Town Considers Censoring Comedians

An English town considers censoring comedians who perform blue material. “Councillors in Newcastle upon Tyne are to be asked to consider banning performers whose acts are branded offensive, racist, sexist or homophobic. It followed calls from the public sector union Unison to ban the comedian Roy Chubby Brown from playing the City Hall, where he has appeared regularly for 20 years.”

Will Ireland Make Artists Pay Taxes?

For the past 35 years, Ireland has exempted artists from paying taxes. “But Celtic Tiger Ireland is now being accused of reverting to its old philistine ways as the government consults in secret on whether to scrap the scheme. Detractors claim that tax-avoiding British writers are taking advantage, and that an elite of millionaire popstars is using it to get rich. The Arts Council is outraged, arguing that Ireland faces losing ‘one of the most enlightened pieces of legislation ever introduced for the arts in any country’.”

Death Of The Adult Movie? (Blame The Studios)

“When it comes to DVD consumers, the studios are confident that if they build a strong adult movie, the audience will come. That feeling does not extend to theatergoers. For that, the studios have only themselves to blame. They’re driving that ever-loyal viewer home to watch HBO or DVDs by not keeping the moviegoing habit going with strong movies aimed at adults. The movie business is pushing them away, making them look for other things, like renting all the seasons of ‘Six Feet Under’.”

Comics A Natural Online…

The comic business is thriving (even if the revenue model isn’t clear yet). “Even though revenue models remain fuzzy, increasing numbers of artists are using the Internet to reach readers directly and break into a business that historically has been limited to the lucky few who get syndicated in newspapers or picked up by comic book publishers.”

Fortress Munch

No one will be stealing anything from Oslo’s Munch Museum again. “When the museum reopened Friday after a 10-month security overhaul, several hundred invited guests waited up to a half-hour each to pass through two airport-style metal detectors, an X-ray machine, an optical ticket reader, a turnstile and a double set of one-way security doors. Inside, all of Munch’s pictures were framed behind glass and bolted to the wall. The most significant ones were further protected by an 11-foot-tall partition of thick glass panels positioned 24 inches from the wall and overseen by security cameras and guards. The online version of the newspaper Aftenposten rechristened the museum ‘Fortress Munch’.”

Family Returns Book To Libray (It Was 78 Years Overdue)

A man has returned a book to the Oakland Public Library 78 years after it was due. “The hardback copy of Rudyard Kipling’s “Kim” was due back on Aug. 29, 1927, but no one in Jim Pavon’s family realized that it was an overdue library book. ‘It’s classic — we all read it. It sat on a shelf or in a box for years. But I guess no one ever noticed that there was a little library card and sleeve on the back cover that said when it was due’.”

TV Ratings War – How To Measure?

The Nielsen TV ratings company is starting to roll out “people meters” to measure viewing in local markets across America. But some in the idustry are complaining about the shifts in ratings compared to the old method of measuring viewership. A Nielsen exec say that the more accurate meters show an increae in viewer time in front of their TV’s…

Public Broadcasting Chairman Comes Under Fire In US Senate

Prominent Democratic Senators question the direction of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting under chairman Kenneth Tomlinson. “Tomlinson, appointed to the CPB board by President Bill Clinton and to the top job by President Bush, has made ideological balance on PBS and National Public Radio a central theme of his tenure at a time when broadcasters in the field are primarily occupied with possible large cuts in federal funding. The House Appropriations Committee on Thursday approved a 25 percent cut in the CPB’s budget for next year.”

The Smoking Emails? CPB Chairman And His Political Witch-hunt

An investigation of Corporation for Public Broadcasting chairman Kenneth Tomlinson turns up emails showing consultations with a former White House official about the public TV politics. “The e-mail messages are part of the evidence being collected in a broad inquiry by the inspector general of the corporation into whether Mr. Tomlinson violated any rules that require that the corporation act as a buffer between politics and programming.”