Who says there's never a lawyer around when you needone? Not Rudy Gaskins, VP of on-air promotions at Court TV. He was happy to have somehigh-powered defense attorneys as guests when he wed actress Joan Baker at the BaysideAlta Mira Hotel in Sausalito, Calif., on Oct. 24. At the start of the ceremony, while theofficiator was recounting a tour of Court TV's studios, Gaskins noticed small piecesof dustdrifting through the air, like "little drops of rain." The brideand groom stepped back and peered up just in time to avoid the hail of plaster that soonfollowed. Gaskins said a chunk of the ceiling, measuring about four feet by one foot,collapsed in a heap close to where the couple had stood. Afterward, Raymond Brown, adefense attorney and Court TV anchor, volunteered to step in and negotiate asettlement with the hotel, which "was a very nice wedding present," Gaskinssaid. Meanwhile, the wedding videographer claimed "he got all of it," Gaskinssaid. The Wire figures the tape will show up on Fox eventually.
It's been a while since a cable industry leader hadsomething nice to say about Vice President Al Gore. C. Michael Armstrong, chairman and CEOof AT&T, had the opportunity last week in his speech to the Washington MetropolitanCable Club, but he let it pass. The prepared text of Armstrong's remarks said peoplehave been expecting broadband multimedia services "ever since Al Gore started talkingabout the "Information Superhighway."In his own words, Armstrongdropped the reference to Gore and replaced it with "since we all started talkingabout the `Information Superhighway.'" The wait continues.
The bloodless coup that landed Rep. Bob Livingston (R-La.)in the Speaker's chair was good news for Rep. Billy Tauzin (R-La.), chairman of theHouse Telecommunications Subcommittee. Tauzin has chafed (though never overtly) under therule of Commerce Committee chairman Rep. Tom Bliley (R-Va.), who has not sharedTauzin's enthusiasm for keeping cable rates regulated. But with Cajun countrycousin Livingston running the House, Tauzin will surely be a more formidable figure in1999. While Tauzin spokesman Ken Johnson steered clear of the Tauzin-Blileyrelationship, he said Tauzin's close ties with Livingston should pay off in 2001,when Tauzin is slated to become Commerce chairman. That's when House rules call onBliley to yield the gavel.
Director Michael Moore of Roger & Me fame took aribbing when he talked about his new series for Bravo, The Awful Truth, last weekon Howard Stern's radio show. Of course, Stern needled Moore, whom he called "aprofessional pain in the ass," about being on Bravo. "What's Bravo?"Stern said, then told Moore he's probably better off being on cable so he can escapethe censorship of broadcast, but added, "The only bad part is there won't beany money, either." Moore said that on his new show he plans to go to the FCC toask that it return the $1.8 million it fined Stern for saying "penis" on theair. In fact, Moore said it would only be fair for the FCC to strip MSNBC "of itslicense" for airing the Clinton testimony, which contained similar language. Sorry,Michael: The FCC doesn't license cable nets. MSNBC got another drubbing from Moorewhen he referred to it and said, "I don't even know what that thing is."
By R. Thomas Umstead from bureau reports