Unconfirmed sources report that CNN has decided to air a special commemorating the life of actor Heath Ledger instead the State of the Union Address. The special is a four hour biographical study of Ledger with several interview segments and movie clips, including many from the young star’s most recent film Broke Back Mountain. There are also rumors swirling that ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX may be planning their own Ledger specials to compete with CNN’s offering.
The Washington pundit class is all a flutter over the choice CNN has made to pass on coverage of the State of the Union Address, but Jonathan Klein, president of CNN is unapologetic.
“Look, we here at CNN pride ourselves on broadcasting the most relevant news to our public every moment of the day.” Explained Klein. “Heath Ledger may have been young, but as an actor he showed great promise. His lose is big big news. His life is an allegorical tale of the risks of success in America today. This coming State of the Union, on the other had, is just not that news worthy. How many people are going to tune into listen to a discredited and powerless President try to spin a legacy out of a failed administration?”
“Klein, makes a good point.” Says Washington watcher Bill Cummings, of the Cummings Research Group, a media think tank. “When you think of the blather Bush fobbed off as a State of the Union Address the last few times, it makes sense to broadcast almost anything else. It’s just unseemly to totally ignore the President, even if the speech is likely to be as substantive as say The Girls Next Door, shown on the E! channel.”
Even if the major networks pass on the State of the Union Address you can still catch in C-Span, NPR and Public Television.