CNN plans broad summit coverage



* Just as it proved during the Persian Gulf war, the Cable News Network is the place to look for regular live reporting on this week's summit meeting in Moscow between President Bush and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.

CNN anchors Bernard Shaw and Frank Cesno, for example, will be doing live remotes from the Soviet capital every two hours through Thursday, the key days of meetings between the two leaders.

Live update reports are scheduled daily at 6, 8, and 10 a.m., noon, and at 3 and 6 p.m., with Shaw joining reporters at 8 and 10 a.m. and noon, while Cesno anchors reports at 3 and 6 p.m.

* And speaking of newsies from the Gulf War period, NBC correspondent Arthur Kent, who was designated a media "hunk" in some of the most trivial fallout of the Middle East campaign, is filling in for Bryant Gumbel on "Today" and for Tom Brokaw on the evening news later this month.

Kent will co-host "Today" the week of Aug. 12, and move to the anchor desk for the "Nightly News" the weeks of Aug. 19 and 26.

* With the Orioles struggling through a mediocre season, is there help down on the farm? WMAR-Channel 2 reporter Jamie Costello offers "Diamonds in the Rough," a 9 o'clock special tonight looking at the Birds' farm teams in Hagerstown and Frederick. It precedes Orioles action from Seattle, with coverage beginning at 9:30.

* The early Sunday hour likely means that many parents have not caught up to this, but a new syndicated cartoon series which is aimed at children seems to be terribly wide of the mark.

It is "Toxic Crusaders," which premired earlier this month at 8 a.m. Sundays on WNUV-Channel 54. While it is hard to argue the show's apparent intention -- to teach youngsters about the dangers of pollution and the need to care about one's environment -- it does so with the typically tawdry techniques of violence and conflict.

The lead character is Toxie, a high school geek who is exposed to toxic waste and becomes a mutated super hero who battles an evil villain intent upon polluting the world. The time frame is some hazy period in the future, when pollution alerts force people to routinely wear gas masks.

But the trouble with such an approach is that youngsters need to understand the polluters of the world include everybody in the world -- and that it does not require a super hero to help.

Even worse, "Toxic Crusaders" is full of offensive stereotypes, including the title character (whose transformation is the only thing that can make him popular), his valley-talk classmates and tough bullies, an old maid school teacher and especially his Jewish mother, who sees him in his new form and merely says "oy."

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