Good News

February 29th, 2008

Thirteen blogger: Hugh Siegel, Communications

They say “No news is good news.” But I say, “What do they know.” In my line of work – which is alternately called Communications, Publicity, Public Relations (and to some not so nice people, Flacking) – we live for news. Journalists are our heroes. We lovingly cut clips out of the paper and pin them with pride to our bulletin boards. The smell of newsprint lifts our spirits. In our quiet moments, we chant the headlines of the stories they write about us like mantras.

Well . . . I mean . . . some people do. I’m not talking about myself, of course.

Anyway, since all news is good news – and you’re probably too busy to keep up with it all – I have the pleasure of sharing a few of the week’s notable stories about Thirteen with you.

I probably don’t have even have to tell you that the big story of the week was the New York Philharmonic’s historic trip to Pyongyang, North Korea. It was a media extravaganza. And, we were a big part of it.

New York Times reporter Anthony Tommasini wrote, “. . . in a way, the potential (if any) of this concert to thaw the icy relations between North Korea and the United States may have come through even better in the live relay that I watched at home on my desktop computer. The performance was streamed at 4 a.m. on Tuesday on the PBS-WNET Web site. (A broadcast in conventional fashion was scheduled for Tuesday night at 8 in the New York area as part of the Great Performances series on WNET, and showings on other PBS stations will follow later in the week.)

Thanks, Thomas. We are happy we could give you a front-row seat to the peace “overture” of the year.

Speaking of peace, one of the great peace activists – master troubadour Pete Seeger – was the talk of the TV pages this week, thanks to the American Masters documentary, Pete Seeger: The Power of Song. The Daily News called the film “first rate” and gave it three and half stars (no one’s perfect, I guess. . . ), noting, “the most fascinating part may be the window into Seeger’s personal life.” The LA Times critic went one better. After watching the program, he said he wished Seeger could be president of the United States.

One can always dream . . .

And while we’re on the subject of presidential candidates . . . former, almost-potential president of the United States Stephen Colbert sat down with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. on Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report this week to talk about the Harvard professor’s genealogical studies – which form the basis for Thirteen’s African American Lives series.

Television about television. For a PR guy, what could be better than that?