Nov 22, 2011

Screeners complete pre-selection for INPUT pubcasting entries

Pre-selection for U.S. entries for next year's INPUT (INternational PUblic Television) screening conference took place Nov. 16-20 in Charleston, S.C., where South Carolina ETV is INPUT secretariat. American finalists will be announced in mid-December for INPUT, which takes place May 7-12, 2012, in Sydney, Australia. The panel, from left to right: Gayle Loeber, NETA; Erica Deiparine-Sugars, ITVS; Donald Thoms, PBS; Ron Hull, Nebraska ETV; Amy Shumaker, SCETV; Jennifer Lawson, CPB; Betsy Newman, SCETV; Sandie Pedlow, Latino Public Broadcasting; and Bill Gilcher, Goethe Institute. (Image: Kent Steele, WNET)

Former "Sesame Street" composer charged in child porn case

Fernando Rivas, a former award-winning composer for Sesame Street, entered a not guilty plea in federal court Monday (Nov. 21), in Charleston, S.C., on charges of production, transportation and possession of child pornography, according to the local Post and Courier.  Local officers and FBI agents had executed a search warrant at Rivas's Charleston home on April 19, during which Rivas reportedly admitted to restraining a 4-year-old girl in handcuffs and photographing her, the paper says.

According to his website, Rivas began to write for the Children's Television Workshop, now Sesame Workshop, in 1990 and composed "a number of songs for the show Sesame Street," featuring singers Celia Cruz, Gloria Estefan and Cindy Lauper. The Juilliard School alum shared Emmy Awards in 1995 and '96 for his work on the show. The New York Daily News reports he worked on Elmopalooza, which won the 1999 Grammy for Best Children's Album.

Rivas posted 10 percent of $300,000 bail. U.S. Magistrate Judge Bristow Marchant ordered Rivas to  remain at home with electronic monitoring, no Internet access and no interaction with children without an adult present who is aware of the charges against him.

Bachmann's book reveals soft spot for Keillor — who doesn't return the feeling

Michele Bachmann has lots of nice things to say about her fellow Anoka (Minn.) High School alum Garrison Keillor in her new book Core of Conviction, which hit bookstores Monday (Nov. 21), reports Politico. Of the Prairie Home Companion host, she writes, "His politics are very different from mine, but I love his gentle, knowing humor. Keillor understands Minnesota, from Lutherans to lutefisk, and his ability to squeeze laughs out of serious-minded midwesterners makes him a legend.” She also compliments his writing skills.

But Keillor doesn't feel the same about her. In a 2010 letter of support for her Bachmann's Democratic opponent in Minnesota’s 6th District, Keillor wrote: “It’s embarrassing to me and a great many Minnesotans that Michele Bachmann, a politician who is so busy grandstanding and giving interviews on Fox News that she doesn’t have time to serve the people who elected her, represents the 6th District in Washington.”

Politico contacted Keillor to get his reaction to Bachmann's book. "As an old Democrat, I wish that Michelle's presidential campaign were doing better than it is," he said.