WORTH NOTING ON TV
Evening News From Moscow (C-Span, 6-6:30 p.m., E.T.): A report in Russian with simultaneous English translation. * MONDAY
One on One: Classic Television Interviews (CBS, 9:30-11 p.m.): The Museum of Television & Radio is airing a blizzard of clips that serve to remind us how potent the right kind of interview can be on TV. It's the museum's third annual special made up of these quick takes culled from some four decades.
The brevity of the clips is usually their strength, although a few of the exchanges make you wish you could see the whole conversation. Since they form a magnificent heap of fragments - as somebody once described a literary work - I'll provide a few impressionistic scraps from the production:
Ted Kennedy, one of the best speakers in politics, stammers when asked why he wants to be president. Candidate Bill Clinton, asked by Phil Donahue if he and Hillary Rodham Clinton had separated during marital troubles, draws justified cheers by answering, ``No, and it's none of your business if we did.... You are responsible for the cynicism in this country. You will not deal with the issues.'' The Shah of Iran, asked by Barbara Walters if women are as intelligent as men, allows as how there are cases, but ``...on average....'' His voice trails off. He senses he should not state in so many words what he obviously thinks.
Katharine Hepburn, caught on tape before a talk-show appearance, is asked by Dick Cavett if she wants a mirror. ``No,'' she answers, ``never face the truth, if you've gotten this far.'' John Lennon tells Tom Snyder why the Beatles broke up. Answer: ``Because we were bored.'' On a French beach where GIs landed in 1944, Dwight Eisenhower strolls with Walter Cronkite and remembers. In another Cronkite interview, Louis (Satchmo) Armstrong sits on the edge of a stage and lights up the place with his smile, his words, his tantalizing samples of trumpet playing.
If it can boast moments like these, TV - for all its troubles - must be doing something right.
Please check local listings for these programs.