Two Cents


"The network set up a new subscription number- 1-800-COMING-OUT-and distributed premiere party kits to gay and lesbian college groups. (Though one hopes any self-respecting homosexual would take a pass on party tips from a TV company.) But Showtime had a hard time recruiting actors from big agencies, fearful of their clients being typecast as gay..Several fashion designers (of all industries!) even refused to have their products placed in the series."

-Time magazine reporting on Showtime's new graphically frank fictional series about gays, As Queer as Folk, debuting this Sunday at 9 p.m. ET. The pay service hopes QAF will do for it what Sex and the City did for rival HBO.

"As a TV critic, I can poke holes in Barney's show-its approach, its quality, its execution. As a dad, I don't have a leg to stand on."

-Arizona Republic's Bill Goodykoontz on America's most famous purple dinosaur.

"He's clearly using the prestige and the name of his office to enrich himself financially. ... And even if that's not illegal, I find it very troubling."

-Minnesota Democratic State Sen. John Marty on Jesse Ventura as XFL's new color commentator, as reported by the AP.

"I realize the value of entertaining a person as well as informing them-which is something I'll probably get clobbered for saying, but is true."

-Melinda Chait, a new news producer at WBAL-TV Baltimore, trying for a full-time position, made difficult because, in the past, she was a producer for Jerry Springer. Reported by David Folkenflik in The Baltimore Sun.

"I will always remember the First Father of the First Family, who is responsible for setting a national example, brought shame and public humiliation on his wife, his daughter and his country by marital infidelity and lying under oath-right into the camera, looking straight into my face! I take it personally."

-TV and radio talk-show host Dr. Laura Schlessinger, in Time magazine, about what she'll remember about the Clinton White House.

"Early in the story, news crews staked their claim on the sidewalks across from the courthouse. Crews used duct tape to box off 3- to 6-foot sections. They then branded the sidewalk with their station's call letters. 'Most crews abide by it,' said freelance cameraman Tony Long. The tape is usually good for the entire story, so turf doesn't need to be reclaimed every day. 'But if things really start shaking and you leave your square, people will pull up your tape and move in.'"

-How television crews methodically set up shop in West Palm Beach to cover the election recount fracas, from Jim Romanesko's MediaNews at