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How to win friends: French director Jean-Luc Godard says TV news executives are war criminals, filmmakers David Lynch and Steven Spielberg "don't see anything" and Jerry Lewis is unappreciated by Americans. Godard, who helped start the French "New Wave" film movement three decades ago with such movies as Breathless and Band of Outsiders, called coverage of the Persian Gulf War "abject and ignoble."

"The real war criminals are the heads of TV news shows," he said in the June 17 edition of Newsweek. "They don't care what they say, so long as they earn money."

Godard, who once described director Oliver Stone as the "falsifier who made Platoon," also had unkind words for Lynch and Spielberg, saying they "put their cameras somewhere, but they don't see anything."

One man Godard does approve of is Lewis, the American comic who has a wide following in France. The director praised him for "great comic style."

"As always when Americans have someone good, they don't appreciate him, like Herman Melville, Edgar Allan Poe or Raymond Chandler. Jerry Lewis is very amateuristic but also very professional," Godard said.

"There is lots of the unconscious to be seen in his work, as in all the great artists."

Put up or ...: David Letterman claims he can pitch a shutout inning for a professional baseball team. And the Greenville Braves in South Carolina want to give him the chance.

Earlier this year, Letterman challenged any major league team to let him prove he could pitch. The Braves, a minor league club, have offered Letterman a uniform, a field and a game for him to prove his boast, although they're still waiting for their parent club, the Atlanta Braves, to approve.

General Manager Steve DeSalvo said the team mailed a proposal to Letterman's office in March. It even enclosed a Letterman-style top 10 list to entice him, including No. 1, "Nobody comes out to see that damn bird anymore, anyhow."

A spokesman said Letterman hasn't decided how to respond.

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