|About the Book|
A Few Marbles Left contains more than 75 essays, rants, news bloopers and observations about television news, as well as serious considerations on improving the craft, whos the top journalist in America, the inside story behind the best news cassette ever shot, and the real issue of the public good versus news excess.Corcoran is by turns outrageous, poignant, hilarious and maddening, but always truthful and never dull. This book could only be written by someone out of the business for good, he says. Anyone as honest as I am would be fired immediately by one of the boneheads running it. That being said, Im always open to offers of work that dont involve selling my conscience or heavy lifting.John Corcoran spent twenty years in television as an on-air entertainment reporter and critic in Washington, DC, Boston, and Los Angeles. Then he got out of the business and the real fun began. A Few Marbles Left started as a series of missives to the legendary TV newsletter Shop Talk, where his Pesky Gadabout letters drew praise, condemnation and, most frequently, laughter.Writing from Los Angeles, a city where anyone with a set of car keys and a Darwin Was Wrong tattoo can hijack a television newscast for hours at a time, Corcoran has traveled the country observing local news in markets from San Louis Obispo, CA, to Portland, ME.Corcoran skewers TV news with outrageous comments like, I think its time that the public accepted the reality that TV news is no longer fact-driven. Facts impede flow, cause delays in getting to live shots, confuse the viewer, lead to unwanted litigation and are frequently hard to prove.A Few Marbles Left is a mandatory read for anyone who isin the business, who has been in the business or who watches television news. They will recognize the characters and the calamities, and the occasions when TV rises above them and does the extraordinary work it is capable of doing, but so rarely does.More importantly, anyone contemplating a career in television will be well served by Corcorans cautionary tales and lessons learned. If I can keep just one person from making a lifetime mistake and working in TV news for the wrong reasons, well, Im pretty sure my publisher will be upset. No, Im hoping to influence thousands of bright young people, get them to change majors and become attorneys, doctors, con men or dropouts -- plus make a few bucks for the publisher and myself at the same time.