HOW BAD CAN TV GET?
Most people learn behavior and language by observation. Conscientious creators of popular entertainment realize that they have a responsibility to broaden and deepen the audience's understanding of themselves. Differentiating between good and bad models is part of that responsibility. The greatest authors, playwrights, and directors have interpreted the world for the audience, helping the public not merely absorb but understand. Unfortunately, a recent desire to depict concrete phenomena has stripped popular culture of its insight into abstract reality. Characters' facile behavior is indistinguishable from responsble conduct. A young person can watch a screen for hours a day without becoming enlightened about how people choose to do what they do, and what other options exist.
No matter how many careless, erroneous, distorted, or self-serving broadcasts appear on television, stations manage to keep their licenses. The FCC seems to tolerate rampant misuse of our public airwaves.
Read specific documentation of the problems and mistakes of TV entertainment. (See also complaints about news and sports on network and local TV.)
American Broadcasting Company (ABC) Entertainment
- On 22 March 1999, it was announced that the last Oscar of the century was being awarded. It was not explained why there would be no awards in 2000.
"The Beatles Revolution"
- This 17 November 2000 special promised to provide "insight" into the aesthetic and social significance of the Fab Four. Instead, it was a haphazard collection of shallow impressions with no sign of organization.
The Drew Carey Show
- In "Drew's in a Coma (2)"  (7-February-2001), Drew remembers being injured while driving. He had been running for a bus.
- Writer Robert Borden based part of the plot of "The Dog and Pony Show"  (12 November 1997) on an episode of Everybody Loves Raymond called "The Dog"  (3 March 1997), written by Bruce Kirschbaum.
- In "Drew Blows His Promotion"  (5 February 1997), Mimi says, "Sexual harassment is a crime." In most jurisdiction, sexual harassment of an adult without an assault is a civil offense for which the victim can claim damages, but not a crime.
Dharma & Greg
- In "The Mamas and the Papas (a.k.a. Finale) (1)"  (30 April 2002), disputing Dharma's claim that she cannot drive to Mazatlén, Greg explains, "You get on the 80, back over to 5, and then it's Mexican highway 15." That leaves a 500-mile gap between Tijuana and Nogales.
- "¨Donde está su madre y padre?" said Dharma to a lost girl in "Tuesday's Child"  (23 April 2002). With a plural subject (mother and father), the verb should be "están".
- In "Instant Dharma" ( 10 December 1997), writer Sid Youngers took the idea of a recital interrupted by Greg's amusement of Dharma from the Seinfeld episode, "The Pez Dispenser" ( 15 January 1992), written by Larry David.
- In the 2 February 2003 series premiere, two police officers told a standing woman holding a baby that her sister has been murdered. Later, two children who have been tied in cramped quarters were carried out of the building, then placed on their feet as they were turned over to their parents, within sight of an ambulance. Why is there no concern about people collapsing from shock or from cramps, injuring themselves or others?
The Geena Davis Show
- On 19 December 2000, Geena Davis said that "India remains 2.5% Christian" as "a vestige of the British Empire". There have been Christians in India for over a millennium. More may have converted after Portuguese missionaries arrived in the 16th century. The British only added to the considerable number of Christians already in India.
- In "How the West Was Won" (2)  on 20 April 1988, after high school students' protest aimed to help a teacher led instead to the firing of that teacher, the students gave up. Why not continue the protest? What more did the teacher have to lose?
Hope & Faith
- On 25 June 2004, the network aired "About a Book Club"  instead of the scheduled "Car Commercial  featuring Regis Philbin.
- In the episode, "Camille", Judd Nelson (as a bunco cop) warned Whoopi Goldberg that she would feel "like a jigger". That sounds like a combination of two racial slurs.
- On 9 November 2001, Bill Maher defined the Alternative Minimum Tax, which is up for repeal, as a requirement that all corporations pay some tax. It is more like a requirement that all Americans with substantial income and all profitable corporations pay tax. If a corporation sustains losses, leaving it with no net income, it is not required to pay income tax.
- On 2 October 2001, Bill Maher defended Bill Clinton's visit to Ground Zero in Manhattan, saying, "After all, he is a resident of the city." Clinton lives 18 miles outside New York City.
- On 1 October 2001, speaking of the ability of police to recognize terrorists, Bill Maher said, "it's still the truth that 100% of the terrorists are gonna be Arab muslims." Even if we assume that terrorisms is restricted to the Islamic world (which would exclude Timothy McVeigh), most Muslims are not Arabs. Do security guards ignore Turks, Iranians, Pakistanis, Bengalis, Indonesians, Malayans, and Somalis while detaining Arabs?
- On 5 September 2001, Bill Maher identified Vieques as "the place on the Puerto Rican island" used as a naval bombing range. Vieques is a small island near Puerto Rico, under its jurisdiction.
- On 12 July 2001, Bill Maher said women never kick men's asses. Why would they bother? There's a more vulnerable target inches away. (St. Paul wrote, " . . . it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks" (Acts 26:14, King James Version).
- On 14 May 2001, Bill Maher claimed that rap lyrics are intended to be taken literally. Maher must interpret mentions of "bitches" and "hoes" to refer to female canines and cultivation tools.
- On or about 16 February 2001, Bill Maher said Bill Clinton had been out of office for months. He had been out of office for less than four weeks.
- On 29 December 2000, in support of his opinion that Santa Claus is white, Bill Maher mentioned the residence at the North Pole. Although no one lives at the North Pole, most of the people nearby are Inuits. Whites tend to live in temperate climates.
- On 8 December 2000, Bill Maher spoke of evidence that girls are developing breasts at nine years old, "which never happened before". Of course, it happened before. Single-digit puberty has been common in hunter-gatherer societies since the origin of the human race. Most Pygmies are fully developed by the age of ten.
- On 15 August 2000, Bill Maher claimed that women didn't vote for Elizabeth Dole. Of course they didn't. She had never been on a ballot in an election.
- On 21 March 2000, there was a discussion of the reason for the large numbers of bikes in the cities of Korea and Japan. "Because they're poor, that's why", said Bill Maher. The Japanese people are among the wealthiest in the world. Most Koreans are also fairly well-off.
- On 16 March 2000, Bill Maher spoke of truckers protesting high gas prices. Why would they care? Most trucks use diesel fuel.
- On 30 December 1999, Bill Maher claimed "Germany started World War I." Austria-Hungary, whose archduke had been assassinated in Bosnia, started the war on July 28, 1914 against Serbia. Germany did not enter the war until four days later.
- On 8 December 1999, Bill Maher said "America is not interested, as much as Hollywood, nearly, in" people "dressing up as women and acting like women who aren't women." Doug Bossie reinforced this, saying, "That's right, and time and time again, the market place shows exactly that exact point." The mainstream success of Some Like It Hot, Tootsie, Milton Berle, and Dame Edna indicate perennial public curiosity about cross-dressing.
- On 8 December 1999, Bill Maher said, "Seinfeld got the same rating as Walker, Texas Ranger. Did anyone in the media ever write about Walker, Texas Ranger?" Seinfeld was the most popular half-hour on Americn television for several years. When did the two shows have equal ratings? It is obvious that more was written about Seinfeld because its audience tended to be literate.
- On 16 June 1999, Bill Maher mentioned that Rosa Parks received the "Congressional Medal of Honor". There is no medal by that name. Only war heroes are eligible to receive the Medal of Honor. Presumably, Ms. Parks received the Congressional Medal.
- From London on 18 May 1999, Bill Maher said that Prince Charles advised his sons that by using drugs, "you could wind up jobless, divorced, and living with your mother". Their mother, Princess Diana, was tragically and prematurely dead.
- On 30 April 1999, Bill Maher called one of the boys who killed fellow students in Littleton, Colorado a "sociopath". The killers planned their own deaths, as well as those of others, to get revenge for being wronged by classmates. A sociopath has no conscience, no sense of right and wrong. So the Littleton killers did not act like sociopaths.
- On 16 April 1999, Patricia Arquette rationalized putting women in lifeboats first, because "men can swim farther". Actually, the best long-distance swimmers are women. Their body fat provides greater buoyancy, allowing them to stay afloat with less effort and move with less friction.
- On 2 March 1999, Bill Maher claimed that the superintendent of the New Jersey state police was fired for saying that blacks and Hispanics were more likely to be carrying drugs than whites. Maher's account was misleading. The superintendent was fired not merely because of the statement, but because the police under his command had consistently stopped drivers in accordance with that profile. (In any case, people holding positions of public trust do not have license to decide which misleading truths to utter and which to withhold. Ascribing criminal characteristics to people because of factors beyond their control deprives people of the opportunity to avoid friction with police through a choice of behavior.)
- On 1 March 1999, Bill Maher proposed adding a warning to beer labels: "You're not gonna get laid if you drink this". Such a warning would be misleading. Up to a point, beer drinking tends to increase a woman's probability of sexual activity.
- On 3 July 1998, Bill Maher described secret police as "communist". He must think Nazis were communists. He has it backwards. Nazis hated communists to the point of systematically exterminating them.
- On 1 July 1998, Bill Maher criticized Jane Swift, then pregnant, for running for lieutenant governor of Massachusetts, which would involve such responsibilities as "presiding over the State Senate". Actually, Massachusetts has a separate senate president.
- On 11 September 1997, Bill Maher spoke of "Sonny Bono, your Congressman if you're from Orange County". In fact, Rep. Bono's district was entirely in Riverside County, California.
- On 2 November 2003, a white supremacist on trial for ordering a murder refused to allow his laywers to present evidence that he had once an affair with a black woman. Yet it would not be necessary to go that far; it would be sufficient to show that the gunman believed the affair had taken place. Why did the lawyers fail to offer the defendant that strategy?
- On 22 April 2001, a lawyer said he had been granted six continuances in a product liability case representing a child who was healthy "six months ago". That seems a very rapid timetable for bringing such a complex suit. Wouldn't the court be inclined to wait until there was more than six months of medical observation of the patient?
- On 9 July 2000, during testimony by the medical examiner, the murder defendant attacked and choked prosecutor Helen Gamble. A lead defense attorney came to the unconscious prosecutor's aid and yelled for an ambulance. The medical examiner was a physician; why didn't he rush to administer aid to the injured prosecutor?
- In 1969, the network left unaired the second episode, featuring Robert Culp.
Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) Entertainment
- "It's the first new episode of the Dick Van Dyke Show 40 years," claimed a promo on 4 May 2004. The last new episode aired on 1 June 1966, less than 38 years before.
- On 19 July 1999, a promotional announcement asked, "What do you call 1,000 lawyers at the bottom of the ocean? A good start." Coming less than three days after the disappearance into the Atlantic of a plane piloted by lawyer John F. Kennedy Jr., this message displayed poor taste.
"AFI: 100 Years . . . 100 Songs"
- On this 22 June 2004 special, Michael Feinstein spoke of the scene in My Fair Lady "when Audrey Hepburn sings 'I Could Have Danced All Night'". If the late actress sang the song, her rendition never reached the screen. Marni Nixon dubbed Eliza Doolittle's singing voice.
- It was never explained how a town in North Carolina happened to be so uniformly white.
- On the syndicated rerun aired 20 April 2004, Mayor Stoner speaks of the "township of Mayberry" sherriff's department. Sherriffs work for counties, not townships. Later, Andy lectures the mayor, "If you had let us run our office, Jess wouldn't be up that tree." A bear chased Jess, not the mayor.
- On the syndicated rerun aired 16 July 2003, a shipment of gold from Colorado came through town on its way to Fort Knox in Kentucky. Even with circuitous routing to deter thieves, would it make any sense to go through North Carolina?
- On the syndicated rerun aired 10 July 2003, with his bare hands and little effort, Sheriff Andy Taylor pulled down an axe that was hanging suspended in a haunted house. A wire strong enough to hold an axe was unlikely to give way so easily.
- On the syndicated rerun aired 4 July 2002, Sheriff Andy Taylor shot a tire, causing the fleeing station wagon of two counterfeiters to run off the street into a lamp post on the sidewalk. That created an unnecessary danger to pedestrians on the sidewalk, who might have been run over.
- On the syndicated rerun aired 5 July 2001, John the choir director expressed fear of not impressing the state judges sufficiently to be invited to the "finals in Roanoke". Why would a North Carolina contest be held in Virginia? John recruits Barney Fife, who cannot sing. Yet, in another episode, Barney sang "Church in the Wildwood" in tune.
- On 1 October 2001, a judge threatened to keep Becker in jail for contempt after the trial where the infraction occurred was over.
- Also on 1 October 2001, hearing in Reggie's diner that Jake and his girlfriend have been on the subway, Bob assumed they have taken the "A" train. How likely is that? The A train never reaches the Bronx, where the characters live and work.
- On 23 October 2000, when Dr. Becker had to work late, he gave his hockey tickets to friends. The ticket clerk refused to give them to anyone but John Becker. So they bought other tickets from a scalper. Why didn't they call Dr. Becker at the office?
- In "For Whom the Toll Calls" (28 February 2000), Dr. Becker gets a promise from the phone company to credit a $11.47 call to Chico, CA that appeared on his bill. Then, when the call appeared on a second bill, Dr. Becker claimed the phone company lied to him. It is not normal to list one phone call on two different bills, only to carry over an unpaid balance. So maybe the phone company repeated an error, charging for two phantom calls.
- In "My Boyfriend's Back" ( 18 October 1999), Jordan Brewster goes to jail, wearing #23468 on his shirt. Visiting him, Bob calls the number "24601".
- Although this series was set in an ethnically diverse city, few non-white actors appeared as patients.
- On 13 April 1997, an ambitious physician tried to place her daughter in an exclusive private girl's school, claiming that single-sex education is best and worrying that the child "will never get into Brown". If single-sex education is preferable, it would make sense to choose a women's college rather than a co-educational, traditionally male school like Brown University.
- In one episode, a rabbi's widow refused an autopsy in order to have the funeral on time. Why not bury the rabbi first, then exhume him for the autopsy? The lawyer should have realized the religious implications and delayed meeting with the hospital administration until after the funeral. Why rush the bereaved widow away from shiva? Are we to believe that a tort lawyer would make such a mistake?
- In one episode, a surgeon amputates an athlete's leg, which is caught in a car wreck. There is no mention of freeing the leg and reattaching it. John Wayne Bobbit is lucky to have had more diligent police and physicians.
- When the chief of staff was quarantined, the house counsel took charge. Why? What if he were sued along with the hospital? He would need a lawyer of his own; the hospital would have to retain yet another lawyer for its own defense.
- A nurse described the lack of experience of the "male species". Apparently, an Illinois nursing license does not require study in biology. A species of animal consists of individuals able to interbreed. In Manhattan (also West Hollywood), you may overlook the occasional interbreeding that occurs between human males and females. In fact, an all-male species, unable to reproduce, would quickly be rendered extinct (though not quite as fast as this series).
City of Angels
- Although it had been a detective drama in 1976, the revival of this series in 2000 was set in a hospital.
- Although experts encounter difficulty and ambiguity in matching fingerprints, the procedure is depicted here as completely automated.
- On 23 September 2007, after a suspect requested a lawyer, the detectives continued to interrogate him, obtaining a confession. How could they hope to get a conviction, with the confession excluded as a violation of Miranda rights?
- In a scene in "Greed" (18 April 2004) dated 1985, A stockholder utters the phrase, "back in the day". The expression would not become common parlance in the middle class until years later.
- "Resolutions" (28 March 2004) contained these incongruities:
- On 31 December 1999, a character named Gary said, "We'll only have one millennium celebration in our lives." He overestimated. He was killed before he could reach the third millennium that would begin on 1 January 2001.
- A suspect in the crime said he had his car stolen and dumped in New Jersey to cheat the insurance company. How did he profit if he abandoned the property he had been paid for? Why didn't he sell the car to a chop shop?
- In "The Hitchhiker" (21 December 2003), a suspect in murder of Matt Mills named Medvedenko was called "the Russian". If he was Russian, why did he have a Ukranian name?
- "We know that Mrs. Elliot was killed by this pen," said Catherine Willows on 26 November 2003. Did that conclusion lead to prosecution of the pen? No, because it turned out that the victim was killed with the pen by a neighbor.
- On 4 July 2002, investigators speculated that a corpse may have been a death from fright, as the footsteps leading to it were at an odd angle. Later, finding the deceased's toothmarks in the arm of his friend, they concluded that the friend strangled the victim. Why were the friend's footprints never mentioned? How could they tell the death happened that way?
This knock-off stretches the truth to the breaking point.
- In  "Just Murdered" (23 April 2007), Horatio tells two murderers, "You'll never see your house again." Horatio has no basis for saying that. Any defendant who chooses to go to trial without a lawyer will normally be allowed to view the crime scene in preparation for the case. In addition, both defendants were likely to make bail, in which case they could return home as soon as the police clear out.
- When roses in a flower bed provide evidence that a man died before the arrival of "Hurricane Anthony" (3 November 2003), Horatio credits Mother Nature with helping. Did he think the roses grew there wild?
- On 10 May 2004, After telling the head of a security company, "You employ convicted felons", Horatio produces a picture of a man "wanted in six states for murder" -- a suspect. So who are the convicted felons?
- On 6 October 2003, viewers were expected to swallow these lapses:
- Police pretended that an unconsious victim of attempted murder had died. How well could that tactic work? The unconscious victim had a right to have her next-of-kin supervise and authorize medical care.
- When a computer check of crime records turned up a rape in Georgia, the computer displayed a map with a blinking outline of Georgia. Are we to believe that the programmer would go to the trouble of showing police in Florida the location of the adjacent state of Georgia?
- A Florida detective armed with an extradition order arrested a convict inside a Georgia prison. Because a police officer's jurisdiction ends at the state line, such an arrest would probably be made by a Georgia state trooper.
- On 4 March 2001, a woman who inherited a share in a tontine was told she could not refuse the bequest.
- On 21 December 2002, Commissioner Mannion heated a bottle of milk in a microwave oven, then gave it to a baby. That's an easy way to scald a baby. Baby bottles should not be heated in a microwave oven, which heats unevenly. A bottle taken out of a microwave oven should be shaken to distribute the heat and prevent sudden, explosive boiling. Before a bottle is given to a baby, the temperature of the milk should be tested. As a father and an experienced cop, Mannion should have known better.
- On 27 October 2001, Commissioner Mannion pronounced the word 'effective' as "ee-fective" -- thus violating two rules of English: the rule requiring single vowels before double consonants to be short, and the rule requiring a short vowels in an antepenult in words imported from Latin.
- On 20 January 2001, Commissioner Mannion removed a ring from the finger of a suspected murderer with his bare hands. Then he identified it as matching a wound on the face of the victim. Of course, the ring was contaminated by Manion's handling, so any blood or tissue the crime lab found on it would be unreliable as evidence.
- "Don't Walk Away Renee" (9 May 1998) contained these lapses of logic:
- Two men pretending to be police officers pretended to arrest Gary Hobson and Renee Callahan at her office. Renee told Gary's parents she could not report the crime without clearance from the federal agency that administered her grant, as required by the contract she signed. So why didn't Gary, a non-signatory, call the Chicago police to report the crime he experienced?
- A kidnaper told Renee Callahan that her research was funded by the Department of Defense to "destabilize governments". Then a military officer showed up to claim the documentation. Since when does the CIA allow the Pentagon to do its footwork?
- Because Renee intended her research to be used to prevent famine, this discovery caused her to destroy the documentation. A woman that smart would have turned over copies to agencies of the UN and other neutral organizations.
The Ellen Show
- In 2002, three episodes were left unaired.
- On 2 February 2003, a rerun of "She's the One"  (originally broadcast 18 November 2002), in which Robert's date eats a fly, was broadcast shortly after a 60 Minutes report which included a scene of hungry North Korean children gathering insects from the ground for food. Couldn't the network have been more sensitive?
- In "Ray's Ring"  (15 October 2001), Raymond claimed that his haircut maked him look Latin. What's more Latin than the actor's name, Romano?
- In "Stefania Arrives"  (26 February 2001), Raymond said he took the Belt Parkway to the Cross Island. The Cross Island Parkway is part of the Belt System.
- "This is so fun," said Robert Barone in "Ray Home Alone" (22 February 1999  ). A lifelong Long Islander like Robert is unlikely to use "fun" as an adjective.
- In "Driving Frank"  (28 September 1998 [3-2] ), alleging Frank Barone hit his patrol car, Robert Barone says, "There is black and white on the side of your car." Then he didn't hit an NYPD cruiser. They have been blue and white since 1973.
The writers must know nothing about legal practice or common sense.
- On 24 September 2001, a woman leaned and fell limply off the roof of a building on a calm day. The camera then looked at the ground. The woman's body was seen at some distance from the building. How did it move that horizontal distance?
- On 24 September 2001, a job applicant claimed to have "clerked for the Chief Judge of the New York (sic) Supreme Court". There is no such position. The New York (sic) Supreme Court is a decentralized, trial level court under control of the Court of Appeals. The applicant must be lying.
- On 13 August 2001, teenage girls asked one's mother if people could have sex with anyone they wanted to in the sixties. The mother, whose birth in 1961 rendered her too young to answer the question on the basis of personal experience, does not argue. The fact is that most men had much less opportunity than that.
- On 9 March 2001, a lawyer mentioned that a judge in a custody dispute was a "Reagan appointee". As child custody is a state, not federal matter, that would mean the judge was appointed by Ronald Reagan when he was governor of California, 1967-1975. Looking barely 50, the judge was remarkably well-preserved.
- On 22 March 2001, a lawyer promised to keep secret a story told to him by a boy who had confessed to shooting his older brother; then the lawyer defended the boys' mother at trial. Later, the mother was represented in her custody case by another lawyer who was a material witness to the older brother's death.
- On 29 January 2001, one of a pair of conjoined twins was reported to have a fever. Not the other? After winning the right to refuse the hospital's wishes to divide the children, the mother sued for divorce and custody, so she could decide to separate them. The lawyers then decided which side to represent. Didn't the mother already have a lawyer prepare the papers, who presumably would handle the divorce and custody issues? Finally, the judge, projecting the decision the babies would want, awarded interim custody to the parent who agreed with that view. What if both parents change their minds? Why not mandate joint custody?
- On 15 January 2001, a woman suing a television station for broadcasting pictures of a mob removing her blouse had charges dropped against her assailant so that he could testify in her civil suit. The usual procedure would be to postpone the civil trial until the conclusion of the criminal trial, avoiding conflict with the Fifth Amendment. As the criminal trial would have higher priority for speed, that shoud present little difficulty. (Imagine what would happen if the courts pushed criminal trials aside to facilitate civil trials.) Despite the plaintiff's proof of every argument, the jury verdict in her favor was set aside by the trial judge because it violated federal law. If the judge knew the plaintiff's case rested on such a flaw, why not dismiss it at the outset, saving everyone the cost of a trial?
- On 8 January 2001, claiming to want a precedent rather than punishment, a prosecutor offered a generous plea bargain to a woman on trial for the death of her child caused by drinking during pregnancy. A precedent of a trial court carries little weight, especially if arrived at by settlement rather than deliberative verdict.
- On 8 January 2001, a lawyer in California asked if the right to abortion should be compromised, turning the clock back 27 years. Gov. Ronald Reagan signed a law legalizing abortion in California 30 years before, in 1970.
- On 11 December 2000, an abusive husband attended hearing concerning his wife's petition for an order of protection against him. That means he had to be informed in advance of the hearing, giving him time to assault his wife in revenge. What court is so stupid that it does not issue the order first, then provide a chance to contest? The judge grants the order, keeping the man away from his wife and children for six months. What court would make a custody decision without having the children examined? Then the judge orders the children removed from the mother's custody, even though they are in less danger than ever before, because it is believed that the mother may reconcile with the father -- and that the father would violate the law to come in contact with them. That's an impractical standard, since a high percentage of children are exposed to violence every day at school. It is irresponsible for the writers to discourage abused women from complaining by misinforming them that they are in danger of losing their children.
- On 23 October 2000, a five-year-old child who was switched at birth was delivered by the only parents he knows to the door of his birth parents, then left for a required visit. He panicked. Who is stupid enough to leave a young child with strangers without preparation?
- On 3 October 2000, adoptive parents living in an ample waterfront house claimed that the mother quit working to care for the child and the father gave up a writing career to work in the post office. The post office must pay very well. Why didn't the father take care of the child while the mother was at work and continue writing when his wife returned home?
- On 21 February 2000, a woman was arrested for blackmail for threatening to go public with a paternity claim if the reputed father failed to pay child support. The man's lawyer offered to drop the criminal complaint if the defendant would repudiate her statement identifying him as the father. However, she did not know whether he was the father. All she knew was her late sister's statement that he was the father, a statement she could not truthfully deny. Is there now a law against quoting a dead person? Later in the same episode, the man agreed to pay child support but asked the woman's lawyer to conceal the fact that his blood test was negative. The lawyer agreed. What if the real sire is a wealthier man who could pay more support, or had developed a serious hereditary disease? Clearly, the client had a right to investigate further based on the result of the blood test. The lawyer's unethical action could result in future liability.
- On 22 November 1999, a promo claimed a client was fired for "life-saving surgery". Not quite. Although the plaintiff had a double mastectomy, her cancer spread, so the operation did not save her life.
- Despite its name, this short-lived series aired on Friday.
- On 1 February 2002, in response to a comment about the Chief Justice's agreeability, an Associate Justice's wife said to her husband, "Don't minimize the effect of a glass of chianti." The way to minimize the effect of wine is to drink it slowly, diluted with water, with a large meal. In conversation, the only danger is to understate the effect.
- On the 18 January 2002 premiere, a bolt of lightning bypassed the walls of a narrow exercise room and a standing prison guard to hit a convict lying on the floor. Normally, lightning seeks the highest target in the area, not the lowest. Later, a judge assumed that the convict was dead without confirming that his electrocution had taken place on time and that Florida's unreliable electric chair had succeeded where the forces of nature had failed.
- "A baby held hostage -- this is reality TV," said a promo on 8 August 2003. At least the network no longer claims this sensationalism is news.
- On 20 October 2000, a car being pursued stopped, blocking the road. A police car in pursuit swerved to avoid it and overturned. If the civilian car was traveling slowly enough to come to a stop without skidding off the road or injuring the occupants, why would the pursuing police car travel so fast that it would have the force to overturn?
- In "People v. SECNAV" (6 February 2004), When asked why he wanted the attacker of a defense witness in his war crimes trial to be tried in the USA, the Secretary of the Navy replied, "The Netherlands doesn't have the death penalty." The prosecutor replied, "You should be glad of that." What difference would Dutch law make? The trial was conducted by the International Criminal Court, not by Dutch authorities.
- On 25 November 2003, discussing her grandaughter's tuition for private school, Maxine Gray said, "Spend $10,000 a year so she can be totally disinterested". Although the girl may have shown little interest, making her uninterested, she certainly had a stake in her own education.
- On 14 October 2003, Maxine Gray intervened with two boys who were being assaulted at school because of their attire. Unfortunately, the only behavior she attempted to change was that of the victims. She gave the bullies the conformity they sought.
- On 7 October 2003, Maxine Gray told her daughter's fiance, "No one ever went broke investing in real estate." Many savings and loan associations did a few years ago, lending money to swindlers who built shopping centers and office buildings in the middle of wilderness.
- On 12 August 2003, Judge Amy allowed a couple to retain their child's custody on the condition that they "submit to random drug tests for six months". They didin't even have to pass the tests.
- On 22 April 2003, the father of a girl hit by a bus said he was unable to pay for a rhinoplasty for lack of medical insurance. What about the liability insurance on the bus?
- On 4 February 2003, one scene contained three errors:
- After a judge ordered a child removed from the home, her parents' lawyer pointed out that the judge should have recused herself because her record of removing children from people of color shows bias against the child's father, who is Hispanic. The judge failed to point out that the lawyer should have raised that issue at the beginning of the hearing, not after announcement of the ruling he didn't like.
- In response to the lawyer's threat to bring his complaint to a disciplinary board, the judge mentioned that she is about to retire, and "Who cares about the reputation of a retired judge?" The lawyer failed to point out that disciplinary action could include ineligibility to receive a pension.
- When the judge ordered the lawyer held in contempt, the lawyer failed to request the hearing to which he was entitled.
- On 12 November 2002, Jared said he bought a diamond as a "momento". Wouldn't he rather have a memento?
- On 9 October 2001, several people mispronounced "Tamil" (a Dravidian language of India) with the stress on the second syllable, instead of correctly on the first.
- On 22 May 2001, when neighbors informed social worker Maxine Gray of a new baby in the apartment of a woman who showed no signs of pregnancy, she and a police officer brought a couple whose child had been kidnaped 70 miles from Norwalk to identify the baby in the flesh, because the police could not act without more evidence. They apparently did not check to see if the woman had been issued a birth certificate, the absence of which would be evidence. They apparently did not check hospitals in the area to see if she had been a maternity patient. When the suspect comes in, they let her and the couple from Norwalk see each other, which could complicate matters later on. They relied heavily on the couple's visual identification of an infant who presumably changed in appearance during 38 days out of their sight.
- Also on 22 May 2001, Judge Amy Gray told a teenage boy claiming oppression that as a middle-class white male, his "rights have never been in question in this society". The rights of teenagers have never been firmly established. For example, the rights of young males have been compromised many times by military conscription.
- Also on 22 May 2001, Maxine Gray consoled her daughter, Judge Amy Gray, on her failure to deter a woman from a suicide jump off a roof, calling the dead woman "clearly irrational". Those words must have been consoling to Judge Amy, who had previously granted the dead woman unsupervised joint custody of a three-year-old girl who had shown signs of sexual abuse that the dead woman had not been cleared of.
- On 15 May 2001, a detective interrogating a 12-year-old boy accused of raping his sister was satisfied when he said "I hurt her." What did he mean? Siblings engage in rough play, often hurting each other. The boy's confession could have meant causing a minor scrape or bruise.
- Later on 15 May 2001, Maxine Gray was found sitting at home, tossing plates into a sink. It was out of character for a conscientious grandmother who works with mistreated children to risk letting pottery shards fly around her kitchen, where her grandchild might encounter them. Was Maxine so frustrated at missing a trip to China with her beau, and consequently furious at China, that she would disregard her family's safety?
- On 30 January 2001, at an animal shelter, Judge Amy Gray allowed her young daughter to stick her hands in a cage containing several strange dogs.
- On 21 November 2000, Judge Amy Gray suspended a high-school hockey player who cost another player an eye, with a condition that he play no hockey for the duration of his probation. He should have been banned from all contact sports, because his lack of ethics made him a danger to any competitor.
- On 1 November 2000, social worker Maxine Gray, performing an educational function, asked a group of teenage girls who were not under public guardianship how many were virgins. It was disrespectful to ask such personal questions unless it was necessary that one know the answer. Maxine should have given the girls a chance to decline to answer.
- On 26 September 2000, a police officer prevented Judge Amy Gray from leaving a courthouse because there was a van full of explosives on the street. The usual procedure would be to evacuate the building, using a back door (which any building of that occupancy would surely have).
- On 22 August 1999, a prosecutor stated that Rohypnol has no legitimate use. In Europe, it is used in hospitals.
King of Queens
- The main title features a man singing about driving home over the Queensboro Bridge with his paycheck. The main character, Douglas Heffernan, lives and reports to work in the Borough of Queens. One end of the Queensboro Bridge is in Manhattan. So who is driving over the bridge?
- When Doug and Carrie got bored playing Battleship on 8 September 2003, they closed the cases. Although the cases close easily with empty boards, the model ships and markers on boards in play would hold the cases ajar.
- On 18 June 2001, protective garments designed to cover the arms while cooking were marketed under the name "armprins", an acronym combining "arm", "apron", and at least one other word. It can only be assumed that the letter "i" represents the illiteracy that the television industry foments to enlarge the captive market dependent on the medium for information. As television reaps advertising revenues that might have gone to more accurate print media or better product design, should it not assume a large share of the cost of the educational system whose work it impedes?
- On 11 November 2006, during an interview with Daniel Craig about his role in the remake of "Casino Royale", still photographs of most previous portrayals were shown. A conspicuous omission was David Niven, star of the original "Casino Royale".
- On the Top Ten of 4 October 2006, Item #5 said, "Instead of a horse's head, informant wakes up with delicious chocolate on his pillow." In "The Godfather", John Marley's character was intimidated so he could be extortion. It is too dangerous to leave informants walking around, as they might talk at any time; rather than scaring informants, gangsters more often kill them.
- On 21 September 2006, a woman's song was supposed to include names of all 193 countries. The inclusion of Czechoslovakia was an anachronism. It has been split into Czechia (home of the Czech Republic) and Slovakia (home of a less-known government).
- On 18 September 2006, David Letterman asked Dr. Phil McGraw if he used the studio from Phil Donahue. Dr. Phil is based in Los Angeles. Donahue's interview show was produced in Dayton, Chicago, and New York.
- In the monolog of 14 September 2006, David Letterman mentioned that it was the anniversary of two entities signing a peace accord, although he made it sound like "piece o' cord".
- On 31 August 2006, grabbing the lapel of his dark jacket over blue jeans, Opie (of radio's Opie & Anthony) said, "They made us wear suits." One garment of each color does not a suit make.
- While interviewing Nancy Pelosi on 22 August 2006, David Letterman called speaker of House the "third most important position" in the government. Granted, the president is usually most powerful. Who is second? The Federal Reserve Chairman?
- On 16 August 2006, Alan Kalter pronounced the surname of singer Christina Aguilera as "aa-gwi-LEH-ruh". Later, David Letterman prounced it, "aa-gyuh-LEH-ruh". It should be closer to [ah-gee-LEH-rah].
- On 17 May 2006, the Top Ten list included a "recipe for humus". Humus is the organic material in soil. Most people find it less eligible than hummus.
- On 4 May 2006, David Letterman said, "The FDA has its way on every product sold in America." The jurisdiction of the Food and Drug Administration is limited to food products and pharmaceuticals. It has nothing to say about most products: vehicles, building materials, clothing, electronics, toys, publications, etc.
- The first segment of "True Tales of New York City Accountants" on 17 April 2006 starred Philip De Falco of Hoboken, from a different city and state.
- The Top Ten List of 30 March 2006 included a statement that upon arrival in Mexico, George W. Bush had asked, "When do I meet Zorro?" That is a popular nickname for Mexican President Vicente Fox. David Letterman incorrectly pronounced President Fox's first name as "vin-CHEN-tay", which would be the Italian equivalent.
- On 1 February 2006, AB positive was identified as the rarest type of blood. Yet AB negative is less common.
- On 25 April 2005, singing a parody of the Beatles' "A Day in the Life", Paul Shaffer failed to get the words out in time to the fast accompaniment by the band he directs.
- Introducing the Top Ten List of 3 January 2006, David Letterman said that Donald Trump used to pretend to run for office "to get girls, but now that he's married", it's no longer useful. When did marriage ever stop Donald Trump from looking for paramours?
- On 1 December 2005, David Letterman said Oprah Winfrey had not been on "this show" since 1989. The current incarnation of The Late Show had not aired before 1993.
- On 22 November 2005, David Letterman claimed that May 2, 1989 was Oprah Winfrey's last appearance on "this show". The current incarnation of The Late Show had not aired before 1993.
- On 30 August 2005, David Letterman referred to Richard Lewis's fiancee as "the woman". Lewis then objected, "Why do you call her a pronoun?" Letterman had used a common noun.
- On 22 July 2005, guest Brian Williams spoke of the task of choosing a Supreme Court Justice, "Short of declaring war, this is the most important thing we elect a president to do." Congress has the sole power to declare war.
- Also on 22 July 2005, David Letterman asked, "Are cases tried before the Supreme Court?" Brian Williams answered, "Yes". The United States Supreme Court is an appeals court. It usually hears appeals of trials held in lower courts.
- On 15 February 2005, David Letterman mentioned "Enrique Fermi" to child scientists. He must have meant Enrico Fermi, the physicist.
- In the Top Ten of 13 February 2005, David Letterman mentioned "the Los Lonely Boys". That is redundant. 'Los' is a Spanish word for 'the'.
- On 18 January 2005, David Letterman said to Jack Hanna, "You've been coming on this show for 20 years." Until Joan Rivers became its host in 1986, The Late Show had consisted entirely of old movies.
- On 13 December 2004, Paul Shaffer said, "Rupert Jee spells his name, 'G-E-E'."
- On 13 December 2004, a correspondent asked a honeymooner, "Did you have a hat on when you popped the question?" The answer should have been, "That depends on whether you're from New England."
- On 24 November 2004, one of the Top Ten Questions received by the Butterball Turkey Hotline was given as, "8. Transfer me to the gravy department." That is a command, not a question.
- On 9 November 2004, David Letterman said that since Jim McGreevey's resignation as governor of New Jersey, "the lieutenant governor is now the governor." New Jersey has no office of lieutenant governor. Senate President Richard Codey assumed the duties of governor.
- On 8 September, 27 September, 28 September, 11 October, 19 October, twice on 1 November 2004, and on 5 November, all in 2004, David Letterman mentioned "John W. Kerry". The senator and presidential candidate was John Forbes Kerry.
- On 20 October 2004, David Letterman said of Britney Spears, "First she went to Las Vegas and got married to a stranger." The singer's first marriage was to a childhood friend, Jason Allen Alexander.
- On 7 October 2004, David Letterman spoke of "spicy chipolte chicken (sic)". He must have been talking about chipotle.
- On 4 Aug 2004, David Letterman read the return address of a viewer's letter as "Montclair, New Jersey". According to the caption, it had been sent from Montclair, Virginia.
- The image of rotund and topless George Clarke on 24 August 2004 constituted a greater aesthetic offense than Janet Jackson's thoracic display during the Super Bowl halftime on 1 February 2004. The double standard clearly demonstrates that baring one's chest in public has become a male privilege. Is the difference between oppression of women by American and Taliban standards merely one of degree?
- Preparing on 3 August 2004 for Bill Clinton's appearance, David Letterman said, "We're in a presidential mood." What emotional state is that?
- Preparing for Bill Clinton's visit on 3 August 2004, David Letterman said, "We're in a presidential mood." What emotion does that designate?
- During the Top Ten of 22 July 2004, David Letterman said, "Lance Armstrong is getting so cocky . . . he is riding one of those 1920's bikes with the big wheel." The penny-farthing, high-wheeler, or ordinary was popular from its invention in 1871 until about 1890, until the introduction of the mass-produced safety bicycle with two wheels of equal size. So by 1920, the high-wheeler had been obsolete for 30 years.
- On 23 June 2004, David Letterman said Lehighton PA is near Altoona. The two communities are about 200 miles apart.
- On 21 June 2004, a doctored clip of Jeopardy showed contestant Ken Jennings replying nonsensically to the clue, "After four tries, took home the little bald guy for Mystic River". A far more coherent response might have been, "Who is Rhea Perlman?"
- During the Top Ten on 15 June 2004, Dave Letterman mentioned that John Kerry "vows to be the greatest horse-faceed president since Polk". Does anyone think Polk resembled a horse?
- On 9 June 2004, Biff Henderson tutors a student for the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). Afterward, the student said, "I can't believe I passed the test." The LSAT is not scored on a pass or fail basis. Soon after, Biff said, "The last thing we need is another damn lawyer." Seats in law school are awarded competitively, so the number of lawyers will not change because of this applicant's success.
- On 31 March 2004, David Letterman said an investigation of terrorism was stymied when no speaker of Pakistani could be found to translate. There is no such language.
- On 23 March 2004, David Letterman claimed that Donald Trump is trying to copyright the phrase 'you're fired'. Short phrases in common use are ineligible for copyright protection. Trump has applied to register a trademark.
- On 8 January 2004, Nathan Lane mentioned that he waiting for paperwork "from Minsk" so he could adopt "a 22-year-old Russian gymnast". Minsk is in White (Byelo) Russia (also known as Belarus), not Russia.
- On 21 November 2003, David Letterman said that Prince Charles and George W. Bush both came into power without being elected. Unlike Bush, Prince Charles had yet to inherit power from his reigning parent.
- After listening to Stephanie/Monty's 13 October 2003 story about how a (wood)pecker made its way into her pants, David Letterman said, "I don't know what got into her." Maybe such ignorance led to the conception of his son.
- "Arnold Schwarzenegger has been governor of California for 72 hours" said David Letterman on 10 October 2003. The election result had not even been certified yet.
- On 7 October 2003, David Letterman announced that Renée Fleming would sing Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5 (which he only slightly mispronounced). Ms. Fleming sang only one movement, the Aria, but not the other, the Dansa. Early on, the transmission of her performance was interrupted, so that only a blank screen appeared.
- On 22 September 2003, guest Dr. Phil McGraw told what he might say to a post-menopausal woman of 45 about her weight. If the woman had completed menopause that early, she may have greater health concerns than weight.
- The graphic of a recipe for a mixed drink included "orange sherbert (sic)". There is only one "r" in "sherbet".
- David Letterman remarked on 10 September 2003 that the Democratic party was running attack ads in the California gubernatorial recall election, even though there was no front runner. He must have ignored polls that showed Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante with a significant lead.
- On 13 August 2003, the first water bottles dropped from a roof fell below the frame before impact. By the time the camera panned down to the sidewalk, the landing of later bottles was obscured by the splash of the first.
- The dancers who made appearances in the summer of 2003 stood behind the drum set, so their legs could not be seen. In general, dancers should be photographed in full length, as Fred Astaire insisted.
- "I don't think I've heard such a story of bravery or heroism in my life," said David Letterman on 22 July 2003. He was describing his guest, Aron Ralston, who amputated his hand after it was caught under a boulder. Although Ralston showed fortitude in performing surgery on himself, sacrificing a necrotic hand to save one's own life is not especially heroic. Sacrificing oneself to help others is selfless heroism.
- On 6 April 1995, David Letterman called then-Senator Alfonse D'Amato "the most embarrassing man from Long Island". Close, but no cigar. D'Amato hails from Island Park, a smaller island in the bay just south of Long Island. The title rightfully belongs to a true Long Islander, perhaps Joey Buttafucco.
- On 7 October 2006, Craig Ferguson mentioned a surrender by France during World War I. There was none.
- On 27 September 2006, Craig Ferguson said, "I am going to the Super Bowl this year." A Super Bowl had already been held early in 2006. The next would not occur until 2007.
- On 22 September 2006, Craig Ferguson told Bradley Whitford that Kathy Kinney grew up in Sleepy Eye, Wisconsin. The actress (Mimi on The Drew Carey Show) is from Stevens Point, Wisconsin. Kinney's mother,
Marian, grew up in Sleepy Eye, Minnesota.
- The "Iranian president addressed the United Nations -- he didn't even wear a tie. We wear ties in this country", said Craig Ferguson on 20 September 2006. Dignitaries usually visit the United Nations, which is not an American institution, in native dress. In addition, according to historian Bernard Lewis, Muslims tend to avoid wearing ties because of their resemblance to crosses. (When foreigners visit Scotland, do they wear kilts?)
- On 28 June 2005, prudish CBS censors pixillated the bust of a nude statue. This was 11 years after Seinfeld: "The Pie" had showed a flesh-colored nude mannequin in prime time.
- On 11 May 2005, George W. Bush's trip to the Republic of Georgia was introduced with Russian folk music.
- On 15 April 2005, Craig Ferguson claimed that Boris Yeltsin had been "prime minister of Russia". Yeltsin had been president.
- On 19 Jan 2005, Craig Ferguson said, "Today, Condoleeza Rice was confirmed by the Senate." She had been recommended by a Senate committee. The full Senate voted on her confirmation later.
- On 27 August 2004, Craig Kilborn claimed to have "the smallest staff in late night". Although upwards of 40 people work there, Last Call has claimed only about 15 regular staff.
- On 25 August 2004, John Larroquette said Night Court was NBC's mid-season replacement in 1984 for Michael J. Fox's show, Growing Pains. Fox never appeared on Growing Pains, which aired on ABC from September 1985 to April 1992, because he was too busy starring in Family Ties on NBC.
- On 12 May 2004, Craig Kilborn mentioned Hugh Jackman's performance in "The Man from Oz". The Broadway show is called "The Boy from Oz".
- On 26 December 2003 a picture of the Baha Men was displayed with the caption "Baja Men". The band is from the Bahamas, not Baja California.
- On 6 November 2003, Craig Kilborn told Joe Pantoliano that one correct answer to a question about the maiden names of Frank Sinatra's wives would be "Barbara Marx". She was no maiden when she used that name. The former Barbara Jane Blakeley had taken the family name of her previous husband, Herbert "Zeppo" Marx of the Marx Brothers.
- "They've opened the first high school for gay students," announced Craig Kilborn on 28 July 2003. It cannot be the first. New York City has operated Harvey Milk High School for gay students since 1984.
- On 29 October 1997, a character played by Lily Tomlin mentioned that she had recently suffered from impacted wisdom teeth. Impacted teeth are so firmly held by the jaw that they fail to emerge. Although the condition is common in young people, the chance of it happening in one's 50's is remote.
- On 8 October 1997, an undercover reporter was instructed by her producer not to bring up the subject of entering a meat refrigerator because that would be "entrapment". Actually, entrapment is only a worry in criminal investigations, because it can prevent a conviction. It does not limit the press in their freedom to report.
Navy NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service
Based on the name, this must be about a branch of the Department of Redundancy Department.
- While investigating a crime scene in "The Truth is Out There" ( 16 March 2004), Agent Gibbs says criminals "filmed" their activity. It quickly became clear that videotape was used instead of film.
- On 25 November 2007, these unlikely plot developments undermined the story:
- A S.W.A.T. team entered a tennis stadium at night prepared to kill a deranged stalker named Franco holding a handgun. Standing alone on a tennis court, Franco posed no immediate threat to anyone but himself. Rather than rush in and precipitate violence, why not stand back and give him time to decide what to do?
- Later, while testifying as a material witness in a murder case, Franco was asked by the defense attorney if he had attacked the same victim five years earlier, an offense for which Franco was about to be tried again (his first conviction having been overturned) and had legal representation. The judge should have made sure Franco was aware of his right to refuse to answer the question.
- On 14 October 2007, the police ask a suspect for a DNA sample. Instead of providing living cells, the suspect urinates into a cup. The lab technician who receives the sample says it contains enough protein to make a match of certain alleles, and that the test is 99% accurate. What kind of tenuous chemistry is that?
- On 23 September 2007, the Food and Drug Administration's search of shipping crates finds a counterfeit DVD about to be exported to Eurasia. Why would the counterfeiters produce their wares in bulk in the expensive Los Angeles market, only to ship it across the ocean? Wouldn't it be cheaper and safer to send the data overseas and manufacture the product nearer the destination?
- On a 12 August 2007 rerun, Shark tells his staff, "We have to convince a white bread jury from the West Side to stick up for a black girl from a part of the city they wouldn't be caught dead in." The victim was a resident of Compton, a distinct city. The jury pool from the West Side is likely to consume more than its share of whole wheat and rye breads.
- On 24 September 2002, a plastic surgeon demanded that her patient receive payment for experimental joint replacement surgery on not one but both hands. The surgeon seemed negligent. The choice of treatment to repair a functional joint is an orthopedic matter outside a plastic surgeon's expertise. Even foolproof surgery should be performed on one hand at the time, to permit the patient to feed herself. With experimental surgery, the possibility of complications would require the caution of incremental treatment.
- (2 August 1999) At a party supposedly held in the spring of 1621, a Pilgrim couple mention that the cold winter forced them to spend time together at home. As an apparent result, the woman is about to give birth. The timing is off; she must have conceived before the Mayflower landed in November, 1620.
- This show lost most of the freshness of its 1968 premiere as a musical comedy.
- On 5 October 2001, a physician-in-training was fired for advising a coach how to exacerbate the injuries of rival players. He brought a charge of assault against the supervisor who fired him. That was not a rational move. His own testimony at the disciplinary hearing could be used to recover civil damages from him by the athlete who was severely injured as a result of his advice.
- In the 1 October 2000 premiere, a psychology professor explained determinism as the belief that events happen in a predetermined pattern. Later, he assumed that anyone who rejects determinism endorses free will. The script depended on at least three mistakes:
- Firstly, the belief in a predetermined pattern is known as predeterminism or predestination, not determinism. Determinism, although holding that events are the inevitable outcome of immediately preceding conditions, allows for events to unfold moment-to-moment in ways that might not be expected, as moving balls interact on a pool table.
- Secondly, some people believe that the world is subject to the whims of the gods and neither governed by immutable rules nor free.
- Finally, metaphysical questions are properly presented in a philosophy (or physics, or even statistics) class, not psychology.
Two and a Half Men
- On 23 October 2007, Alan claims that he has dropped another testicle. Then Charlie remarks that Alan has "30% more testicles than I do". Does Charlie have 2.3, or did Alan start with 1.6?
- On 19 October 2004, Charlie asked his brother's advice regarding a narcissistic girlfriend, "Should I send her my testicles in a silk bag?" Alan should have responded, "Doesn't she like the bag they're in now?"
- On 15 March 2004, Charlie's mother mentioned the appearance of his pre-natal sonogram. As Charlie is supposed to have urinated in his brother Alan's Boy Scout canteen in 1978, it is unlikely that ultrasound was widely available before he was born.
Welcome to New York
- In 2001, three episodes were left unaired.
Without a Trace
- On 6 July 2003, an FBI agent accused a father of receiving e-mail from his missing son, because it was addressed to "Dad". It turns out to have been sent to a Texas address. Why assume the son had sent the e-mail before checking out the address?
- On 16 January 2003, an FBI investigator spoke of the "Staten Island P.D." There is no police force by that name. All five boroughs of the City of New York are covered by the New York Police Department.
- On the 29 September 1999 premiere, Nancy Travis called a male masseur a "masseuse".
- The network withheld from millions of viewers the historical perspective offered by The Reagans (16 & 18 November 2003).
- A Time to Kill (aired on 7 July 2002) contained the following irregularities:
- An accused murderer held awaiting trial was allowed alone into a hospital room to visit the police officer he had wounded, a material witness for the prosecution. The potential for violent consequences should have been obvious to those in charge.
- Although she had previously claimed not to wear underwear, Ms. Roark, assistant to the defense, was found to be wearing panties and a teddy when a klansman ripped off her clothing. Did censors sacrifice dramatic consistency to protect their distorted concept of decency?
- After the defendant said he wanted the men he had killed to burn in hell, the prosecutor might have asked, "If, upon arriving in your afterlife, you find the two men you killed in heaven as martyrs of a vigilante, how would you feel then?
- Network editors cut an amusing moment out of the movie A Fish Called Wanda. After a family bursts in on the nude Archie Leach (John Cleese), the pre-pubescent girl leans forward to get a better look at his groin. Are censors so perverse as to consider the curiosity of a child inappropriate for broadcast?
- The movie Undue Influence, aired on 1 August 1999, contained the following oddities:
- There was a contest over custody of a boy in eleventh grade. Why? Older teenagers have wide latitude to live where they want. Once awarded, the custody would expire shortly.
- The stepmother suing for custody had been visited by lovers in the house she shared with her husband. Why would she want her husband's son in the house, a witness to her adultery?
- In a secure internal section of a post office building, a man in a brown uniform delivered a package to a woman in a place she did not normally work, without asking her to sign a receipt. If he was a postal employee, he would be wearing blue. If he was not a postal employee, how did he get into the secure area? How did he find this woman? How did he know who she was? Why didn't he demand a signature? Didn't his appearance and behavior make her suspicious?
- On 19 September 2003, after discovering students speaking with forked tongues, Scott Guber announced that the fad would be outlawed, with grandfathering of any student already in that condition by the upcoming Friday. It should have been obvious that a number of students sitting on the fence would rush to get the surgery Thursday, before the deadline. To head off the next unhealthy fad, shouldn't the ban be broadened to include any similar mutilation?
- On 21 January 2002, we learned that a high school student who was voluntarily carrying a fetus for her ailing mother had been removed from her home and placed in foster care. There was no indication that the authorities had addressed the more serious problem of a fertility clinic that deliberately induced pregnancy in growing minors.
National Broadcasting Company (NBC) Entertainment
Entertainment programming on NBC is not much better than its news:
- NBC airs the same comedy episodes up to three times in as little as eight months.
- Most comedy shows broadcast by NBC employ an irritating laugh track, used deceptively to create the impression that dull writing can inspire laughter.
- On many entertainment programs carried on NBC, including Frasier and Mad About You, the closing credits are in small typeface and pass quickly, making them nearly impossible to read. Considering that American television screens have only 525 lines, what is the obligation to make print legible?
- On 22 July 2004, a promotional announcement for the Today Show promised an appearance by "the Coors". Instead of beer, the video clip showed the Corrs, an Irish pop band.
- At 3:00 a.m. on 2 June 2003, an announcement promised, "Now, the Tonight Show followed by Conan." The Tonight Show had just concluded and would not air again for over 20 hours.
- Richard obtained a block of marble that had lines running from lower left to upper right on opposite sides.
- Richard's mother hinted that she had been contracted by the British royal family, saying "The lady will die." This jocular prediction was in bad taste, even if accurate.
- In [11.7] "Maris Returns" (4 November 2003) and [11.8] "Murder Most Maris" (11 November 2003), the first name of Esteban de Rojo was consistently mispronounced with the stress on the first syallable, instead of the second where it belongs.
- In [11.6] "I'm Listening" (28 October 2003), upon being discovered hiding in the kitchen, Frasier said, "Uh, I was just cleaning the oven; I must have dozed off. Neither his father nor Ronee Lawrence commented. Ronee, a witty lounge entertainer, might have quipped, "Next time turn the gas off first."
- In [9.12] "Mother Load " (8 January 2002), finding himself alone with his son Frasier, Martin Crane said, "It's just you and I." Frasier insisted, "you and me, Dad". Martin was correct. The verb "to be" takes a nominative noun, not an object.
- In [9.7] Bla-Z-Boy (6th November 2001), upon learning that Frasier had shared an apartment with his father for eight years, Daphne said, "If you were a woman, you'd be his common-law-wife." No, they'd be father and daughter. Even a common-law marriage cannot be incestuous.
- In [9.4] "The Return of Martin Crane" (9 October 2001), Martin admitted to booting Maris's car at a fire hydrant. What sense would it make to hobble a car in a place that it dangerous to leave it, making it difficult for the driver or firefighters to move out of the way?
- In [8.18] "Forgotten But Not Gone", in response to Niles's comment that the governing body of their club could be bicameral, Frasier said, "Well, I don't know, Niles, there is something to be said for the parliamentary system! An Anglophile like Frasier must be aware that the British Parliament is bicameral.
- In [8.11] "Motor Skills" (30 January 2001), Martin told Roz that "Ariel is a girl's name", inappropriate for her male puppy. Maybe Martin should write to Israel to tell Ariel Sharon that he has two girl's names.
- In [8.2] "And the Dish Ran Away With the Spoon " (24 October 2000) contained implausible plot elements:
- Daphne jilted her fiance Donny in a rock garden. He fell and sustained injury. As a health professional, Daphne should have been aware of the medical consequences of her actions.
- Donny sued Daphne for breach of contract, for failing to go through with the wedding. Had he insisted, she could have shown up for the ceremony. However, anyone could have raised an objection on the grounds that she loved another, in which case a conscientious minister would refuse to continue. A court is unlikely to find merit in the case.
- In [7.18] "Hot Pursuit" (23 March 2000), upon learning that Lilith Sternin was dating a contortionist in Cirque du Soleil, Niles made a comment about "French circus folk". Cirque du Soleil is from Canada.
- In [7.12] "RDWRER" (6 January 2000), driving a camper from Seattle to Sun Valley on an Interstate highway, the Cranes feared they had missed the millennium rollover party. After midnight, they drove back to Pacific Time. The camper ran out of gas, just crossing the time zone line. Then it started rolling backward "into Idaho". In actuality, the time zone line is 24 miles from the state line. Also, the millennium would not roll over until nine months later. People as well- informed as the Crane brothers would not both have made such mistakes.
- In [7.10] "Back Talk" (9 December 1999), when given a newspaper from the day he was born, Frasier said, "Yes well, let's just see what other wonders occurred on that day." How much could he hope to find? Most newspapers report the events of the previous day.
- In [4.17] Roz's Turn (15 April 1997), Bebe Glazer identified Albert Schweitzer as "German". Born in Alsace, Schweitzer considered himself French.. Born in Alsace, Schweitzer considered himself French.
- In [3.15] "A Word To The Wiseguy" (20 February 1996), Dr. Niles Crane asked mobster Jerome Belasco for help fixing traffic tickets and agrees to return the favor. Then Belasco tried to collect from Dr. Frasier Crane, who was not a party to the agreement.
- In [3.13] "Moon Dance" (6 February 1996), Dr. Niles Crane mentions that his estranged wife, Maris, is going on a three-week cruise. Yet a year later, in "Roz's Krantz And Gouldenstein Are Dead" [4.15] (11 March 1997), Niles claims Maris is lonely during cruise season because of a fear of buffets (smorgaphobia).
- Also in [3.13] "Moon Dance" (6 February 1996), Martin purported to test Eddie the dog's intelligence by placing a blanket over Eddie's head and timing his escape. All the test can really do is measure a dog's discomfort under a blanket. A test on infants published in the early 1980s showed wide variations along racial lines, with Asian babies calmly tolerating a handkerchief over the face, black babies removing it, and whites crying. That study did not leap to a conclusion that blacks are consistently more intelligent than Asians.
- [1.6] "The Crucible" (21 October 1993), in which an artist claimed not to have created a painting on Frasier's wall, suffered from poorly-informed writing:
- Martin told Frasier that he would have no luck getting a criminal investigation. The FBI has a division that investigates art forgeries.
- Martin told Frasier that a civil action would result in years of litigation at an expense exceeding the price of the painting. Although a lawyer might take the case on contingency, even on an hourly basis, such a case would be relatively simple because the plaintiff's case would rely on the easily available testimony of the living authentic artist (who had an incentive to stop forgers).
- When Frasier spoke of exposing the art gallery's fraud on the air, Niles said that would be slander. Slander laws do not prohibit telling the truth.
- After seeing Niles throw a brick through a window, Frasier got into Niles's car. The son of a police detective, Frasier would know that if caught, he would be presumed an accessory after the fact.
- On 6 May 2004, Phoebe drove Ross from Monica's Greenwich Village apartment across a toll bridge to JFK airport. As Manhattan has only free bridges and toll tunnels south of Harlem, that means they unnecessarily drove 110 blocks to the far end of Manhattan.
- In an early episode, Joseph Stalin was identified as "a Russian dictator". Stalin, whose real name was Djugashvili, was Georgian.
- In "The One with the Bullies" (22 August 1996), Phoebe Buffay of New York City told her half brother, Frank Jr., of the Catskills that her phone number was "in the book" without telling him which county she lived in or which directory to consult.
- On 4 April and 15 August 1996, Ross Geller claimed that Scarsdale had higher taxes than Nassau County.
- On 26 October 1995, Ross Geller asked about a device in a doctor's office. "That opens my cervix," answered his pregnant ex-wife. Although a cervix can be dilated with drugs, hardware is normally used only to open the vagina.
The Home Court
- On an early episode, a non-custodial parent had consistently paid child support but had failed to fulfill the visitation schedule. The judge placed him in jail, keeping him from performing the obligations of his employment. Considering the financial difficulties associated with divorce, it is unbelievable that a judge would so endanger a child's economic welfare.
Hope and Gloria
- On 10 February 1996, Hope remarked that a goldfish flushed down the lavatory in her building in Pittsburgh would go to the Susquehanna sewage treatment plant. In fact, the nearest tributary of the Susquehanna river is 60 miles away over a mountain range. Sewage would have to be pumped up 400 vertical feet to reach it. Pittsburgh's location on the Ohio river allows any waterborne sewage to be carried into the Mississippi river so it can be drunk in New Orleans.
- On 16 March 2000, Jesse claimed her son John saw her naked. However, she was covered with a towel at the time.
- On 8 March 2001, a character claimed he was not allowed to vote because he was convicted of car theft in his youth and sent to federal prison. It is more likely that he went to state prison. If his sentence was over, he could vote in New Yorkshire.
- On 13 April 1999, in a parody of An Officer and a Gentleman, Finch humiliated subordinates in a suite of offices in Manhattan. Upon learning that one is named Brian M. Tolliver, he mentioned that if his middle name began with "L", his initials would be "BLT". A New Yorker would know that the initials "BMT" refer to the Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit line, the subway under Broadway.
- In 1996, six episodes were left unaired.
- On "Larroquette", snack-bar manager Dexter (Daryl "Chill" Mitchell) described John Hemingway (John Larroquette) as "tow-headed" despite Hemingway's medium-brown hair.
- On 12 October 2007, Carson Daly claimed Morrissey was appearing for "the first time ever on TV". The singer has made a number of appearances on both sides of the Atlantic. On CBS, Morrissey was Craig Kilborn's guest on "The Late Late Show" for the week of 24-28 May 2004, again on 22-23 July 2004, and again on 26 August 2004, as well as performing on "The Late Show" on 16 November 2004.
- On 3 February 2005, Ken Burns said that the height of segregation was "the worst period in our history for African-Americans." Was slavery better?
- On 14 January 2005, Kiefer Sutherland said of his series, 24, "We moved to January so we could run all the shows concurrently." Too bad the episodes aren't run consecutively, to let fans see all of them.
- On 6 May 2004, Carson Daly said Danny Aiello was "from New York". The actor hails from Chicago.
Last Comic Standing
- "If we didn't eat cows, there wouldn't even be cows," said Dave Mordal on 30 August 2004. In India, vegetarians keep cattle around for the milk.
- On 13 August 2004, Conan O'Brien asked how many in the audience had seen the opening ceremony of the Olympics in Athens. Then he chuckled, "We tape before it happened." Actually, his show's taping took place after the event but before the delayed American broadcast, necessary because of the time difference between continents.
- On 3 August 2004, John McEnroe mentioned "Sirius, the nearest star to our solar system". Alpha Centauri is closer.
- On 19 February 2004, in a postage stamp, a cobra was shown injecting heroin in front of a band tied around its lower body. Veins would only swell behind the tourniquet, away from the heart.
- On 12 December 2003, a film of "Norwegian Groundhog Day" had an atmosphere typical of Ingmar Bergman, who is Swedish, yet the language sounded something like German.
- On 8 October 2003, Conan O'Brien told Lucy Liu that the Chinese language sounds guttural to him. Actually, Chinese sounds tend to be articulated in the mouth rather than the throat. It is far less guttural than Arabic, Hebrew, German, and Dutch.
- On 26 September 2003, Conan O'Brien presented alleged new Euro coins from Montenegro, Switzerland, Poland, and Belarus. All of those countries use other currency.
- On 17 January 2003, Conan O'Brien mentioned the "Republic of Yugoslavia". Although there were two republics in Yugoslavia at that time (down from six), neither bore that name.
- On 27 September 2002, Conan O'Brien associated the Tower of Babel, the parting of the Red Sea, and the story of Jonah with "Christian mythology". All these Old Testament stories are of Jewish origin.
- On 6 May 2002, Conan O'Brien introduced the Iowa quarter, bearing the slogan, "Come enjoy our lack of terrorist targets." Earlier, the news had reported about pipe bombs found in mailboxes in several Central states including Iowa.
- On 2 August 2001, Conan O'Brien asked why characters played by pregnant actresses are never described as having eaten too much. On Frasier, the character of Daphne Moon, played by pregnant Jane Leeves, had recently been depicted with an overeating problem.
- On 19 June 2001, Conan O'Brien said that Siberia was north of Russia. Siberia is a territory in Asia, to the east of Russia.
- On 30 January 2001, Conan O'Brien said that a note found at the home of Colonel Sanders was not a recipe because it called for real chicken, not hamster. It was a batter-dipped mouse in a KFC box that a Roanoke family presented to the Health Department.
- On 25 November 2000, members of the North Dakota and South Dakota Air Guitar Jam Squad wore placards in the shape of states on their heads. The shapes and the names of the states printed on them were switched.
- On 26 July 2000, Conan O'Brien said that Dick Cheney was asked to produce a list of possible running mates for George W. Bush and came up with three: himself, Carrot Top, and Eddie Van Halen. Eddie Van Halen is not a possible candidate for vice president of the USA, as he was born in the Netherlands.
- On 5 January 2000, Conan O'Brien spoke of Hillary Rodham Clinton spending her first night in her house in "Upstate New York". The house she owns is in downstate Chappaqua, only a few miles from the tidal waters of the Hudson River.
- On 15 September 1999, during the monologue, Conan O'Brien asked, "Did you hear that Bill and Hillary Clinton are moving to New York City?" They were looking in Westchester County, outside the City of New York.
- On 29 May 1999, Damon Wayans speculated on divorcing his wife if she became bald and fat. "Look at her, your honor, she looks like Sherman Hemsley." How long has Sherman Hemsley (best known for his portrayal of George Jefferson) been fat?
- On 14 May 1999, Conan O'Brien announced a musical ensemble as "Cootie and the Blowfish". Fortunately, Hootie did not make an issue of the mistake.
- On 23 April 1999, a rerun was filled with reminders of the Littleton massacre two days before. In his monologue, Conan O'Brien mentioned Denver and the first American president killed with a gun. Andy Richter claimed to be dying of a malady with violent symptoms. Conan mentioned a test taken by high school students. Steven Wright spoke of his suicide note. Kellie Martin described her role on ER.
- A 12 May 2004 announcement claimed,
"Tonight's musical guest brought to you by Budweiser". There was no musical guest, only actor Andy Richter, documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock, and comedian Dane Cook. So the sponsor was credited with providing nothing.
- Standing outside Bob Guccione's house on the island of Manhattan in the borough of Manhattan in the City of New York, Cynthia Garrett said, "This the largest private residence in the city of Manhattan.".
- On 16 May 2000 (repeated 29 August 2000), guest Ed Bradley said "Florida has 25 electoral votes, and no one has been elected without carrying Florida. Bill Clinton accomplished that feat as recently as 1992, following John F. Kennedy in 1960, Calvin Coolidge in 1924, Warren G. Harding in 1920, William H. Taft in 1908, Teddy Roosevelt in 1904, William McKinley in 1896, Benjamin Harrison in 1888, James Garfield in 1880, and Abe Lincoln in 1860.
- On 1 January 1996 (aired the morning of 2 January 1996), the subject of news radio was discussed. Greg Kinnear called Rush Limbaugh, Howard Stern, and Kato Kaelin's radio programs "news radio". These windbags work on talk radio, which carries minimal news content. Kinnear's misleading statement is an insult to WCBS and other fine news radio stations providing frequent weather forecasts, traffic reports, and wire service reports throughout the day. Is it possible that Kinnear was protecting NBC radio stations that air the likes of Howard Stern and claim they present several hours of news per day?
Law and Order
- On 11 January 2003, the statement of a prosecution expert witness that no two people have the same DNA was not challenged on cross examination. The defense attorney (private counsel to a wealthy client accused of murder) could easily have brought up identical twins to cast doubt on the testimony.
- On 14 March 2001, a Manhattan prosecutor claimed jurisdiction over a crime in the Bronx that occurred "488 yards from the Bronx River". The Bronx River is several miles from Manhattan.
Law and Order: Special Victims Unit
- In "Avatar" on 2 October 2007, Olivia Benson complains about receiving "one bogus call after the next" in response to an offer of a reward by a victim's family.
Mad About You
- Inconsistency with Seinfeld.
- On 28 June 1999, Paul Buchman cautioned against killing spiders because "they eat other insects". As spiders are arachnids, not insects, that is a confusing statement.
- In "A Pain in the Neck" (#144; 29 September 1998), baby Mabel uttered her first word, "schmuck". This was implausible, because it takes children several years to master difficult initial consonant clusters. Most of them will say "muck" instead of "schmuck" until long after they can walk.
- In "Uncle Phil and the Coupons" (#123; 4 November 1997), Paul and his Uncle Phil were arrested because Uncle Phil presented a large quantity of coupons to a cashier in a store. Any store that called the police for such a trivial (and not obviously criminal) matter would scare away customers and risk litigation. Unless the coupons were counterfeit, most stores would simply refuse to honor them.
The Michael Richards Show
- On 24 October 2000, Jack said that third-degree burns are the worst burns one can get. Fourth-degree burns are worse.
- Joe Garrelli claimed to have copyrighted the name, "Lisa Miller", so that Lisa could not use it without his permission. This scenario had no basis in law. Joe could not have copyrighted anything so short. Even if he could, common law supports the absolute right to use one's own name.
- On 14 May 1999, an announcer previewing the next episode said, "The purest things in life are fragile". Is that true? Pure diamonds are about as durable a material as can be found.
The severe downfall of this legendary series in recent years is a great disappointment to fans of the witty satire that was originally its staple.
- NBC Saturday Night stole the name of the late Howard Cosell's 1975 interview show, Saturday Night Live, without acknowledgement.
- The 16 May 2004 rebroadcast of the 9 April 1994 show (93q) was truncated. It began with a laugh from an omitted punch line uttered by Jan Hooks as Hillary Rodham while giving investment advice.
- In the film, "The Adventures of Harold", on 15 May 2004 (03t), A teacher who dated another teacher named Stephanie Norris is surprised to hear a student call her "Mrs. Norris". He said, "She's married? She told me she was separated." Why wouldn't a woman use her married name during separation from her husband?
- On 1 May 2004 (03r), "Debbie Downer" (Rachel Dratch) discussed Tigger going directly to Roy Horn's injury, neglecting the sexual assault charge against an actor who played Tigger at Disney World.
- On 10 April 2004 (03q) during a nostalgic sketch about a cocaine party, a partier asked, "Is President Carter to blame for those gas lines?" It is unlikely that question would be asked. The oil shortage was worst in 1973 and 1974; Carter was not elected president until 1976.
- In "Weekend Update" on 6 March 2004 (03n), Maya Rudolph described Martha Stewart's behavior as "wild WASPY mayhem". Rather than being Anglo-Saxon and Protestant, Martha Stewart is Polish and Catholic.
- In "Weekend Update" on 17 January 2004 (03j), Tina Fey reported that George W. Bush wanted to put a man on Mars. The accompanying picture of Bush bore the caption: "Man on the Moon?"
- On 1 November 2003 (03d), a scientist who has been discussing methane says, "I study climate changes due to ozone loss." Although methane is considered a major factor (along with carbon dioxide) in global warming, ozone levels have not been linked to temperature change. Instead, ozone is known to block the sun's ultraviolet radiation that can promote sunburn and skin cancer.
- "Weekend Update" of 18 January 2003 (02j) mentioned the Bush administration's challenge to the University of Michigan's affirmative action admissions policy. Tracy Morgan then complained that the producers lost no time in cutting him off the air. Jimmy Fallon's response that Morgan had no funny sketches that week explained nothing. Most weeks, Morgan's humorlessness did not limit his role in the show. Laughs are about as rare as ever.
- On 1 December 2001 (01g), Chris Kattan introduced himself as a "masseuse". Because he is male, he would be a masseur.
- On 1 December 2001 (01g), the location of Derek Jeter's Taco Hole was given as "off Route 3 in Nutley, New Jersey". NJ Route 3 never enters Nutley.
- On 11 December 1999 (93i), Danny DeVito claimed to be giving the last monologue of the century. Will the show go without them until January of 2001?
- A "25th anniversary" special aired 26 September 1999. Because the show premiered in 1975, that celebration was a year early.
- On 20 February 1999 (98n), Bill Murray described Life is Beautiful as an American film, although it was filmed in Italy in the Italian language with an Italian cast and crew.
- In her 6 February 1999 (98l) monologue, Gwyneth Paltrow said "English people always speak with English accents." What about Bob Hope, Peter Sellers in Lolita, Bob Hoskins in Who Framed Roger Rabbit, and John Mahoney on Frasier?
- On April 4, 1998 (97q), a graphic said, "Daylight Savings Time". Daylight Saving Time (singular) attempts to save daylight.
- On 6 December 1997 (97h), the initial news flash pretended that the McCaughey septuplets had fallen down a well. That was tasteless. It's not unusual for Chinese infants to die at the bottom of wells if their parents can't afford to provide for them.
- On 12 April 1997 (96q), "Goth Talk" included a videotape, supposedly shot in or near Tampa, in a park that looked too hilly for coastal Florida (resembling instead Central Park in Manhattan).
- On the newscast of 15 February 1997 (96m), after reporting on a demand that the USA return land it took from Mexico, Norm MacDonald remarked that Mexicans would have to sneak in through Nevada. They could freely travel through Nevada, which was once Mexican territory. Then they would reach the border.
- During her monologue [93o] (12 March 1994, repeated 8 August 2004), Nancy Kerrigan said the knee is a "ball and socket joint". Although the hip and shoulder have ball and socket joints, the knee is a hinge joint that pivots in a single plane.
- Several months (92g) after an assailant in a stadium in Germany stabbed tennis player Monica Seles in the back, NBC Saturday Night Live tastelessly satirized the event, ridiculing Seles's cries of fear and pain.
- A "15th anniversary" special aired 24 September 1989. Because the show premiered in 1975, that celebration was a year early.
- On 17 May 1980 (79s), "The Hominids" was set "one million years ago" on May 17, 998020 B.C. As the year 1 B.C. immediately preceded A.D. 1, one million years before 1980 would be 998021 B.C. The year 998020 would be only 999,999 years prior.
- On 26 May 1979 [78t], directions to Ray's Disco Roller Fishing Park were given as exit 19 of the Garden State Parkway to Long Branch, New Jersey. The city is located about 86 miles to the north, off exit 105.
- On the newscast of 19 November 1977 (77f), Jane Curtin spoke of "Sadat's visit to Egypt". Anwar Sadat lived in Egypt.
- On 29 January 1977 (76m), an Alsatian restaurateur was portrayed with a French accent. The native language of Alsace is German.
- On the morning of 6 September 2001, Roda Barrett reported that Orange County marshalls, following a tip, arrested Roy Rogers at his home in Beverly Hills. Beverly Hills is well inside Los Angeles County. Why would Orange County employees travel so far from their base instead of reporting the tip to Los Angeles County?
- Frequently asked questions.
- Inconsistency with Mad About You.
- Does Jerry drink coffee?
- While negotiating the purchase of a car, Jerry and Puddy discussed a "chimp" named Koko who knew sign language. Koko is a gorilla.
- On 9 January 1997, Jerry Seinfeld paid a merchant money owed for a bounced check. However, the merchant did not return the check. Since a returned check may be resubmitted for payment, Jerry should only have made full payment upon return of the check.
- Several years ago on Seinfeld, Susan's father gave George Costanza a box of Cuban cigars. George did not like the cigars, so he gave them to Cosmo Kramer. Kramer burned down the father's cabin with one of the cigars. Although Jerry Seinfeld watched the cabin burn, he agreed to buy Cuban cigars for George Costanza's wedding on 22 August 1996. What a painful reminder that would have been.
- On 8 February 1996, (repeated on 6 June 1996), Morty Seinfeld was impeached by the Mar Gables condo association. Then he was immediately dismissed from the presidency and replaced, without the opportunity to defend himself at a trial.
- For stealing lobsters in the Hamptons, Cosmo Kramer was placed in the custody of the "Suffolk County Prison". However, prisons in New Yorkshire State are only for felons and are not operated by counties.
- On 17 April 2007, apparently referring to mention of Gandalf in a 1950's sketch, judge Dave Foley says to contestant Brian Posehn, "My guess is you're a time traveler of sorts." The wizard Gandalf was first mentioned in 1937 in J. R. R. Tolkien's The Hobbit, or, There and Back Again .
- In "Battle of the Jaywalk All-Stars" on 26 September 2007, Jay asked what language is spoken in Norway. There are three. Sammi or Lapp is spoken by the indigenous people of the Arctic North. Nynorsk or Landsmaal is spoken in the rural western counties by about one out of four Norwegians. Bokmål or Riksmål, otherwise known as Dano-Norwegian, is Danish-influenced language common in the rest of the country.
- On 14 Feb 2005, Jay Leno said of Tom Jones that "Most of his fans are middle-aged women now." Then they must be the daughters and granddaughters of the middle-aged women who were his fans in 1970.
- On 10 Feb 2005, Jay Leno said, "A new law in Virginia makes it illegal to show underwear in public." Rejected by the State Senate, the bill never became law.
- On 7 Jan 2005, regarding Emmy Rossum's tale that she sang "Over the Rainbow" to repel a bear in Alaska, Jay Leno speculated that it was "a bear who knows Broadway musicals". The song is from a movie, "The Wizard of Oz".
- On 11 Nov 2004, Dana Carvey spoke of Arnold Shwarzenegger's "brother-in-law", Ted Kennedy. The senator is the governor's uncle-in-law, the brother of his wife's mother.
- On 16 Sept 2004, Jay Leno reported on an interview from some years before: "Dan Rather asked Bush if he got preferential treatment in the National Guard. Bush answered, 'Duh! I'm the president's son.'" George H. W. Bush was in Congress when his son, George W. Bush, entered the National Guard.
- Reading Headlines on 4 October 2004, Jay Leno pronounces Sweatpea as "Sweetpea".
- On 6 Sept 2004, Jay Leno said, "Until Bush, no Republican became president without winning the election." Although Rutherford B. Hayes lost the 1876 election and Benjamin Harrison lost the 1888 election, both assumed the office of president.
- On 3 August 2004, Dennis Miller said, "Come down off the fence, and pick a genitalia." The singular article "a" disagrees with the plural noun "genitalia".
- On 27 July 2004, Ashley Judd said there were two commonwealths, Kentucky and Virginia. Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Puerto Rico also claim that distinction.
- On 9 July 2004, Jay Leno commented that in the Tour de France race, "Lance Armstrong rolled into Paris . . . the Germans only did it twice." Germans conquered Paris three times, in 486, 1871, and 1940 -- but who's counting?
- On 7 June 2004, guest Tim Russert said, "When an incumbent's on the ballot, they either win big or lose big." In 1976, incumbent Gerald Ford lost the presidency to Jimmy Carter by 2.1 per cent.
- On 20 May 2004, in Battle of the Jaywalk All-Stars, Jay Leno insisted that the statue of Venus without arms has a "last name". The statue became known as 'Venus de Milo' because it came from the city of Milo.
- On 12 January 2004, Jay Leno mentioned "penguins at the North Pole". As penguins are not known to live north of the equator, how did these get so far from home?
- On 12 September 2003, Jay Leno remarked that California Gov. Gray Davis intended to give illegal immigrants "free driver's licenses". Although there was legislation to allow illegal immigrants to apply for California licenses (as in 22 other states), what makes Leno think the fee will be waived?
- On 11 September 2003, Jay Leno ridiculed Saudi Arabia's view of American morality with a reference to "18 wives". Current Saudi law limits the number of spouses to four.
- Jay Leno said on 8 September 2003 that in Swaziland, "50,000 young women danced topless in front of the king, hoping to become his wife." Many of the dancers, involuntarily brought to the event, only wanted to get away.
- On 14 July 2003, Jay Leno described Tarzan as "African-American" because he was white and lived in Africa. Because his parents were English (the son and daughter-in-law of Lord Greystoke), Tarzan might be described as English-African (like Cecil Rhodes or Richard Leakey). As most whites are not American and millions of Americans are not white, why does Leno connect whiteness with America?
- On 24 June 2003, commenting on a clip of a man's head on an ape's body, Jay Leno joked the show would win a special effects Oscar. As Oscars are awarded to outstanding movies, an Emmy seems more plausible, although still unlikely.
- On 10 June 2003, Jay Leno pulled a quote from Living History by Hilary Rodham. Bill Clinton was attributed the quality of "animal attraction", like John F. Kennedy. Jay countered that Kennedy attracted good-looking women, comparing Marilyn Monroe to Paula Jones. However, Paula Jones was so revolted by Clinton that she sued him for sexual harassment.
- On 30 April 2003, Jay indicated that there were two U.S. states that could be considered the last to join. Alaska, the 49th state, preceded Hawaii, the 50th and most recent, by eight months.
- On 5 February 2003, Arseno Hall said, "I'm from Africa. We're natural enemies of the tigers." Because tigers are native to Asia, it is bewildering how this conflict developed.
- On 29 January 2003, Dennis Miller called Germany "the country that hatched Hitler". Hitler was born in Austria.
- On 16 January 2003, Josh Brolin called his TV character's background "blue-collar". A blue-collar lawyer?
- On 13 December 2002, Jay Leno called the U.S. Senate an "all-white fraternity". Senators Daniel K. Inouye, Daniel Kahikina Akaka, and Ben Nighthorse Campbell might differ with that assessment.
- On 25 October 2001, Jay Leno closed the show saying, "Conan is new!" However, both shows were reruns.
- On 10 October 2001, Jay Leno announced that his guests would include "a band from Orange County". He did not specify the state. Should we assume Florida?
- On 2 July 2001, Jay Leno spoke of the rumor that U.S. Sen. James Jeffords of Vermont would switch from the Republican to the Democratic party. Sen. Jeffords became an independent.
- On 15 February 2001, the Jeffersons theme, "Moving on up to the East Side" was played over scenes of the location of Bill Clinton's new office, on West 125th Street in Manhattan.
- On 29 December 2000, Jay Leno indicated that the Clintons would be selling their house in Chappaqua NY, which was not true.
- Jay Leno said the only difference between the Senate and Jerry Springer was the senators were lawyers. Springer is a lawyer. Some senators are not.
- On 18 May 1999, when Jay Leno introduced wrestler Bret Hart from Canada, the band played "O Tanenbaum", also known as "Maryland My Maryland".
- On 18 May 1999, playing "Ask Jay Anything", Jay Leno guessed that an outline map represented Yugoslavia. However, the map represented the boundaries of six-republic Yugoslavia before 1991. The current boundaries of two-republic Yugoslavia are considerably smaller.
- On or about 23 March 1999, Mavis Leno spoke of women in Afghanistan, who have lost their civil rights and are forbidden to work outside the home. She compared their plight to that of "African-Americans in South Africa" under apartheid. Actually, all Americans received decent treatment in South Africa, being guests in that country (although, as foreigners, they had limited civil rights). South Africans of all races and both sexes were permitted to hold jobs, albeit with restrictions based on race.
- The 4:00 AM rerun was called "a special edition". There is nothing special about it. Every show is rebroadcast in this time slot.
- On 11 January 1999, the label "Wyoming" appeared over a map of Kansas.
- On 14 December 1998, Jay Leno mentioned "New York Congressman Barney Frank". Although born in Bayonne, New Jersey, Rep. Frank represents part of Leno's home state of Massachusetts.
- On 23 April 1997, Jay Leno referred to a report that roller skates help police in Amsterdam catch criminals. "Unless they run up a hill," he said. How many hills can there be in a city built on a swamp?
- On 21 August 1996, we were shocked to witness a depiction of Binti Jua the gorilla shooting a fleeing human robber who was apparently unarmed. Violence is rare among gorillas. Binti had proved her gentle nature by rescuing an unconscious child at the Brookfield zoo. Thus, the portrayal of Binti as shooting a human was defamatory.
- On 8 January 1996, we believe we heard Jay Leno announce that Bette Midler would be making "her first appearance on the show". However, she previously appeared on the Tonight Show at Johnny Carson's farewell in 1993 and on prior occasions. The significance of Midler's appearance was far overstated.
- On 8 January 1996, Jay Leno and Ed Hall said that Rich Scheidner would appear, though it had been known for months that Scheidner would be bumped when songs sung by Bette Midler and Harry Wu used up his time. There was adequate opportunity during the intervening months to insert a voice-over announcement informing viewers of Scheidner's fate. However, NBC did not afford viewers this small courtesy.
- The inept title character displayed little potential of growing up to become the innovative engineer who designed safety-based cars.
- On 9 December 2003, after a bed collapsed, the customer who was injured sued the hotel. Mavis blamed the obese customer. Shouldn't the manufacturer have been held liable, for marketing a bed that obviously could not hold the weight and stress of two stocky adults enjoying a sex act?
- On 9 September 2003, a maid said that she would like a certain leather briefcase for her husband. The writers might have followed this straight line with a punchline such as, "Then all your children will be wallets."
Will & Grace
- On 24 June 2004, the network aired "Strangers With Candice"  with Candice Bergen instead of the scheduled episode with John Cleese (presumably "Heart Like A Wheelchair" , "The Accidental Tsuris" , "Flip-Flop" [137-138], "I Do" , or "Oh, No, You Di-in't" ).
- Wings was phonetically inaccurate. Although several characters were supposed to have grown up in Nantucket, they seemed to speak either a Southern or a bland Midwestern dialect rather than shifting their vowels forward in the New England manner. Antonio Scarpacci, who was allegedly from Italy, seemed to have an Arabic accent.
- Homeland Security (11 April 2004) asserts that in 1999, a commission recommended combination of several government agencies into a Homeland Security Department, but that "the commission's report was never acted upon." If not, why is there now a federal department of Homeland Security?
- "The Long Island Incident", which aired on 3 May 1998, contained several errors:
- When departure of the eastbound train was announced in the movie, stops in Westbury and Carle Place were mentioned before Mineola. As these stations are located beyond Mineola, the announcers actually say, ". . . Mineola, Carle Place, Westbury . . .".
- A radio news broadcast in the movie mentioned that emergency vehicles headed for the scene of the shooting were delayed on "the interstate". Actually, the train was in a densely-populated suburb miles from any interstate highway. Police and ambulances located closer to the scene would have been adequate to handle even a train crash. In any case, most residents and radio announcers in New York City and its inner suburbs use specific names or acronyms to identify the many roads in the area rather than ambiguous generic terms.
Public Broadcasting System (PBS) Entertainment
- A profile of Henry Luce (28 April 2004) mentioned his support for "little-known Republican businessman Wendell Willkie". Before running for office, Willkie had been a Democrat.
- On 4 April 2005, Charlie Rose introduced "Bernard-Henri Levy, French intellectual and philosopher", apparently to distinguish his guest from all French philosophers who are not intellectuals.
- On 20 December 2004, Paul Nurse said, "The moons of Jupiter caused Galileo to press the fact that the sun was not the center of the solar system." Galileo said that the sun was the center, not the earth.
- On 12 August 2004, Charlie Rose persistently interrupted Michael Moore's attempt to describe a connection between the Carlyle Group and the Bush dynasty.
- "It's an American expression, 'to damn with faint praise'," said Charlie Rose on 8 May 2003 (broadcast 9 May 2003 in some markets). The expression (or most of it) appears on line 201 of "An Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot" by Alexander Pope, who lived in England.
This excrutiatingly slow series focused too narrowly on James Watson, ignoring predecessors like Gregor Mendel who established the context that made Watson's work possible.
- On the prologue of 26 July 2001, Keith Lockhart promised a salute to musicians born in Boston. The first guest was Chick Corea, born in Lawrence and reared in Chelsea.
- In "Why are We Here?" (#1960), Pierce Brosnan asks, "Could life on this planet survive without us?" It did for eons. Brosnan claims that "of all the plants and animals that share this world, humans are the only ones that can protect every species on earth including ourselves." Most evidence indicates, to the contrary, that humans are rapidly destroying most species on earth.
First Measured Century
- On 20 December 2000, Ben Wattenburg said attitudes of Americans toward the contributions of immigrant groups are more positive the earlier the group arrived. Not so. Indigenous people receive some of the least respect. Nearly as badly off are people of African origin, who arrived in the 17th and 18th centuries. Chinese, who were stopped in 1882, are still treated as outsiders. All these groups are less welcome than Eastern European whites, who arrived in the greatest numbers between 1880-1920. Even among whites, Irish, whose greatest numbers arrived immediately after the 1848 famine, faced more discrimination than Scandinavians arriving after 1880.
- In chapter 4 (rebroadcast 22 April 1999), Michael Palin said that Filipino women who take jobs abroad would be "second-class citizens" in their host countries. Outside the Philippines, they are not citizens at all.
- On 17 October 2001, Mark Russell indicated that Muslim males are circumcised "a few days after birth". In most Muslim cultures, circumcision is performed on boys much later, often at puberty.
- On 20 December 2000, Mark Russell said that a Congressman from South Carolina once caned to death a Massachusetts Senator. Actually, Sen. Charles Sumner survived the 1856 attack by Rep. Preston S. Brooks and was re-elected.
- On 27 March 2005, Pat Buchanan spoke of "a milestone the country is crossing". You can cross bridges or pass milestones. Milestones, which stick up out of the shoulder of the road, are difficult to cross.
- In "Diamonds" (8 Feb 2004) Stockard Channing discussed the diamond trade for an hour without mentioning conflict diamonds.
- In "The Elegant Universe" (28 October 2003), Brian Greene said that French horn valves produce different notes by changing the shape of the air column. Although the valves change the pitch by changing the length, whether the column is straight or spiral affects the timbre rather than the pitch.
- In "Secrets of the Dead: Amazon Warrior Women" (2 September 1997), archaeologist Jeannine Davis-Kimball seems disappointed that the computer reconstruction of skeleton 272's face has brunette rather than blond hair, even though hair color is not determined by bone shape. Later, we are told that mitochondrial DNA proves a relationship between Meiramgul, a Mongolian girl, and the ancient Sarmatian people, although we are not told how many other people are as closely related.
- On 11 Mar 2005, guest Samantha Power spoke for Swarthmore College students who raised money for relief in Darfur: "Here's what we, a handful of students in the middle of Pennsylvania, can do." Swarthmore is near the southeastern corner of the Keystone state, within a few miles of New Jersey and Delaware.
Riverdance: Live from Geneva
- The decision to include close-ups of dancers above the waist or knees up was unfortunate. The beauty of step dancing is watching the grace and precision of the dancers' feet and legs. At times, legs were invisible against the background. A large number of camera cuts tended to distract the viewer.
- On 25 August 2004, Big Bird looked for a shape with four sides, all the same length. He found a square, not the far more likely rhombus.
Voyageur Experience in Global Geography
- On 6 December 2007, "Russia: Rebuilding a Nation" included the following errors:
- Something cannot be rebuilt unless it existed in the past. The last major nationwide rebuilding in Russia was after World War II.
- Moscow was described as "home of the czars before the revolution". Between the eighteenth and twentieth centuries, the czars lived in St. Petersburg.
The Daily Show
- On 17 May 2000, Jon Stewart announced that Hillary Rodham officially became the Senate nominee of the Democratic Party. If so, why did she have to run in the party primary that September?
Win Ben Stein's Money
- On 4 May 2000, the question "What gold coin is named after a former president of the South African Republic?" was answered "Krugerrand". Paul Kruger was president of the Transvaal, which was incorporated into South Africa.
- On 25 September 2001, it was reported that on the premiere of Judging Amy, "a lawyer has a heart attack in her courtroom" The lawyer collapsed in the hallway of the courthouse.
- On 28 June 1999, Alex Riker informed Mitch Buchanan that Bayguard Lifesaving Service was in competition for Baywatch's county contract, which was to expire "next Friday". Are we to believe that Los Angeles County awards contracts for services at the last minute?
- On 8 November 1998, April gave Mitch a check dated 1999 to bail Hobie out of jail.
It is unfortunate that Dr. Phil chooses to use his show to promote the dubious taste of his wife, Robin, and the meager psychological insight of his son Jay, a law student.
- "For some women, there is nothing more gut-wrenching than not being able to conceive a child," said Dr. Phil on 6 April 2004. For the fertile, there is nothing more gut-wrenching than giving birth.
- On 10 May 2004, Dr. Phil said he would tell spendthrift parents "the downside of buying their children everything made . . . in the free world". How likely is it that a materialistic child would never get anything made in China?
- "For some women, there is nothing more gut-wrenching than not being able to conceive a child," said Dr. Phil on 6 April 2004. They'll never know how gut-wrenching it is to deliver a child.
- On 5 December 2003, after enjoying a performance by a pianist whose stage fright he had helped alleviate, Dr. Phil said, "We are the benefactors." That sounds a bit self-congratulatory, even by Texas standards.
- Dr. Phil: On 29 October 2003, Dr. Phil said he was in an emergency room waiting for a teenager to give birth. Why didn't the hospital provide a delivery room in the maternity ward?
- A five-year-old girl asked why only girls get breasts, but not boys. First, Dr. Phil McGraw told the girl that she was grounded for seven years, a joke that undoubtedly went over the head of any child that age. Then he provided a wordy answer that had nothing to do with nursing babies.
- On 19 September 2003, the same girl (at the age of six) asked why she shouldn't shave her face. Dr. Phil told her the myth that hair that is shaved comes in thicker and coarser. What if the girl wants to emulate a bearded woman in a sideshow?
- On 5 September 2003, Dr. Phil polled his audience as to whether sex should occur once a day or less: "Those are the two choices." What about those who think daily sex is insufficient?
- On 1 September 2003, Dr. Phil mentioned that his son visits high schools, encouraging the students to sign a statement. It says that if they stand by quietly and allow bullying to proceed, they are as guilty as the bullies. Where did they get this distorted ethic that the perpetrator of a crime is as benign as the bystander?
- "Six million women a day go through menopause," said Dr. Phil McGraw on 29 July 2003. How long does the syndrome persist?
- On 10 November 2002, Richard Roeper called Far from Heaven a story set the 1950s "that could never have been told as explicitly" at that time. Not in a Hollywood film, perhaps. Were independent European directors afraid to make it, or just too busy observing their own societies?
- On 17 June 2001, Richard Roeper remarked that "Ben Kingsley is a very mean hambre in Sexy Beast". As the word "hambre" is Spanish for "hunger", Kingsley must portray a ravenous hunger, quite a feat indeed.
The Ellen DeGeneres Show
- On 30 November 2007, Ellen DeGeneres called a man who returned a $2 million government check "one of the most honest people" around. If he had kept the money, could he really have escaped the notice of auditors? (If the check was from the Pentagon, which never balances its books, maybe.)
- On Friday, 31 August 2007, an announcement said, "Ellen's new season starts tomorrow." Being limited to weekdays, the show would not air on Saturday, 1 September 2007.
- On 10 January 2005, after discussing a buffet of food, Ellen DeGeneres claimed she thought her guest's name "was Jimmy Buffet, because it's spelled the same way." The singer's name is Buffett.
- On 6 January 2005, Ellen DeGeneres said, "You can trademark a name, did you know that, like Trump, or like Starbucks, you know and anybody who ever uses that name ever again has to pay you." A trademark owner can only control the commercial use of a name.
- On 6 January 2005, Ellen DeGeneres said, "Freeways, I don't know why they stopped, freeways in Los Angeles you know we have random numbers, we have you know 101 or the 405, and we should name freeways, really relaxing names . . ." There are names assigned to all freeways in Los Angeles and more, including
- the Allesandro Freeway,
- the Glenn Anderson Freeway,
- the Antelope Valley Freeway,
- La Cienega Freeway,
- the Beverly Hills Freeway,
- the Century Freeway,
- the Colorado Freeway,
- the Decker Freeway,
- the Foothill Freeway,
- the Gardena Freeway,
- the Glendale Freeway,
- the Golden State Freeway,
- the Harbor Freeway,
- the Hawthorne Freeway,
- the Hollywood Freeway,
- the Frank G. Lanterman Freeway,
- the Laurel Canyon Freeway,
- the Long Beach Freeway,
- the Marina Freeway,
- the Richard M. Nixon Freeway,
- the Olympic Freeway,
- the Pacific Coast Freeway,
- the Pasadena Freeway,
- the Pomona Freeway,
- the Redondo Beach Freeway,
- the Reseda Freeway,
- the Ronald Reagan Freeway,
- the San Bernardino Freeway,
- the San Diego Freeway,
- the San Fernando Valley Freeway,
- the Santa Ana Freeway,
- the Santa Monica Freeway,
- the Seaside Freeway,
- the Simi Valley-San Fernando Valley Freeway,
- the Skyway Freeway,
- the Slauson Freeway,
- the Sunland Freeway,
- the Terminal Island Freeway,
- the Topanga Freeway,
- the Venice Freeway,
- the Ventura Freeway, and
- the Whitnall Freeway.
Freeways in Southland suburbs include
- Los Angeles River Freeway,
- the Artesia Freeway,
- the Barstow Freeway,
- the Barstow/Angeles Crest Freeway,
- the Carbon Canyon Freeway,
- the Chino Valley Freeway,
- the Corona Freeway,
- the Calleguas Freeway,
- the Corona Del Mar Freeway,
- the Costa Mesa Freeway,
- the Crystal Lake Freeway,
- the Elizabeth Freeway,
- the Escondido Freeway,
- the Garden Grove Freeway,
- the Huntington Beach Freeway,
- the Laguna Freeway,
- the Lancaster Freeway,
- the Latigo Freeway,
- the Malibu Freeway,
- the Metropolitan Bypass Freeway,
- the Mojave Freeway,
- the Moorpark Freeway,
- the Moreno Valley Freeway,
- the Mt. Abel Freeway,
- the Mount Able Freeway,
- the Newport Freeway,
- the Ojai Freeway,
- the Ontario Freeway,
- the Orange Freeway,
- the Oxnard Freeway,
- the Piru Freeway,
- the Pleasant Valley Freeway,
- the Redlands Freeway,
- the Riverside Freeway,
- the Rosecrans Freeway,
- the San Gabriel River Freeway,
- the Santa Paula Freeway,
- the Simi Valley Freeway,
- the Temecula Valley Freeway,
- the Temescal Freeway, and
- the Yorba Linda Freeway.
- On 11 April 2005, Ellen Degeneres accused Brittany Murphy of "lying" about talking at 4® months of age. Lying is saying something one knows to be untrue. As Murphy believed and repeated what her mother had told her, she could not have been lying.
- On 8 Dec 2004, Ellen DeGeneres said, "Trump copyrighted 'You're fired!'" A short, commonplace expression is not eligible to be copyrighted.
- On 24 Nov 2004, explaining her choice of a guest, Ellen DeGeneres said, "Cause I thought for Thanksgiving, what better way to show thanks than with someone whose name rhymes with thanks so I thought Tom Hanks and he's the only one, so he's our only guest." Why not fill out the show with Tyra Banks or Bob Eubanks?
- On 24 Sept 2004, during an interview with Laura Dern, Ellen DeGeneres) says, "A frog would be more like a reptile. They're slimy." Like other amphibians, frogs are slimy. Reptiles are dry and scaly.
- On 30 April 2004, Ellen DeGeneres called Rutger Hauer a "German actor". Hauer is Dutch.
- On 6 July 2004, speaking of celebrities on vacation, a host claimed, "All the Hawaiian islands see stars." Just how many get to Niihau and Kahoolawe?
- On 24 June 2004, someone claimed, "Tickets are going for up to $25,000 and up."
- On 28 April 2004, Viewers were asked which talk show host shared a hometown with actor Matt Dillon. The answer was that Jay Leno was born in New Rochelle, NY. However, Leno considers his hometown Andover, MA.
- On 9 October 2003, Mary Hart described the Cat in the Hat as "tophatted". Dr. Seuss's cartoon character wears a stovepipe hat.
- On 14 November 2002, there was speculation about whether Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck had a "pre-nuptual" agreement. They are more likely to have a pre-nuptial agreement.
- On 21 November 2000, it was claimed that Tom Green and Drew Barrymore were supposed to get married on Saturday Night Live, but she changed her mind at the last minute. The show is either written by liars or fools. Those of us who suffered through Green's amateurish performance saw the wedding set quickly dismantled at the end of the show, with Green calling for his fiancee. Obviously, the staff was not taken by surprise.
- On 21 November 2000, it was mentioned that Lara Flynn Boyle denied rumors that she battled anorexia. Why would she battle it? If she has it, she considers it an ally.
- The episode aired on 29 August 2000 began with a cartoon of an elevator ascending Seattle's Space Needle. The same day, firefighters in Moscow were attempting to extinguish a fire in a television tower, in which three people were believed dead in an elevator. Couldn't a different episode have been chosen?
- On 2 August 2004, Tom Bergeron explained that male and female bears don't like to be together, "Yogi and Boo Boo being an odd exception". Neither of those bears is female.
- On 20 November 2003, Host Tom Bergeron recounted that "White House plumbers broke into the Watergate Hotel". They burglarized an office near the hotel.
- On 2 May 2001, Host Tom Bergeron asked which president Tom Hanks was descended from. Then he said Hanks was descended from Lincoln's mother (Nancy Hanks), not Lincoln himself.
- On 27 March 2001, Host Tom Bergeron claimed that Benjamin Franklin developed daylight "savings" time to save candles. Franklin's innovation was daylight saving time, so called because it saves daylight.
- On 20 July 2000, Host Tom Bergeron defined 'a cappella' singing as "without accompaniment of any kind". It actually means 'in the style of the church', i.e. without instrumental accompaniment. An a cappella singer can be accompanied by a choir.
- A discussion of films made by Saturday Night Live cast members mentioned Chevy Chase and others. Then Joyce Kulhawik said, "The biggest star to emerge from the original cast was Bill Murray." Murray was not in the original cast of any show starring Chase. In late 1975, while Chase was among the Not Ready for Prime-Time Players on NBC Saturday Night, Murray was still on the ABC show, Saturday Night Live with Howard Cosell. After that show's cancellation, Murray replaced Chase on the NBC show.
- On 8 March 2004, Joyce Kulhawik said a mountain climber "did the unthinkable" by cutting his injured companion loose, rather than letting both be pulled off a cliff. What sense would it have made to have them both fall together and perhaps collide? There was a greater opportunity to save both if only one fell.
- On 8 March 2004, reviewing The Reckoning, Joyce Kulhawik remarked on Willem Dafoe's "New York accent". The actor grew up in Appleton, Wisconsin.
- On 29 December 2005, the venue of a computer sale where people were trampled was given as Richmond, Virginia. The actual location of Henrico County, a suburb of Richmond, was never mentioned.
- On 4 August 2004, after a report that Julia Stimson Thorne became disgusted with politics after after rock flew through her window, narrowly missing her child, it was mentioned that a coyote attacked a boy in Simi Valley, California, "a stone's throw" from the Reagan library.
- The 22 July 2004 opening proclaimed, "Never have candidates' wives been more prominent." They must be putting Eleanor Roosevelt to shame.
- A report on 13 May 2004 said Kelsey Grammer and his wife "gave birth through a surrogate". Obviously, the surrogate gave birth.
- On 7 May 2004, Debra Norville commented, "There is no show on the horizon that appears to have the staying power of Friends." If a show has not aired yet, how can anyone assess its "staying power"?
- On 19 February 2004, much was made of Hutton Gibson's claim that 6 million Jews did not die in the Holocaust. Some responsible estimates agree that for every Jew in Europe who was killed by Nazis, at least one on another continent lived. So 6 million deaths would indicate that another 6 million did not die.
- On 1 February 2004, it was claimed that a teacher had to quit her job to be a cheerleader for the troops in Iraq. She didn't have to quit. She could have failed to show up for work until fired.
- On 27 November 2003, while a camera focused on the actress's plunging neckline at an award ceremony, a voiceover said, "Jennifer Aniston would be hard-pressed to outdo her Globes presentation."
- "Loudness and lewdness are not crimes," said an announcer describing TV commericials aimed at teenagers on 14 October 2003. Many states have laws against public lewdness.
- On 8 October 2003, Debra Norville apparently said, "It was a deadly end" for Timothy Treadwell, killed by a bear. Does anyone meet an end that is not deadly?
- A 24 September 2003 report told of college students choosing "a novel way" to pay tuition -- stripping. It's nothing new. Strip clubs have been recruiting college students for decades.
- "Joe Pantolioni" was mentioned on 22 September 2003. The actor is Joe Pantoliano.
- On 15 September 2003, the hosts read significance into Jennifer Lopez's appearance in the waves of a Florida beach without her engagement ring. Would it make sense for her to risk losing jewelry in the ocean, or to let her insurer observe such carelessness?
- On 10 September 2003, Jennifer Lopez's postponed nuptials were called "the wedding of the year". Doesn't she have a wedding every year?
- On 3 September 2003, it was reported that the songs "'I Will Always Love You' by Whitney Houston and 'My Heart Will Go On' by Celine Dion" were banned by producers of American Idol. The song attributed to Houston was actually written by Dolly Parton, the other written by James Horner and Will Jennings.
- On 1 September 2003, there was discussion of a day many "look forward to with dread -- September 11, 2001". It is a rare person who would look forward to a day in the past.
- Regarding the movie, West Side Story, it was said on 29 July 2003 that "Natalie Wood wasn't actually singing. We reveal the woman behind the voice." It has been known for a while that Marni Nixon dubbed the singing voice of Maria.
- "Is America ready for gay reality TV?" was opening question on 25 July 2003. Some viewers were ready in 1973, when Lance Loud came out of the closet on An American Family.
- On 2 May 2003, the fraternal Olsen twins were called "identical".
- On 23 April 2003, the prologue promised to report on the "trend" that murder had become the leading cause of death of pregnant women. The trend was never adequately quantified. The incidences of death and murder among pregnant women were never cited (only the current rate of murder as a percentage of deaths) nor compared with past statistics. So we do not know whether the trend only a decrease in medical complications against a steady murder rate, or an actual change in the murder rate.
- On 4 April 2003, the prologue asked whether a recent videotape showed Saddam Hussein or a "body double". Because the figure was fully clothed, it might have been a double, but not a body double.
- On 31 March 2004, a clue referred to "pop superstar Jessica Simpson". Simpson has a long way to go to reach that pinnacle, and a lot of competition.
- On 3 March 2004, Alex Trebek said "his term was just 1036 days", referring to President John F. Kennedy. Actually, Kennedy's term of 1461 days was completed by his successor, Lyndon B. Johnson.
- On 12 Feb 2004, Host Alex Trebek pronounced the surname of Simón Bolívar with the stress on the third syllable rather than the second, which is accented.
- On 20 April 2001, Host Alex Trebek asked which New Jersey town changed its name from Raritan. The answer was Edison, which is a township, not a town.
- On 16 June 2003, viewers were promised a wedding embracing all the world's cultures. Only a few could be recognized. Mediterranean, Japanese, and hunter-gatherer traditions seemed to be absent.
- Suggesting that patients should check physicians' credentials, a 30 October 2004 guest said, "Just because his office is next to a hospital, he may not be able to do work at that hospital." Why would office proximity be a criterion for denial of hospital privileges?
- On 30 August 2004, this announcement was made: "Are you a woman who has had an affair, and your husband was able to forgive you? Call us." If the staff intends to exploit resiliant marriages, at least spare the viewing public.
- On 27 August 2004, this announcement was made: "If you are a young woman who thinks you have to be sexually promiscuous to be popular, call us." Is it necessary for the staff to use the public airwaves to make dates?
- On 10 February 2004, Montel Williams said, "Heidi was allergic to water, the only person ever to be born with that reaction." How can anyone be sure of what disorders occurred when medical science was too primitive to recognize them?
The Oprah Winfrey Show
- On 18 September 2000, Danny Muller of Voices in the Wilderness asked if Texas Governor George DWI. Bush would "continue the Democrats' policy of bombing and sanctions that kill 5,000 children a month in Iraq" (http://www.nonviolence.org/vitw/pages/106.htm>). Oprah Winfrey told Muller, "You can't do this." Yet Muller had already done it. Apparently, Oprah Winfrey can witness reality and then deny it.
The Outer Limits
- During successive weeks, WDBJ-TV provided the following schedule for The Outer Limits:
- The night of 14 September 2003 (morning of 15 September), the program scheduled for 2:00 a.m. aired almost an hour late, so anyone who attempted to record the show caught only the beginning.
- The night of 21 September 2003 (morning of 22 September), the program scheduled for 2:00 a.m. aired an hour early, so anyone sitting down to watch (or attempting to record it) caught the end or missed it completely.
- The night of 28 September 2003 (morning of 29 September), the conclusion of a two-part episode aired, with a preview of the beginning to air the following week.
- Although scheduled for 1:00 a.m. on 5 October 2003 (morning of 6 October), the beginning of the two-part episode aired at 2:00 a.m.
- On 23 June 2003, the narrator asked the question, "Can we teach a computer to enjoy . . . the love of another human being?" Wouldn't "another" to a computer be another computer?
- On May 19, 2002, a human landing party searched Ganymede for "alien life forms". A mirror would be sufficient. Why didn't they look for native flora and fauna?
- On 23 February 2007, Jeffery Lyons said that "Johann" Gruffudd acted in "Amazing Grace". The actor's first name is Ioan.
The Rosie O'Donnell Show
- A preview inserted in the 16 April 1999 broadcast announced that Cher would appear on the show on Wednesday, April 14 (two days earlier).
- On 22 February 1999, Rosie O'Donnell identified the Baldwin brothers' "home town" as Massapequa. Alec, Daniel, William, and Stephen Baldwin did grow up in Massapequa. Yet Massapequa is not a town. It is within the town of Oyster Bay.
- On 11 Feb 2004, the opening monologue of Seinfeld's "The Visa"  was replaced with the closing monologue about immigration.
- On 22 November 1998, reviewing the movie Waking Ned Devine, Roger Ebert described a scene involving Irish "federal officials". As Ireland is a unitary state, rather than a federation, the term "federal" does not apply.
- On 24 September 2007, the announcer said Jimmy Smits starred in "the first Hispanic prime-time drama". What has Latin American television been broadcasting until now?
- On 4 September 2007, Barbara Walters spoke of Sen. Larry Craig's arrest, "This man obviously had such a terrible problem or such a terrible urging, whatever, that he had to go into a public restroom . . ." Isn't that the purpose of public restrooms?
Who Wants To Be a Millionaire?
- On 16 August 2004, Meredith Vieira called the human voicebox the "larnyx" instead of the larynx. Shouldn't a woman whose career depends on her voice know the name of the organ that produces it?
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