was born in 1911, although she claimed 1914. Recent celebration at New York PUblic Library. Karen Abbott has a recent book. Gypsy was called "the Duchess" as a child. Charming but ruthless. One fateful night in Kansas City: mistakenly booked in a burlesque house (not vaudeville). gypsy as the demure stripper. Billy Minsky's in New York City. She carried a torch for Mike Todd. A fling with Otto Preminger. Edward R. Murrow did a person to person on Gypsy. Sunday Morning stated that Gypsy died at age 56 in 1970 of lung cancer.[Note in this that "CBS Sunday Morning" was using the "false" birth date of 1914, for age 56, but the centennial is referenced to 1911! "Sunday Morning" was inconsistent] Jo Weldon of New York School of Burlesque.

Osgood on deaths of Joann Siegel (model for Lois Lane), John Strauss (composer of song for "Car 54, where are you?), Len Lesser (Uncle Leo in Seinfeld).

Sean McManus at CBS promoted to chairman of CBS Sports. David Rhodes named president of CBS news. Fager. "CBS Sunday Morning" did not mention the correlated departures of Paul Friedman and Barbara Fedida . see CBS News Veteran Friedman Leaving; 2 executives leaving CBS News as part of management shake-up

Osgood noted that pride in our human intellect is in jeopardy. Jim Axelrod talked about the IBM challenge, involving Watson. Jennings: I for one welcome our new computer overlords. David Farucci of IBM. Empower people to make decisions. First app: David Chase collaborating with IBM to move Watson into understanding of a patient's medical diagnosis. Matin Cohen of IBM. Watson may rival the human brain, but never the human heart. 200 million pages of memory. Newest wave of computers directed to human emotions. Sherry Turkle of MIT. Robotic seal that responds to petting. Robots to keep grandpa happy.
Book "Alone Together." CBS Sunday Morning neglected to mention that the current tv show Jeopardy is distributed on television by CBS Television Distribution. (see wikipedia)

Fashion by Elie Tahari in a story by Tracey Smith. Tahari's clothes are sold in more than 600 stores. The initial samples are made for tall, skinny runway models. Sales are at 100 million per year. Tahari was born in Jerusalem in 1952. In the summer of 1971, Tahari slept in Central Park. Tahari's first big hit was the tube top. Business clothing with big padded shoulders. By Sept. 2001, Tahari had an office in a building that he owned. Put a flag on a 5 story building on 5th Ave. Value of company put at 500 million. "I feel I did well."

Osgood talked about 2002 movie "Roger Dodger", which launched Jesse Eisenberg. Reluctant celebrity. Not a direct correlation between what you do and how it is received. Adventureland, Zombieland. Commands the screen without commanding a lot of attention. Like your image being used in a context not expected. SNL: hard to tell who felt most uncomfortable. Jesse's sister Haley was on Pepsi commercials. Precocious young man whose intelligence gets in the way of pursuit of a young woman.
"The Living Wake" and "Holy Rollers". Website ""

Pulse. As to "best president", Abe Lincoln beat George Washinton, 54 vs. 28. Do you want your child to be president? Only 45% said yes.

Ben Stein. When serious inflation hits, everybody is impacted. Serious crop shortfalls. Corn, wheat prices going wild. The Fed is shoving money out the door. Pieces in place for serious inflation. The name stagflation. The tea leaves are ominous.
see Ben Stein on the perils of economic inflation

Will Ryman installed steel/fiberglass roses along New York's Park Avenue. A dog's eye view of the world. Includes thorns and bugs. Real estate developer Jerry Speier. (I look for artists who don't do the same thing over and over again.)
See photos

Moment of nature: Alberta, Canada along the Rocky Mountains, featuring bighorn sheep.

***Background on Sherry Turkle from wikipedia: Sherry Turkle is Abby Rockefeller Mauze Professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a sociologist. Born in New York City in 1948, she has focused her research on psychoanalysis and culture and on the psychology of people's relationship with technology, especially computer technology and computer addiction.

***In passing, from Washington: the 'blackest name' in America :

One 2004 study conducted by researchers at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business found that job applicants with names that sound white receive 50 percent more callbacks than applicants with "black" names.

The study responded to real employment ads with more than 5,000 fictitious resumes. Half the resumes were assigned names like Emily Walsh; the other half got names like Lakisha Washington. After calculating for the difference in resume quality, the study concluded that "a white name yields as many more callbacks as an additional eight years of experience on a resume."


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