'Listening to America' with Bill Moyers

MEDIA MONITOR

April 07, 1992|By Steve McKerrow

ON AND OFF THE AIR:

* What we really should want is to get the politicians "Listening to America," not just the PBS viewers who tune in commentator Bill Moyers' latest series premiering tonight.

Continuing through the elections in November, the program (at 10 o'clock on Maryland Public Television) promises exploration of the issues of campaign '92 that go well beyond the headline topics of who may or may not have committed adultery, dodged the draft or smoked marijuana.

For instance, the first two episodes, "America: What Went Wrong," focus on the award-winning Philadelphia Inquirer series (and book) of that title by Donald J. Barlett and James B. Steele. And other provocative titles in the series ask "What's Wrong With Politics?" (April 21) and "Who Owns Our Government?" (April 28).

* A syndicated special this evening asks another question of long debate: Whatever happened to Amelia Earhart?

"The Search for Amelia Earhart," at 8 o'clock on WNUV-Channel 54, springs from the recent headlines chronicling new evidence recovered from the Pacific atoll of Nikumaroro. Has proof finally been found of where the globe-girdling aviator (and navigator Fred Noonan) really met their end 55 years ago?

* Speaking of good questions, an HBO "America Undercover" special tonight indirectly raises one that needs answering: Why is our culture so fascinated by killers?

Last week "The Silence of the Lambs" swept the Academy Awards with its chilling portrayal of a fictional serial killer. Tonight, "The Iceman Tapes: Conversations With a Killer" offers the real thing (at 10 p.m. on the premium service). In this case, the subject is Richard Kuklinski, a convicted "hit man" serving a life sentence.

* Congratulations to former WJZ-Channel 13 newscaster Donna Hamilton. Later this week in Washington the longtime host of "Evening Magazine" will receive a 1992 Ohio State Award for her independently produced Middle East documentary, "The Peacemakers."

The program, which aired on Channel 13 last summer, articulately explored the Israeli/Palestinian conflict in Israel by profiling people trying to forge links between the cultures.

* Being a media celebrity has its odd moments. For example:

Connie Chung of CBS news and husband/talk show host Maury Povich were in town on behalf of WBAL-Channel 11 for the opening of Oriole Park at Camden Yards. They did an interview at the stadium, attended a brunch on TV Hill and then went on to the game.

In the morning at the stadium, recounts Channel 11 program chief Emerson Coleman, a fan asked Chung for an autograph -- but wanted her to sign the back of his automobile license plate! She did.

But the question remains: How will he display the prize?

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