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Toni's Log

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17 October 2000

Sad news from my recent home:

Tonight's debate at my alma mater will still happen, but I'm sure the debate's whole tone will be affected greatly by this.

  • Presidential debate will go on tonight as planned [St. Louis Post-Dispatch]
    Bush's wife, Laura, canceled plans for a morning rally. Bush campaign officials also decided to tone down a post-debate rally, and were even considering canceling it. Gore hadn't planned any campaign events before the debate.

    The Bush and Gore campaigns decided to continue the debate after a series of pre-dawn phone calls with the debate commission's executive director, Janet Brown. Eventually, Brown recommended that the event should go on, and both sides agreed, according to campaign officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Debate 2000 Home Page -- Washington University in St. Louis

West Wing-related stuff: First, a big wet kiss from the New York Times, forwarded to me by Lyn:

  • 'The West Wing': Leader of the Free World (Free TV, That Is) [NY Times]
    The show has been the most upscale series on network television, not only in terms of its writing and the issues it tackled but its audience. It is seen by more adults ages 18 to 49 who earn more than $100,000 a year than any other network series. But this season the audience is reaching beyond the elite.

    "I don't think people like to be told they're dumb," said Mr. Sorkin. "The people who watch TV shows are at least as smart as the people who make them. The audience likes to feel that way. We're not patronizing the audience. We're not dumbing down the show in any way."

    "The show provides a certain wish fulfillment. Generally in popular culture our political leaders have been portrayed as dolts or Machiavellian or evil. On `West Wing' they're none of these."

Second, writer Aaron Sorkin will be on Charlie Rose tonight, reacting to the debate(s). Check your local listings.

And, NBC is being ill-mannered (or clueless) again. There's a real dearth of magnanimity in mega-corporations nowadays...

  • Who Wants to Be a Party Pooper? [Washington Post]
    NBC and CBS have told their stars [Martin Sheen, Conan O'Brien and Patricia Heaton] that they don't want them to appear on November's sweeps celebrity editions of ABC's "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire," in which contestants donate their winnings to charity. ... [Sheen] had actually asked to be included in the lineup of the next celebrity "Millionaire" run after learning that his son, ABC's "Spin City" replacement Charlie Sheen, was participating.

    The real losers, Davies noted, are the pet charities of Martin Sheen, O'Brien and Heaton, which have been denied the opportunity to receive [at least] the $32,000 that each "Millionaire" celeb is guaranteed for his or her cause of choice.

    "They were all booked, firmly booked, then they all disappeared from the show," "Millionaire" executive producer Michael Davies told The TV Column. "With Martin Sheen and Conan we were absolutely told it was because NBC had put pressure on them not to do the show..."

Petty, petty...

On a more positive note (buried in the above article), apparently Comedy Central has no problem with Jon Stewart participating in the November sweeps "Millionaire" edition.

The TiVo I "won" arrived today, and lo, it is the 30-hour version (suggested retail $399), not the 14-hour (discontinued). This just gets better and better...

There's still time to try and win one yourself...

Have you ever had a question that you keep asking people (or yourself) over and over even after you've heard the answer numerous times? For me lately, it's been this: "Okay, they've re-designed the $100, the $50, the $20, the $10 and the $5 bills, when are they redoing the $1?"

And the answer, which I apparently have trouble internalizing, is: "That's what the Golden Dollar is, doofus."

...but I'm still really curious to see how a redesigned $1 bill would look. Oh well.

I poked around and found some confirmation from the Treasury's site:

...and I guess it would be too much to hope for a redesigned $2...

On a related note, the Virginia Quarter is out, and is being sold in special bundles directly from the Mint for a limited time (till Thursday!). Way to create (pointless) artificial scarcity, there.

Finally, something ridiculous/sad from today's Post:

  • Don't Tell Him Bar Said to Call [Washington Post]
    ...the GOP is using a recorded message from Dubya's mom ... to encourage registered Republicans and swing voters in several battleground states to help the Bush campaign as Election Day nears. The toll-free number on Mrs. Bush's message is the same as [limo driver Mohammed] Hasanian's but for two transposed digits -- and many of the Bushites are dialing-challenged. "It's unfortunate," Holt said, "that this gentleman has been inconvenienced."

    "I've been going crazy," Hasanian told us yesterday. "I've gotten at least 300 phone calls on my cell phone. It costs me 35 cents a minute..."

Three hundred?! Oh, my fellow citizens!

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