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Berry's World
Saturday, May 08, 2004
 
SO, I'M NOT THE ONLY ONE

A group of fans of The West Wing have petitioned NBC to cancel the show. Here's the letter they sent:

March 24, 2004

Jeffrey Zucker
President, NBC Entertainment
NBC
3000 W. Alameda Ave.
Burbank, CA 91523


Dear Mr. Zucker:

As a significant portion of The West Wing's core fans, we are writing to share our concerns about the direction that the show has taken this season.

Under Aaron Sorkin's leadership, the show won four consecutive Best Drama Emmys and built up an impressive audience. Sorkin's talent, Thomas Schlamme's direction, and the impressive ensemble combined to create a critically and publicly acclaimed hit show about politics.

After the departure of Sorkin and Schlamme, however, loyal viewers began to notice a change. The cast members still turn in top-notch performances, and the technical brilliance of the show remains. The storylines, on the other hand, have devolved into mediocrity. John Wells' decision to eschew Sorkin's witty dialogue and obscure subject matter in favor of "dramatic" and "personal" storylines (a nuclear detonation! CJ's affair with Hoynes! Mrs. Bartlet communes with Elmo!) has resulted in a season's worth of episodes that are nowhere near the quality programming that hooked West Wing fans in the first place.

Yet you seem reluctant to take the show off the air.

The West Wing is no longer recognizable as the bright, witty, intelligent show Aaron Sorkin created. Therefore we, the undersigned fans of the original West Wing, respectfully request that you put the actors and the audience out of our collective misery and cancel it at the end of this season.

Isn't requesting cancellation an unusual step for self-declared fans? Yes, it is. But desperate times call for desperate measures, and we can no longer sit silently in front of our television sets every Wednesday, disappointed yet again. Instead of watching the slow slide into unrelenting mediocrity, we urge you to let The West Wing go out with some measure of dignity.

Sincerely,
Fans of the West Wing

encl: petition

cc:

Warner Bros. Television
John Wells Productions
Aaron Sorkin
Thomas Schlamme
Stockard Channing
Dule Hill
Allison Janney
Joshua Malina
Janel Moloney
Richard Schiff
Martin Sheen
John Spencer
Bradley Whitford


I hope NBC takes the hint and cans the show or brings back Aaron Sorkin and Thomas Schlamme.
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Friday, May 07, 2004
 
STUPIDITY THAT DARE NOT SPEAK ITS NAME

Inexplicably, the usually level-headed Nichole, of Passenger Pachyderms, agrees with The Rittenhouse Review's mindless comparison of the American's treatment of Iraqi prisoners to...wait for it...the Nazi's behavior during the Holocaust. Here's Jim Capozzola's take on things:

This is not a conclusion I reach easily or lightly, but American troops have been caught acting like Nazis and someone, several people, must be held responsible.

Jimmy, 5.5 million people were killed in the Holocaust, and in a manner that would make the events in Iraq seem like a weekend at Club Med. Cappozola tries to preempt any criticism of his idiotic comparison by claiming that it's merely 'politically incorrect', but that dog won't hunt. Until we hear about people being thrown into ovens, and unspeakable experiments being conducted, this comparison is just an exercise in intellectual dishonesty.

Now, don't get me wrong. I find what some American soldiers have done to be revolting, and I hope that the responsible parties (all of them) end up doing hard time, but to compare them to the Nazis? That comparison can only spring from an overly partisan attitude, or a completely vacant mind.
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LOCAL NEWS TRUMPS SENATE ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE

At 11AM, the Los Angeles CBS affilliate and ABC affilliate both switched from the hearing to local news.

Luckily, our NBC station stayed with the Senate Armed Services Committee.
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LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON

A barrel of oil hit $40 bucks for the first time since President George H.W. Bush was in the White House.
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PLEASE TIP YOUR WAITRESSES

DAVID LETTERMAN

Cheney says that Walmart is a great American institution. Well, that's true; all the workers are Mexican and the stuff is made in China.

Bush has a slight lead over Kerry, so today he hung a banner over the White House that read, 'Mission Accomplished.'

JAY LENO

President Bush was on Arab TV to talk about the Iraqi POW abuse scandal. President Bush said, 'In a democracy, mistakes are investigated.' Well, not election mistakes.

For Kerry, the key swing states are Arizona, Ohio, Wisconsin and Michigan. For George Bush, the key swing states are Florida...and Florida, and Florida, and Florida!

A lot of old favorites going away this month: 'Friends,' 'Frazier,' Martha Stewart, Donald Rumsfeld...

As you know it's May sweeps - which is a real dilemma for the Bush White House. Do they bring out Osama now or wait until November?

Now that Google's stock is coming out, they asked President Bush if he had ever Googled. He said, 'Every morning with Listerine.

President Bush said he's visiting small towns in Michigan and Ohio because he said, 'I find it really fun to go to a place where people didn't expect the president to come.' Next, he's going to a book store. Should be fascinating.

Supreme Court Justice David Souter was mugged over the weekend while jogging in Washington, D.C. ... Police said it appeared to be a random assault, although President Bush said it was clearly an attempt by the Democrats to sabotage the election. Because they know Bush needs those judges!

The Supreme Court is deciding whether the president can detain an American citizen indefinitely without legal counsel. I'm sorry but isn't that why we left England? Didn't we already have a King George?

CRAIG KILBORN

President Bush has traded in Air Force One
for this customized bus to campaign in the swing states of Ohio and Michigan. Nothing convinces people that the economy's good like a President riding the bus.

At the President's stop in Ohio, 5,000 people gathered to cheer his record on jobs. Then they all flew back to India.
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Thursday, May 06, 2004
 
SIDE OUT

Terri Schiavo is being used as a volleyball again.
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THE FANS HAVE SPOKEN!

One day after Major League Baseball officially sold out to Columbia Pictures by agreeing to put a movie logo on every base in every stadium for a few days, MLB backed down after an outcry by fans.

Suck on that, Spiderman!
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STOP IT, YOU'RE KILLING ME!

Jokes, Pranks, And Hijinks:

Prank Shooter Pleads No Contest

The man who gave pranksters a real Halloween scare by shooting one of them pleaded no contest Wednesday to aggravated battery with a firearm. Derrick Young, 31, will spend the next two years on community control, followed by three years of probation. On Nov. 1, 2003, six teenaged pranksters went to Young's home, at 27272 Guapore Drive in Punta Gorda. With scary masks and dark clothes, Young's mother became scared. Young opened his door and fired a .38-caliber revolver -- hitting one of the young men in his calf. Young, who had no previous criminal history, told detectives he didn't intend to shoot anyone, he just wanted to scare them, according to the arrest report. The bullet did not hit any bones and the teen suffered no permanent injury.

Teen Admits Killing Friend In Gun Prank

A teenager accidentally shot a friend dead after putting a gun to his head as a joke, a London court has heard. Renelle Coke, 18, was playing with the pistol when it fired a single shot, instantly killing Dean Davis, also 18, the Old Bailey heard. "He deliberately mucked around with the hammer mechanism and the gun went off," said prosecutor Jeremy Benson. "It was an accident and he did not pull the trigger." He said an unnamed 17-year-old had brought the gun into the house in east London last July and the three were larking about with it. Coke, who admitted manslaughter, was remanded in custody for sentencing on May 5. Manslaughter carries a maximum life term.

Toronto Radio Pranks Lead To Court Threats

Todd Shapiro, the Toronto radio host who gained access to the Flyers' hotel last week, then verbally abused Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock at a Toronto doughnut shop, told the Courier-Post Monday that he is "seriously considering" pressing charges against Flyers assistant coaches Craig Hartsburg and Wayne Fleming. The Flyers, in turn, are threatening to file harassment charges against Shapiro, 30, who has worked for 102.1-FM, The Edge, for the past three years. Wednesday morning, before the Flyers and Toronto Maple Leafs played Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals, Shapiro followed Hitchcock into a Tim Horton's doughnut shop with a megaphone and began taunting the Flyers' coach. "I said, `The Flyers (stink) and we'll kick their (behinds),' which we did," Shapiro recalled Monday. (Editor’s Note: Philadelphia eliminated Toronto, 4 games to 2).

Pupils Suspended In Laxative Prank
---Spiked Brownies Claim 25 Victims


Two 8th graders at a Long Grove school who distributed brownies laced with laxatives to 25 classmates were suspended for failing to grasp the seriousness of their prank, officials said Monday. "Nobody was seriously injured, but you have to be careful," said Chris Jakicic, principal of Woodlawn Middle School, where the stunt occurred. "The way we calculated it, there was about one dose [of laxative] per brownie." The two pupils, who said they had seen a similar joke on television, were suspended for five days for the April 27 incident. Two other 8th graders were suspended two days for their involvement, but school officials declined to describe what they did. The pupils who masterminded the plan told their victims about the joke after they ate two batches of brownies during lunch, prompting some of them to tell school officials.

Expensive Prank

An eighth-grader is learning an expensive lesson for a prank that cleared out a school in the South Valley. It happened at Green Acres Middle School on Tuesday and also caused a quarantine at nearby Kaweah Delta Hospital. A 13-year-old boy admits to planting an envelope filled with chalk dust. That stunt set off an anthrax scare that forced hundreds of students and teachers out of class. It also triggered a disaster mode response from the local fire department. The price tag for the prank is about $15,000. The boy has been cited for the prank and his parents could be forced to pay part of the bill.

Student Rescued From Car Trunk After Prank Goes Wrong

A prank started as some after school fun, but got a little scary after a few minutes for a Brevard County high school student on Wednesday. Emergency crews had to come to the rescue after the Holy Trinity Episcopal student got locked in the trunk of his car. His friends thought he had a key-less entry system to the car. The teenager was in the trunk for about twenty minutes. He wasn't injured, but said it did get rather hot in there.
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Wednesday, May 05, 2004
 
WANNA KNOW THE REST? HEY, BUY THE RIGHTS

How bizarre, indeed:

Boy Recovering After Bizarre Stunt

A 12-year-old Granbury boy who was struck by a car while two friends watched through the lens of a video camera was continuing to recuperate in a Fort Worth hospital. Police said they are still unsure as to why the boy was reclined with a pillow in the middle of a dark street about 10:25 p.m. Saturday. “We have no idea what gave them the idea to do it,” Mitch Galvan, a detective with the Granbury Police Department, said Friday. Galvan said no evidence supports the theory that the boys may have been emulating a stunt portrayed on television.

So. California Man Recovering After Six Nails Driven Into Head

A construction worker had six nails driven into his head in an accident with a high-powered nail gun, but doctors said Wednesday they expect him to make a full recovery.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2004-05-05-nail-head_x.htm
An X-ray image from Providence Holy Cross Hospital in Los Angeles shows 6 nails embedded in the skull of Isidro Mejia.

Bizarre Killing Spree Ends In WNC

A man hunting down his estranged wife went on a two-state killing spree before shooting himself in the head while fleeing police, authorities said Monday. Douglas Manning McClymont died from the gunshot wound about noon Monday in a Tennessee hospital. Police said he killed a longtime acquaintance in Florida and kidnapped the man's wife before fleeing to Franklin. McClymont, 36, then shot Joann and James Maney in their home, where they were protecting his estranged wife. Investigators in Florida believe McClymont kidnapped William Bowes early Sunday. McClymont had known Bowes, 53, of Lake Helen, Fla., for 15 years.

Coroner Ponders Bizarre Script

It is a script too bizarre for television.

---Cheryl Edmiston, a healthy, vibrant and loved woman, goes into hospital for a minor operation which experts said she did not need.
---She is seen by a urologist who is depressed because of a marriage failure and is having psychological and psychiatric counselling.
---That surgeon allows a trainee who has never even seen a bladder biopsy being done to do the operation.
---The patient's health goes steadily downhill and medication to fight dehydration and infection is given hours later than intended.
---Meanwhile, the surgeon is difficult to contact as he spends the afternoon in the Family Court and the evening on a $250 dinner date with a female friend. Ms Edmiston died the next morning.

Shooter Offers Bizarre Defense

The wild-eyed man who shot a bicyclist on the Williamburg Bridge last month claims he only stopped the rider because his feet hurt. "I had no money to get back home to Brownsville," Julius Griffin, 47, told authorities after his April 11 arrest. "I had walked a little less than halfway onto the bridge when I heard someone come from behind me…My feet were hurting from walking all night and, right there, I decided that I needed his bike to get home." Griffin was arraigned Friday in State Supreme Court in Manhattan on a charge of first-degree robbery in an attack on Marcin Muchalski, 26, a Polish immigrant who was cycling from his home on the Lower East Side to a waiter's job in Williamsburg when he ran into Griffin. Griffin had been charged with attempted murder, but those charges were dropped. He still faces up to 25 years if convicted in the robbery. Muchalski, who was shot in the arm and leg, has said he offered Griffin his mountain bike, but refused to hand over his cell phone.

Homeless Man Makes Bizarre Bomb Threat


Two homeless men were arrested for separate crimes this week, including one who was arrested and charged with making a bomb threat if a hospital were not built in Pahrump. According to Deputy Todd Arms, Richard Brennan, 55, on Monday called 911 three times from the pay telephone at the Rebel station at Highway 160 and Basin Avenue. Each time he made the bomb threat, Brennan said was with the radical environmental movement Earth First!
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MORE BASEBALL WAGERING

With Berry's World in line to collect the first season of The West Wing on DVD's from Uncle Hornhead (the magic number is 134 and shrinking fast), I've hooked another fish. A Dodgers fan, who is a distant relative of mine simply because we share the same parents, has wagered Dave Chappelle: Season One Uncensored DVD Box Set on where the Dodgers will finish in the NL West. If they finish 1st or 2nd (with a winning record), he wins, and 3rd or worse, I win.

I'm sure as we hung up the phone, we each muttered the word 'sucker'.
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Tuesday, May 04, 2004
 
SEVEN DAYS IN MAY

Cursor needs your help to remain the most indispensable news source on the Web. Help them help everybody by tossing them a sawbuck or two. You'll be glad you did.
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BMW DRIVERS GET THEIR FREAK ON

BMW drivers have more sex than owners of any other cars and are much more active than Porsche drivers, a new German car magazine has found.

BMW drivers say they have sex on average 2.2 times each week.
Audi (2.1)
Volkswagen (1.9)
Ford (1.7)
Mercedes (1.6)
Porsche (1.4)

And here I am tooling around in a Saturn.
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I KNEW IT!!!!!

South Knox Bubba, best known for his biscuit gravy reviews, and Lean Left point out a chart that speaks volumes!
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FOUR DEAD IN OHIO

34 years ago today my alma mater was ripped apart, and Allison Krause, Jeffrey Miller, Sandy Scheur, and William Schroeder were killed.

http://www.cnn.com/COMMUNITY/transcripts/2000/5/4/filo/

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Monday, May 03, 2004
 
I WISH THEY'D KNOCK IT OFF

Ted Rall drew a cartoon.

Michele Catalano, in extremely lady-like fashion, writes that if she and Rall 'ever cross paths one day (and the time is getting close to where I will do my best to make that happen), I will risk the chances of going to jail just for that one moment of joy I will feel when my fist meets your face.'

Andrew Sullivan writes that 'Tillman represents all that the far left hates about America, and fears might be true.'

Glen Reynolds takes the left further to task by writing 'They fear that ordinary Americans might be their moral superiors. And, of course, that is true.'

Come on, folks. It's one cartoon, by one guy, and it doesn't really say any more about the Left than the American soldiers who abused Iraqi prisoners say about the Right.

To be honest, I didn't think the cartoon was very funny, but to punch a guy in the face because you didn't like it? Or figure that Pat Tillman (there's an ordinary American if I've ever seen one) represents why some people hate America? Or that simply because Tillman joined the military that he's morally superior to others? (Glenn, did you blog this from Afghanistan or Iraq, or aren't you an ordinary American?)

You know, it's OK to say you didn't like the cartoon without going one toke over the line, sweet Jesus.

UPDATE: A Small Victory's Michele Catalano responded with this e-mail:

Maybe you find it funny to insinuate that Tillman wanted to go to Iraq to kill him some Arabs, but I don't. (Editor’s Note: I guess I was too subtle when I wrote ‘…I didn't think the cartoon was very funny…’) I've been at this with Rall for a long time, almost two years, and I'm not going to stop now. Sure, I wouldn't have the guts to punch him if I saw him - doesn't mean I wouldn't want to. (Editor’s Note: Apparently I badly misinterpreted this sentence from Michele's post: ‘…I will risk the chances of going to jail just for that one moment of joy I will feel when my fist meets your face.') Tillman, for many people who had heard of him before he became a soldier - is the face of the war dead. He represents all soldiers. You tarnish his image, you tarnish the image of all soldiers. This isn’t about hero worship, it's about Rall being a callous bastard. Really, it's the first panel of the strip that bothers me the most. That borders on slander. (Editor’s Note: Considering the permanence of Rall’s work, Michele probably means libel.)
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OPENING DAY OF FIRE SEASON

Southern California's Fire Season kicked off today, three weeks earlier than last year because of concerns about dangerous conditions caused by a lack of rainfall and a tree-killing bark beetle infestation.

While the Fire Season began a fortnight and a half early this year, there has been no word on if the Fire Playoffs will begin earlier than last year.
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Sunday, May 02, 2004
 
A CHUCKLE FROM DOONESBURY

http://doonesbury.msn.com/strip/dailydose/index.html

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WHO WILL WIN IN NOVEMBER? IT DEPENDS ON THE REDSKINS

The Los Angeles Times points out that the fate of President Bush depends on the outcome of an October 31st game between the Washington Redskins and Green Bay Packers. In a 72-year streak covering the last 18 presidential elections, things go like this:

If the Redskins go down to defeat or tie in the game prior to the election, the sitting president's party loses the White House.

Makes you wonder who Oliver Willis will root for, huh?
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KERRY PULLS A BARTLETT

Patridiot Watch has the news that Senator Kerry crashed his bike.
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AIR AMERICA BACK ON IN LOS ANGELES!!

Sadly, I'm referring to Air America, the horrible little movie starring Mel Gibson and Robert Downey, Jr., which is airing on KTLA 5 opposite the Lakers-Spurs game.
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IT'S 98° IN BERRY'S WORLD


http://kcal9.com/homepage/

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INFORMATION I DIDN'T NEED

ESPN's Gary Miller offers this nugget:

---Two of the few hardy souls who shun batting gloves were in the building in Phoenix this week. Mark Grace, who now is a broadcaster for the D-Backs, and the Cubs' Moises Alou.

Alou says the secret to hitting without batting gloves is to harden your hands and prevent calluses. One of his methods might win someone the prize money on the TV show, "Fear Factor." He urinates on his hands. That's the honest truth. Alou said he isn't sure where he learned this distasteful folk medicine, but it wasn't from his famous father. And it works for Moises.

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FINALLY, SOME GOOD NEWS

Considering the daily bad news coming from Iraq, this is fantastic news indeed!
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AND THE NBA CHAMPIONS ARE...

If history is any guide, the NBA Champions will be known later today. The winner of game 1 of the series between the Los Angeles Lakers and the San Antonio Spurs has won the last 5 NBA titles.

My prediction? I'm torn. My head says the Spurs, but my heart says the Lakers.
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