Friday, March 23, 2018


A couple of selections of dialogue from the "Gag Order" episode of 'Bull':

I'm meeting with Chloe Tomlin
Chloe Tomlin. I know that name.
Maybe you've read her. 
She's an investigative journalist
for the New York Ledger. 
She's also an adjunct professor here, 
and she's the one who recommended me
for the scholarship

Ms. Tomlin had been arrested for breaking into a computer dating service to get information for a newspaper story which had been approved by her editor three days before.  But during the trial, her editor perjured himself and claimed that Ms. Tomlin was acting as a lone wolf with no authorization from him.

He tried to defend his actions later....

I had no choice. 
It came down from the masthead. 
They threatened to lay off half the department.
Wait a minute. 
You're saying that the publishers of the New York Ledger 
told you to perjure yourself
I'm not saying anything of the kind
As I recall, one of the owners of the Ledger
made his fortune in tech startups and apps
I have no idea. I just work there.

The Ledger is best known as the tabloid newspaper of choice in the 'Law & Order' corner of Toobworld, seen throughout the various shows of that franchise.  I would not be surprised if it had been mentioned, if not seen, in episodes of the 'Chicago' farm team of Dick Wolf shows.

But it has also popped up in other shows like 'White Collar' and 'Castle' (although that takes place in an alternate TV dimension.)  And Dick Wolf even gave the newspaper its own show....

From Wikipedia:

'Deadline' is an American drama which was shown on NBC from October 2, 2000 to April 7, 2001. It was aired during the 2000–2001 season. It starred Oliver Platt as Wallace Benton, who worked for the fictional New York Ledger. This was a daily newspaper which was seen in many episodes of 'Law & Order' and modeled after the real-life New York Post.

The series established Si Beekman (played by Tom Conti) as the owner of the New York Ledger.

From the Post-Gazette:
Tom Conti is Si Beekman, the eccentric owner who barks out orders and battles with the liberal newsroom staff when they hedge about pursuing an investigation of a Democrat in the second episode.

"If this was a Republican we were discussing here, you'd all be bouncing up and down with glee like a bunch of monks in a whore house," Beekman says.

He's not tactful or classy, but the lines that come out of Beekman's mouth are, at the least, unpredictable.

- Rob Owen

In 'Deadline', Beekman was depicted as being the sole owner of the paper.  But as it's common Toobworld practice to make a character the same age as the actor playing the role unless otherwise stated, Beekman was just approaching his seventies (now reaching the tail end of that decade.)  He was probably feeling the need to guarantee his legacy and to ease the burden on himself. 

So eighteen years later, it appears he has taken on partners in the paper's ownership.  (I'd like to think Si Beekman is still the principle owner with the most shares of stock in the company.  He could have sold it off to a consortium, but where's the sport in that?)

Watching the 'Game of Thrones'-style distribution of power in the Trump family here in the Trueniverse, and knowing how Rupert Murdoch has been keeping his media empire in the family, I think it's more than likely that Si Beekman co-owns the Ledger with his own family - children, siblings, cousins....  Whoever it is, I think it likely that one of them (a male by the dialogue) is the owner mentioned by Dr. Bull as being the one who made his fortune in tech stock and apps.  By the turn of the millennium, Si Beekman was already established in his wealth and I think it happened long before the digital age got into gear.  (He may have even inherited his fortunes.)

So the ruling council of the Toobworld Central has voted and accepted my claim that Si Beekman is still one of the owners of the Ledger, and as such he is the man behind the curtain for the paper.  The New York Ledger is already inducted into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame but now I can make the case that Si Beekman is also eligible for membership.  Every time you see the Ledger in a TV show, it's taken for granted that Beekman is the publisher. 

The Toobworld Central ruling council has mandated that this will only last for as long as Tom Conti is alive, however.  It is standard practice for the curators of Toobworld to declare certain characters as having died once the actor who played them has died as well. 

I would say inclusion in the Hall is already written in stone for Si Beekman, probably as a Birthday Honors inductee or maybe during the 20th anniversary of the TVXOHOF next year.  But it would be great if I can find mention of the paper's owner, most likely without his name, in one of the shows that are outside the Dick Wolf bailiwick. Then 'Deadline', 'Bull', and that show would serve as the triumvirate base for Si Beekman's membership in the Television Crossover Hall of Fame.

That same consideration couldn't be offered to the other cast members of 'Deadline'.  Some of them might have been there for years, but who knows what happened to their employee status after that show was canceled?  

So take care of your health, Mr. Conti!  The longer you're around, the more credits we could add to your tally.

Uh oh.  Looks like a sick day for Si Beekman....


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