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Democratic party strategist who guided presidential candidates like Humphrey, McGovern and Mondale

Essay: I know which films you won't be seeing this summer ...

... Because Hollywood has now decided that it's had enough of screen violence.

Springer vows to show no violence

TELEVISION EXECUTIVES are moving to expunge some of the worst violence from their schedules as the entertainment industry continues to come under scrutiny after the spate of recent school shootings.

Chat show found liable for murder

A DAYTIME television show that specialises in revealing guilty sex secrets and extracting confessions from guests while on the air was found liable yesterday for a murder committed three days after the victim and his assailant appeared on an episode of the highly popular programme on same-sex crushes.

Killing puts trash talk shows on trial in US

FOR THE next few weeks, Americans will have another reason to watch daytime television: if they tune to Court TV they will be able to watch the trial of, well, daytime TV. Or, more specifically, the trial of trash-talk TV, that special brand of "humilitainment" brought to us by the likes of Jerry Springer and Ricki Lake.

Arts: The shallow end of the gene pool

THEATRE: THE FOUR ALICE BAKERS; BIRMINGHAM REP

Sarah Kane was a writer of shocking and angry talent. At the age of 27, she took her own life. Did her plays foreshadow her death?

The media called her "the Bad Girl of British Drama", but my abiding memory of Sarah Kane, who at the age of 27 took her own life last Friday, is of a young woman delightfully doubled up in helpless, choking, gut- wrenching laughter as a group of us stood around cracking silly-foreigner jokes on alien soil. It was in Copenhagen last November. A British delegation of dramatists, directors, theatre professionals (and this critic) had descended on the city for a weekend conference about the creation and nurturing of a new writing culture. The young woman who shot to notoriety and front-page prominence at the age of 23 with her Royal Court play Blasted, bided her time and stole the show at this event.

A freak show (and no fakes)

Fake guests on Vanessa may be the lowest British television has gone so far. But it could get worse. Ms Feltz's Brazilian equivalent, known as Ratinho, "the Little Rat", is a lesson in how much further we could yet fall.

I scoured the nation for warring families - and there aren't enough to go round

BETTY LOWENTHAL is a journalist who has worked as a television researcher and associate producer on "human interest" current affairs shows and documentaries for C4, the BBC and London Weekend Television.

Leading Article: Why should we pay for the BBC to dupe us?

THE BBC'S justification for broadcasting Vanessa Feltz's tacky confessional programme on daytime television is that it is "educational". That might just wash for Ainsley Harriott's cookery show, but Vanessa is simple voyeurism, and has no place on a public service network.

Style: Degeneration X

Popular culture is going taboo-busting crazy. As the new millennium looms, are we too jaded to notice? By Stuart Husband

Comedy - preview: Fascinating Aida

Musical comedy can seem a vague genre, but in the capable hands of Fascinating Aida (left, Dillie Keane, Issy Van Randwyck and Adele Anderson), it is a crafted artform, capable of pleasing fans of both music and comedy. They subvert traditional forms to make comic points; in the past, they have sung a tango about herpes simplex and a Piaf-esque ballad dedicated to the homeless. For their latest show, Barefaced Chic, they promise ditties on an eclectic range of subjects from Viagra and the genetic modification of beetroot to the fad for all things oriental and Jerry Springer.

Thursday Book: Topless darts, clueless television

LVE TV: TELLYBRATS AND TOPLESS DARTS BY CHRIS HORRIE AND ADAM NATHAN, SIMON & SCHUSTER, pounds 18.99

Secretarial: I Work For...: My boss is a low-maintenance celebrity

Monica Patel is pa to Trisha Goddard, presenter of the daytime ITV chat show `trisha'

Film: Steamy nights in Baltimore

The director of Pink Flamingos and Serial Mom has visions of Mary Bell's daughter dancing in his head. He'd like to introduce his dad to gay sex. Yet some things still give John Waters the heebie-jeebies.

Arts: Driven to destruction

Theatre: THE KILLING OF SISTER GEORGE/SUMMIT CONFERENCE CITIZENS' THEATRE, GLASGOW
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