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Falling: Olympic Athlete’s Rights Out of a fear that athletes would scoop the Olympics’ authorized broadcasters — who paid an estimated $1.3 billion in TV rights — The International Olympic Committee is prohibiting athletes’ Web diaries under Rule 59 of the Olympic Code of Conduct. The First Amendment doesn’t exist beyond America’s borders, for sure, but what kind of gag order is this? Athletes can’t write about their experiences because of a contract with the media whose bread and butter isfree speech? Even if an online publication posts essays written by athletes about their wins, people, generally, are still going to watch the event on TV. In fact, knowing about an upset in a particular event that day might actually encourage a person to watch the television broadcast that night. Hopefully by the 2001 Winter Games, the IOC will be a little more progressive. Falling: Confessions Court TV has canceled a new program called “Confessions” featuring criminals’ actual videotaped confessions, taking it off the air just a week after its debut, Varietyreports. Despite high ratings for the show, Court TV fell victim to “public outcry.” “Court TV’s goal is always to inform or to entertain but certainly never to knowingly offend,” says Court TV chairman and CEO Henry Schleiff. High ratings? Public outcry? Has anyone even heard of this program? Rising: Virtual Parenthood While Ann N. was watching a television program called “Waiting Child,” she saw an irresistible toddler available for adoption. In 1989, she became the proud parent of Matthew, who, she was told, was healthy despite starting life addicted to cocaine and alcohol. Seven years later, San Francisco adoption officials notified Ann that Matthew’s birth mother, a drug addict and prostitute, had died of AIDS. The officials advised Ann to have Matthew tested for HIV. He tested positive, and she sued the city. Perhaps Ann N. has the mindset that objects proffered on T.V. usually have a money-back guarantee.

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