Top of the Morning, Aug. 15, 2014
The cover of Wednesday's New York Daily News — devoted to Robin Williams' death — left Rich Martin, the head of the UI journalism department, shaking his head. The Daily News used a banner head under Williams' face that read "HANGED" and used four subheads revealing details about the suicide and Williams' personal struggles.
Martin, who spent 29 years as a reporter and editor at the Roanoke (Va.) Times, shared a version of that page doctored by Alan Scherstuhl of Village Voice to show more sympathy to Williams.
"I agreed with that sentiment," Martin said. "(Williams) deserved better than that. There's a lot more information. The way it played was excessive."
Scherstuhl replaced "HANGED" with "Deserves Better." And the subheads he used read: "Made millions laugh," "Occasionally was strong in a dramatic role," "Seemed like a good guy" and "Struggled as we all do."
"He's a celebrity and he's fair game but he's dead," Martin said of Williams. "I think you try to treat people the way you want to be treated. I always tried to approach it that way in the newsroom and that's what I try to teach my students. You don't pull your punches, but you respect people and just because someone is a celebrity doesn't mean you put it all out there, you don't have to."
As far as what to watch this weekend ...
8 p.m., Comedy Central
Back in the day, Illini fans referred to Bruce Weber as BAM, or Bruce Almighty. Jim Carrey plays Bruce, a frustrated reporter who meets God, played by Morgan Freeman. God gives Bruce divine powers for one week and of course hilarity ensues.
"Saturday Night Live"
10:30 p.m., NBC
Another chance to see the extremely talented Anna Kendrick, who starred in "Pitch Perfect" and "Up in the Air," display her comedic chops. For those of you who are fans of Pharrell Williams' hit single "Happy," he performs it while wearing that fancy hat he tried to make fashionable.
Little League World Series
1 p.m., ABC
The youngsters of Jackie Robinson West Little League on the South Side are the first all-black team from Chicago to reach Williamsport since 1983. They've captured the hearts of folks from all walks of life in the Windy City.
Check them out, they're a blast to watch.