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The Televisionist, Feb. 27



9 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 27

Other than the Central High Crisis of 1957, it's hard to think of a historical event that has given Arkansas a bigger black eye over the years than the arrest, conviction and ongoing incarceration of Jason Baldwin, Damien Echols and Jessie Misskelley, who have come to be known as The West Memphis Three. On May 5, 1993, three eight-year-old boys – Stevie Branch, Christo-pher Byers, and Michael Moore – went missing in West Memphis. The next day, their bodies were found trussed up with shoe-laces and secreted in the bottom of a muddy creek. Misskelley, Echols and Baldwin were soon arrested for their murders, and following kangaroo court trials in which whispers of Satanism and witchcraft but little in the way of hard evidence was brought to bear, they were convicted. Misskelley and Baldwin received life in prison, while Echols – who has since become the poster boy of the WM3 movement – was sentenced to death. Though many famous and not-so-famous supporters have rallied to their cause via the official website WM3.org and two award-winning documentaries about the case, Baldwin, Echols and Misskelley have been rotting in prison for 16 years, flinging themselves repeatedly against the brick wall of the Arkansas judicial system. Here, the CBS news magazine “48 Hours” takes a look at the case. If you're a supporter of the WM3, chances are it won't be anything you haven't heard before – outrage after outrage, followed by a lot of head shaking over why the three were arrested in the first place, much less why they're still in jail after all these years. Featured is an appearance by the reclusive actor Johnny Depp, who in-tones in the preview posted on the CBS website: “I firmly believe Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley are totally innocent. It was a need for swift justice to placate the frightened community.”


?In a world where global warming, terrorism both foreign and domestic, double-digit unemployment and congressional gridlock threaten to dissolve the fabric of American reality itself, who can the people turn to? Why 00bama, of course – suave and dash-ing president by day, super-secret government spy by night. I ran across this very funny web series awhile back, and I'm com-pletely hooked. James Jolly plays Barack Obama — though he goes the Chevy Chase-does-Gerald-Ford route instead of trying to do an impression of the Commander in Chief's famously doctorial delivery. With the help of his loyal sidekicks Vice President Joey B. and Chief of Staff Rahm (who look and sound nothing like their real life counterparts), 00bama fights international terror-ism the progressive way. Case in point from the first episode: 00bama and Rahm stand looking through a one-way mirror at a domestic terrorist, who has planted a bomb set to explode in 20 minutes. Rahm tells the president that maybe they should move to more aggressive interrogation techniques. 00bama shoots him a steely glance, then delivers this gem: “This is AMERICA, man. Save the aggressive techniques for the bedroom.” Yeah, I don't care what your political leanings are, that's funny. While online series have been hit and miss so far, this is one that actually delivers the goods. Funny, smart and full of charm, it's a great bit of TV that ain't on TV – though I wouldn't be surprised if some channel like Spike picks it up in the future.

— David Koon

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