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Coverage of the London Olympics has tweeters and bloggers blistering NBC, while the network sets records for ratings. Instead of destroying the old business model, are the New Media reinforcing it? We talk about that and about extraordinary athletes making news, for better or worse. Also, Tea-Party conservative Ted Cruz wins the Texas Senate primary, and a look back at the life and work of the late Gore Vidal, who died last night at the age of 86.

Banner image: USA gymnasts Jordyn Wieber, Gabrielle Douglas, Mc Kayla Maroney, Alexandra Raisman and Kyla Ross of the United States celebrate on the podium after winning the gold medal in the Artistic Gymnastics Women's Team final on Day 4

Frances Anderton
Katie Cooper
Caitlin Shamberg
Lata Pandya

Reporter's Notebook Gore Vidal Dead at Age 86 7 MIN, 9 SEC

Gore Vidal was an extraordinarily versatile writer, who wrote 25 novels, two memoirs, and several volumes of essays. He also wrote for TV and the stage. An outspoken political activist and occasional actor, he ran for Congress in New York State and for the US Senate in California. Vidal died last night at the age of 86, from complications of pneumonia. In 2007, he disparaged America's popular culture in an exchange with Michael Silverblatt, host of Bookworm on KCRW radio. Former Los Angeles Times book critic and columnist, Tim Rutten was a friend of Gore Vidal.

Tim Rutten, Los Angeles Daily News

Making News Ted Cruz Wins Texas Senate Primary 7 MIN, 22 SEC

Texas politics are in for a change — and it's likely the US Senate is too. In yesterday's Republican primary, the establishment favorite, Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst lost by 14 points to Tea-Party conservative and Cuban-American Ted Cruz, who thanked Sarah Palin for her support. Wayne Slater is senior political writer for the Dallas Morning News.

Wayne Slater, Dallas Morning News (@WayneSlater)

Main Topic Competition: In the Olympic Games and in the Media 35 MIN, 56 SEC

As world-class athletes go for the gold, NBC television is going for the audience. But those formerly passive viewers now have a voice -- and it's a loud one. On Twitter and Facebook, on blog after blog, NBC has been excoriated since the opening ceremonies: for commentary, dramatizations and especially tape delays. At the same time, prime time viewing is off the charts. We hear from the tweeter who was famously shut down and from inside NBC strategy sessions.

Alan Abrahamson, 3 Wire Sports (@alanabrahamson)
Guy Adams, The Independent (@guyadams)
Harriet Ells, Program Director for Talk (@harrietkcrw)
Jeff Jarvis, Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism (@jeffjarvis)
Andrew Billings, University of Alabama (@olympicuab)

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Jeff Jarvis


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