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Ian Punnett's Blog Post 3/6/10

 Ian Punnett's Blog Post 3/6/10

OK, now everybody knows that TV show creators tend to follow familiar formulas. Cop shows, medical dramas, lawyers in love--anybody who’s been watching TV for a few years has seen several variations on some bankable themes for years.

Perhaps that's why the ABC show "Lost" seemed like such a groundbreaker when it first came on six seasons ago.

But after an e-mail from Amy, it’s difficult to see "Lost" as being all that original anymore. Three decades before "Lost," ABC floated "The New People," an unsuccessful pilot that looks very familiar!

"The New People"


Thanks for all the birthday greetings, y’all, and the many, very funny ribbings about turning 50. Ain’t no thing, though. I’ve always felt that my best days are ahead of me--and that’s why it was so amazing that former American Idol contestant Danny Gokey released a song that described my birthday perfectly. What a great song and the attitude that I think everybody should have:


Some people think turning 50 would make for a bad week but aging is nothing compared to what author and frequent radio guest Charles Pellegrino is going through:

From the NYT:

Nobody ever said that James Cameron changes his mind easily. And for now Mr. Cameron, the "Avatar" and "Titanic" filmmaker, says he still plans to produce a movie about the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, even though a book about the subject that he optioned has been withdrawn by its publisher amid questions about its accuracy. The publisher, Henry Holt & Company, said that it would stop shipping and printing copies of "The Last Train From Hiroshima" by Charles Pellegrino, a nonfiction account of the World War II mission to drop an atomic bomb on Hiroshima and of the bombing’s victims. That decision came after the accounts of Joseph Fuoco, a source for the book who is characterized as a substitute flight engineer on the mission, were contradicted by scientists, historians and veterans. In an e-mail message to The Associated Press, Mr. Cameron defended Mr. Pellegrino. "All I know is that Charlie would not fabricate," Mr. Cameron wrote, "so there must be a reason for the misunderstanding." He added that his movie does not "have a shooting script and no decision has been made to proceed in the short term."

Also this week from the NYT:

The university that Charles Pellegrino claimed had awarded and then stripped him of a Ph.D. issued a statement late Thursday saying that it "utterly rejects" his claims as "baseless and defamatory."

Publisher Henry Holt & Company had also questioned whether Mr. Pellegrino actually held a doctorate from Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand, credentials that are listed both on his Web site, www.charlespellegrino.com, and in his author’s biography at the back of the book.

In an interview earlier this week, Mr. Pellegrino said that he had completed his dissertation and was awarded a Ph.D., only to have it stripped a few years later by an ad hoc tribunal convened by faculty members because of a dispute over evolutionary theory. In an e-mailed statement, Professor Pat Walsh, vice chancellor of Victoria University of Wellington, confirmed that Mr. Pellegrino had been a Ph.D. student in the 1980s.

"He submitted a thesis which in the unanimous opinion of the examiners was not of a sufficient standard for a Ph.D. to be awarded," Ms. Walsh said. "Following complaints from Pellegrino, an investigation was carried out by the University. In 1986, Pellegrino appealed to Her Majesty the Queen. The case was then considered by the Governor-General who disallowed the appeal. Accordingly, Pellegrino was never awarded a Ph.D. from Victoria and therefore could not have had it stripped from him or reinstated at a later date."

Charles told me that the vice chancellor is simply wrong about his degree and he will be vindicated one day. As for basing a key part of his most recent book on the testimony of an impostor, Charles said he has learned a lesson, feels foolish and cannot wait for the opportunity to re-edit the book and see it reissued.

Hang in there, Charlie. Your best days are ahead of you.

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