Somewhere in cyberspace

Under the heading “Other than that, everything checked out,” Best of the Web Today points out the following correction from yesterday’s New York Times: “A chart last Sunday with an article about cable channels created by the National Basketball Association and the National Football League misstated the name of another professional sports organization, the PGA Tour; misstated the annual television revenue for Major League Baseball and Nascar; misidentified two of the networks that broadcast Major League Baseball games; and omitted one that broadcasts Nascar races. The chart also referred incompletely to the expiration of Major League Baseball’s and Nascar’s current TV deals.”
The editor’s note accompanying Sunday’s corrections at the least deserves further comment. Here’s the editor’s note: “A review of ‘Governor Reagan: His Rise to Power,’ by Lou Cannon, on Page 16 of the Book Review today, refers to a CBS mini-series on President Ronald Reagan, ‘scheduled for this month.’ On Tuesday, after the Book Review had gone to press, CBS, under pressure from Republicans and conservatives, announced that the series would be shifted to the network’s cable affiliate, Showtime.”
Perhaps Robert Bartley’s “Thinking Things Over” column today — “The culture wars reach the culture” — supplies the necessary commentary. Bartley writes: “The Reagan broadcast suggests that market forces may be more powerful than democratic ones. The CBS business plan seems to have been to spice up its sweeps entries with a little salaciousness at the expense of an Alzheimer’s victim, stir some controversy and tot up all the viewers tuning in to see what the fuss was about. Somewhere in cyberspace this backfired, and CBS decided to live to fight another day.”


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