US news anchor Jim Lehrer has died, aged 85. The PBS news host was seen for 36 years on the air and has hosted more US Presidential debates than any other newsperson.

His show, The Jim Lehrer News Hour (which continues still, now named PBS News Hour following his 2011 retirement), airs here in Australia on SBS every afternoon, which is where I became familiar with him on TV.

“I have an old-fashioned view that news is not a commodity,” Mr. Lehrer told The American Journalism Review in 2001. “News is information that’s required in a democratic society, and Thomas Jefferson said a democracy is dependent on an informed citizenry. That sounds corny, but I don’t care whether it sounds corny or not. It’s the truth.”

Source: NYT

Jim Lehrer in 2013. A fixture on public television for decades as an anchor, he also moderated a dozen presidential debates and wrote novels and plays.

Word has gotten out that James Corden isn’t necessarily even driving when doing Carpool Karaoke.

Imagine that… something on TV being fake. It really shakes your faith in the whole system.

You know who does actually do his driving though?

Image result for comedians in cars getting coffee

Polygon criticises the Apple TV+ show Little America for pandering too much to white audiences - making a show that seems almost like a PR exercise.

the notion of ‘the good immigrant,’ which maintains that immigrants and people of color deserve to be treated humanely because they’ve earned their humanity, not because they’re human.” There’s a similar undercurrent to Little America, in spite of the series’ good intentions. Almost all of its stories follow a rags-to-riches formula of hard work, and to some degree, conformity, being the path to triumph in America.

While I think the show is generally good, Karen Han does have a valid point here.

Read the full piece: Polygon

A woman carrying a basket on her head leads her son, who holds a stuffed bear, in Little America

Also over at Polygon today is a look back at the long history of licensed Star Trek comic books.

A massive figure, shirtless and wearing a turban with a curved saber on his belt, despite how he is floating in space, grabs the Enterprise in one hand on the cover of Star Trek #10, Gold Key (1971).

Source: Polygon

Of course, the reason they’re talking about Star Trek is because new Trek show Star Trek: Picard debuted yesterday in the US on CBS All Access and will be available globally via Amazon Prime Video from today.

Zack Handlen has this positive review of the show that is worth a read.

There’s a reassuring confidence to the way the story unfolds, regardless of how you feel about its pacing, and while some of that confidence comes from following familiar tropes, that’s not necessarily a flaw. You could say Picard plays it safe, doling out small servings of reassuring fan service and leaning on structures which have been old since before Patrick Stewart was young, but safety can be a good thing. And I’d argue that it’s not entirely safe. Because, again, Data is dead; and Picard is no longer in Starfleet; and he is old. He is lovely and warm and kind, and he is old.

Source: The AV Club

I’ve seen the first episode and I agree that it is rather good. I really appreciated that viewers don’t need to be overly versed in Star Trek knowledge. There’s a few reveals that will pay off if you know what you’re looking at, but otherwise I think they just come across as dramatic moments.

Largely, this is a character study that is focused on Jean Luc Picard - a former Starfleet Captain who is haunted by the decisions he made in his past and finds himself in the final act of his life unsure about what value he has anymore. This series is about him discovering purpose. It felt similar to the film Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Kahn, which had the still-active James Kirk also questioning his worth as he reaches the final stages of his career.

Alison Pill and Patrick Stewart in 'Star Trek: Picard'

The sequel everyone has been waiting for. To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You debuts on Netflix Feb 12. Rest up…. it’s not long now.

Also on Feb 12 is this Netflix film starring Anne Hathaway and Ben Affleck. The Last Thing He Wanted is about the Iran Contra Affair.

And finally…

There’s a new news channel launching soon. The Comcast owned NBC Sky World News channel is intended to compete with BBC World News and CNN International. The new channel will be based out of the UK and launch mid-year. Beyond that, details are light…

Source: Deadline