The Los Angeles Times from Los Angeles, California on April 21, 1995 · Page 260
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The Los Angeles Times from Los Angeles, California · Page 260

Los Angeles, California
Issue Date:
Friday, April 21, 1995
Page 260
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F18 FRIDAY, APRIL 21. 1995 R LOS ANGELES TIMES ROSENBERG r : Continued from Fl through the rubble of some of the TV coverage. Not all of the victims were inside the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building that was nearly obliterated by the explosion of a car bomb outside that nine-story structure Wednesday morning. I Of all the television pictures beamed by Oklahoma City stations that day from the downtown site that CBS anchor Smith later would call "the worst place in America right now," none was more powerful than that of a uniformed policeman bent over an automobile, his bowed head resting almost on the hood, apparently so distraught by what he had seen that he no longer could cope with it. His grief was its own story, filling your imagination with everything he may have seen the bloodshed and mangled bodies of children and others. , Not that much imagination was required, however, so indelibly vjvid was the live footage (much of it "raw and unedited," as TV people say) immediately available t) the nation as the major networks and CNN telecast the live feeds of their affiliate stations in Oklahoma City in the ehaotic aftermath of the slaughter. ; On display, once again, was the amazing capacity of TV newscasters to swiftly mobilize their technological resources for horrifically difficult live coverage of major breaking news, and also the perils entailed by such instantaneous coverage as reporters and camera crews and their studio colleagues madly scramble for fragmentary information that they can rush opto the air while the ashes are still settling. j Much of the work was admirable and even restrained under the circumstances. However . . . "Downtown Oklahoma City is in smoke and flames right now," an anchor for KFOR-TV, an NBC affiliate, overstated at one point Wednesday morning. That was hardly the case. And there was this: !"A second explosive device has been found inside the building," someone breathlessly reported on CBS-affiliate KWTV-TV early Wednesday. "This thing could definitely go off!" a KWTV voice said a little later. -There is another bomb, as yet j I undetonated, on the east side of the building," next reported an anchor for KFOR-TV. "The FBI has confirmed there is another bomb in the federal building," a KFOR reporter echoed, sounding almost hysterical. Not only a second bomb, as a KWTV anchor reported later, but "we're now getting word they've found a third explosive device, and it may be bigger than the second." I At times accompanied by videotape of people fleeing in panic from the direction of the federal building, this multiple-bomb hip-shooting continued on local stations throughout much of the day. Just who confirmed what remains to be seen. In reality, though, there was only one bomb. The Associated Press later quoted local police as saying that the others turned out to be equipment stored in the federal building by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. The live reporting of local stations at once helped their networks and put them in a bind. "There are a lot of unconfirmed reports about causes and things like that, but we cannot control this video and what you are seeing," CNN anchor Leon Harris told viewers at one point. That was true, but CNN later had no one but itself to blame when it began a live phone conversation with a man claiming to operate a business near the federal building, only to be chagrined when he turned out to be a prankster whose agenda was to publicize his favorite radio personality, Howard Stern. Speaking of phone calls, a KFOR anchor reported on the air Wednesday that the station had received a call "from someone from the Nation of Islam saying they are responsible" for the bombing and that other such bombings may be coming. "It could be a crank call," added another anchor. "But just to let you know, the Nation of Islam is the group run by the Rev. Louis Farrakhan. We're not confirming it, but just to let you know." Sure, and if someone claiming to be Barney confessed to planting the bomb, they'd put that on the air too, "just to let you know." If not the Nation of Islam, surely it was the Branch Davidians who were behind the bombing, or if not them, the same group of Islamic terrorists said to have caused the 1993 bombing of New York's World Trade Center. Some of the speculation available through much of Wednesday was understandable. It was, after all, the second anniversary of the federal raid on the Branch Davi-dian compound in Waco, Tex. And, as noted repeatedly, there were striking similarities between the Oklahoma City and Trade Center bombings, "making you wonder," as an anchor from ABC-affiliate KOCO put it, "if there might be jsome connection." ' Plus, there were those reports-quoting the FBI, stations said that authorities were seeking three men with "Middle Eastern-type" looks. If so, then it was information of legitimate news value, even though what constituted "Middle Eastern-type" looks was unclear. But it was a huge jump from that to the wild-swinging interview that former Oklahoma congressman Dave McCurdy gave one station in which he irresponsibly mentioned the Islamic terrorist group Hamas in connection . with the bombing without any substantiation. It Two Eateries in Pasadena, two Different Experiences RESTAURANT IEVIEW By MICHELLE HUNEVEN SPECIAL TO THE TIMES PASADENA On the glass door of Yangstze, a skinny postmodern cave of Asian cuisine in Old Town Pasadena, there are four declarations that form a kind of haiku: i Great Food Good Love Loud Music No Crybabies. Yangstze's menu promises a culinary glide down the. great river and beyond: There are dishes from the Sichuan, Hubei, Hunan, Anhui, Jiansui and Jaiansu provinces of China, as well as barbecue from Korea, many dishes from Thailand and a sushi bar. The food here seems to oscillate Please see RESTAURANTS, F19 K LANDMARK THEATRES Visit MO VIENET at http:www.movienet.commovienet fiMM'iMBffll i f jjglt 1 J J IIUMtRYl Fri.Mon-Thurs 5:00 7:154 9:30 PM TVT FINAL WEEK Sat-Sun 2:45. 5.-00 7:15 a 9:30 PM lUtlrI Free Roof Top Parking, Overland Entrance Now Open! 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As just about everyone noted, the Oklahoma City bombing symbolized just how vulnerable Americans everywhere are to terrorism. And, if that wasn't -terrifying enough, there was the specter, once again, of local anchors with too much time on their hands. That was the case Wednesday afternoon after Channel 4 had begun anchoring bombing coverage from Los Angeles in anticipation of a scheduled TV appearance by President Clinton. But Clinton was delayed, giving anchors the task of filling time. Taking over briefly for Jess Marlow, Paul Moyer said that he. had been at home with his 2Vfc-year-old son when the bombing story broke, "and you look at this, and you wonder what kind of hatred. ..." "It's so horrifying, all you want to do is grab your own child," anchor Colleen Williams said. "I did," Moyer said. They continued babbling about their personal emotions, and a little later Channel 4's fatherly Dr. Spock weighed in with his heaviest advice. "If you have small kids at home today, give 'em a hug," Moyer said. "I did with mine." As if viewers really need to have Moyer lecture them on parenting skills. Who cares what these people think? Just read the news and get on with it. Compare Moyer with Marlow, who has made dignity his anchor signature, and with the solid, economical studio reporting and analysis Wednesday by Channel 4 reporter Jim Avila. Meanwhile, if the investigation wasn't moving swiftly enough to satisfy you, it wasn't from lack of huffing and puffing on the part of some stations. "What happened and who's to blame!" shouted a KABC-TV Channel 7 promo Thursday. "The latest on Eyewitness News at 4, 5 and 6." And remember, if you meet an anchor, give 'em a hug. jArV ftTmilii "& tin i'lltt'itllri - SANDRA BULLOCK BILL PULLMAN While Yon Were Sleeping Q x jf A story about love at second sight t3 pg1.b. Cntnbuted BUCNA VISIA MCTUKS WSnueUTlON, INC. 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Sandra Bullock WHILE YOU WERE SIEEPING(PG) MIAMI RHAPSODYIPG-ll) Liam Neeson ROI ROY(R) THE OUia AND THE DU0(it Pauly Shore JuRYDUTT(PO-l3) DUMI A DUMIER(PG-13 Will Smith lADIOYSIR) HIGHER LEARNMKHRl Wall Disney Presents AGOOFYMOVIE(G) UUTALE(PG) Chris Farley TOMMY IOY(PG-l3) THE WADY KIHCH M0VK(PG-1 31 "A beautifully told love story. A Star Is Born' performance from young Minnie Driver." - Joel Siegel, GOOD MORNING AMERICA 'Circle of Friends' is a "joy to behold...Minnie Driver's performance (is) utterly luminous." - Richard Schickel, TIME Chris O'Donneli The "'Most Endearing Movie' of the first three months is 'Circle of Friends'." - Gene Shalit, TODAY , . "Chris O'Donneli gives a sensitive and appealing performance." - Barbara Siegel, SIEGEL ENTERTAINMENT SYNDICATE and introducing Minnie Driver , JSA ,.s (if H '- Viz."'''' w. "yrzFs 'i-,d J Jliyic m mend Sometimes dreams do come true. lifl TO-13WUItlTlBIIUeAUT10IIBI eimsmKriniufaMSSGns. 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