No Repercussions: CBS News President Eric Ober gave a vote of confidence Tuesday to the news department at KCBS-TV Channel 2, which admitted last Friday that it had erred during coverage of the O.J. Simpson murder case. Ober said that the station's mistake in reporting that Deputy Dist. Atty. Marcia Clark had arrived at the Simpson estate before a search warrant was issued would not result in any repercussions from the network for Harvey Levin, who reported the story, or for KCBS management. "Harvey is a good reporter and he's also an attorney," Ober said in an interview. "They made a mistake and they admitted it, and I think viewers will accept that and move on. The station has done a very good job of covering the Simpson case, and I don't see anything happening in terms of fallout."
Strengthening Gay Voice: Look for a reconfigured "strong, unified voice" to monitor the representation of gay and lesbian lives in the media and entertainment industries. The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, which has been at the forefront of discussions of such controversies as the gay kisses on TV's "Roseanne" and "Melrose Place," will announce today the establishment of a new national organization formally merging its powerful Los Angeles and New York chapters and encompassing all other existing local chapters. The watchdog group will also launch an aggressive expansion, and hopes to form 18 to 24 additional local chapters within the next year.
'Wheelies' Alarm for 'Lassie': Stressing safety worries, Yamaha Motor Corp. has asked Paramount Pictures to stop promoting its new movie "Lassie," with a scene showing a young actor doing a "wheelie" on a Yamaha ATV. In addition, the company has asked Paramount to issue disclaimers in the film discouraging stunt or trick operation of the vehicles. "Taking these steps will send an important message to the public that ATVs must be operated safely, and help to ensure that children and others who view the film are not encouraged to engage in dangerous . . . riding," said Yamaha Vice President Russell D. Jura. "ATVs are not toys; they are serious machines that must be operated safely." A Paramount spokesman said Tuesday that the studio was looking into the Yamaha matter. "Lassie" opens in theaters on Friday.
Three Tenors Watch: Faster than a high-C, a new recording from the Three Tenors is out. No, Atlantic Records wasn't able to get a recording from Saturday night's concert at Dodger Stadium out yet--that CD and a video are due Aug. 29. The label did, however, record Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras when the three sang at Prince Rainier's benefit concert in Monte Carlo on June 9. That promotional single and video, containing the trio's rendition of "Brindisi" (drinking song) from Verdi's "La Traviata" and "La donna e mobile" from Verdi's "Rigoletto," were sent to American classical stations on Monday. Both songs also were performed during the encores at Saturday night's show. . . . In other tenors news, Oklahoma fans watching the trio's Dodger Stadium concert on TV in Tulsa, Okla., got a huge culture shock when the concert's transmission was interrupted by a power failure. The signal on public-TV station KOED automatically switched to cable's E! Entertainment Television, which was airing the raunchy "Howard Stern Show." "Evidently, some very distasteful material aired . . . maybe even vulgar from the phone calls we received," a KOED spokesman said. "It had something to do with Howard Stern and people taking their pants off."
Cliburn Keeps It Short: The cross-country tour by American pianist Van Cliburn and the Moscow Philharmonic continues to be plagued by changes. Following recent appearances in San Diego and Los Angeles, Cliburn and the orchestra played in Dallas on Friday night and in St. Louis on Monday. At both tour stops, the 60-year-old pianist shortened his promised two-concerto program--Tchaikovsky's First and Rachmaninoff's Third--in favor of playing solo pieces before intermission and the Tchaikovsky work after. At last week's show at the Hollywood Bowl, the pianist complained of "lightheadedness" and played solo pieces instead of the Rachmaninoff concerto. In Dallas and St. Louis, no explanation was given to the audience. The next two scheduled stops are Denver on Saturday and Salt Lake City on Sunday.
Comedian George Burns, 98, required two stitches after a slip in a bathtub that left him with a gashed scalp. As a result of the fall, the comedian has canceled shows this week at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas. . . . Tom Hanks, Rob Reiner, Mac Davis, Sidney Poitier, Anthony Geary and Karl Malden were among those "schlepping" (Barbra Streisand's word) to Anaheim on Monday for the rescheduled opening of her four-night stand at the Pond of Anaheim. . . . Country singer Joe Diffie ("Prop Me Up Beside the Jukebox," "John Deere Green") is the honorary host of today's celebrations at Space Center Houston commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Apollo space mission. Among his duties: to help unveil a postage stamp commemorating man's walk on the moon.