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From an email response by the General Manager of WHNT, channel 19, the CBS affiliate covering northern Alabama, which blacked out most of the 60 Minutes segment dealing with the prosecution of former Alabama Governor Don E. Siegelman and falsely told its viewers that it had “network problems”:
I can certainly understand your reason for being upset with us. Tonight at approximately 6pm, WHNT lost the network feed of 60 Minutes for twelve minutes at the beginning of a segment on former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman. Upon investigation, WHNT learned that the CBS receiver that allows us to receive programming from the CBS Network’s New York feed failed. WHNT engineers responded as quickly as possible to diagnose the problem and were able to restore the feed at 6:12pm. I would like to personally extend my sincere apologies to you both and all of our viewers across the Tennessee Valley. Therefore, we will air the segment in its entirety tonight during the 10pm news.
Again, I hope you’ll accept my apology for the unfortunate timing of our technical problems tonight. If you can’t catch our 10pm News tonight, simply go to www.whnt.com and towards the bottom, click “Watch CBS Shows” then News, then 60 Minutes.
Stan Pylant, President, General Manager, WHNT-TV, Huntsville, AL
The station did rebroadcast the segment, at 10:20 Central time, after it finished reporting its police blotter and weather. Just late enough on a night before a work day that it could be certain no one would be watching, since their viewers had by that time gone to bed, if they were not viewing the Oscars.
More from Scott Horton:
Six Questions — October 18, 2014, 8:00 pm
Nathaniel Raymond on CIA interrogation techniques.
On a Friday evening in January, a thousand people at the annual California Native Plant Society conference in San Jose settled down to a banquet and a keynote speech delivered by an environmental historian named Jared Farmer. His chosen topic was the eucalyptus tree and its role in California’s ecology and history. The address did not go well. Eucalyptus is not a native plant but a Victorian import from Australia. In the eyes of those gathered at the San Jose DoubleTree, it qualified as “invasive,” “exotic,” “alien” — all dirty words to this crowd, who were therefore convinced that the tree was dangerously combustible, unfriendly to birds, and excessively greedy in competing for water with honest native species.
In his speech, Farmer dutifully highlighted these ugly attributes, but also quoted a few more positive remarks made by others over the years. This was a reckless move. A reference to the tree as “indigenously Californian” elicited an abusive roar, as did an observation that without the aromatic import, the state would be like a “home without its mother.” Thereafter, the mild-mannered speaker was continually interrupted by boos, groans, and exasperated gasps. Only when he mentioned the longhorn beetle, a species imported (illegally) from Australia during the 1990s with the specific aim of killing the eucalyptus, did he earn a resounding cheer.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A tourism company in Australia announced a service that will allow users to take the “world’s biggest selfies,” and a Texas man accidentally killed himself while trying to pose for a selfie with a handgun.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”