Arrow-right Camera


Here’s Easy Way To Air Gripes

Catholics are upset about a new ABC show called “Nothing Sacred.” Southern Baptists are mad at Disney for keeping that “Ellen” sitcom on the air. Yet another group of malcontents thinks the parental rating system is just a scheme for protecting raunchy shows.

You’ve probably got a beef of your own with TV, whether it has to do with the networks, sponsors, regulators, programmers or performers.

So what do you do? You vent your spleen in a letter, of course!

And don’t stop there. Send another. Then another. It’s never enough until it’s overkill.

But for optimum results, you should compose informed, issue-specific letters. Articulate, well-reasoned letters. Like you’ve got the time for all this correspondence. Like you’ve got a secretary at your bidding.

Well, now you’ve got the next best thing. Here’s an all-purpose, one-chide-fits-all communique you can tailor to your own personal disgruntlement.

Just circle your selection within each set of parentheses, sign your name at the bottom and it’s ready for mailing: another dim view of TV from another dim viewer.

Dear (Numskull, Reprobate, Despot of the Mediacracy): Count me as one who is (disgusted, incensed, not sure what all the fuss is about but jumping on the bandwagon anyhow) over your (programming, commercials, recent legislation crippling the First Amendment, hairpiece).

Perhaps you feel that you are immune to criticism by the “little” people like me who (voted you into office, buy the products you advertise, made you a star, complain about shows I’ve never seen, think Jim Palmer really gets loans from the Money Store).

Well, it’s time you learned different!

Everyone knows TV started going down hill after (Gordon Jump replaced Jesse White as the Maytag repairman, John Belushi left “Saturday Night Live,” videotape was invented, Dave hosted the Oscars). But my (husband, wife, same-sex partner, imaginary friend) and I agree that since then, thanks to you, TV has sunk even further.

Why can’t we have more (shows like “Dr. Quinn,” news people like that nice Jane Pauley, infomercials broadcast when normal people are awake to watch them, informative nature documentaries where one animal cruelly snuffs another, Pamela Anderson Lee appearances on Court TV)?

Instead, viewers are subjected to (sex, violence, commercials for cars kicking up dust in the desert, pundits arguing with each other on programs that pretend to be news) until I could scream!

Time is running out!

With the approach of (the new fall season, the millennium, my father telling me I have to go to bed), I call for you to insure that in the future (we’ll never have another Farrah Fawcett pay-per-view, nothing whatsoever will be aired by PBS that doesn’t come from Britain, executives at ABC won’t date people they work with).

Furthermore, I implore you to investigate the rumor that viewers are being brainwashed by subliminal messages hidden in (the Weather Channel’s Tropical Update, a $50 answer on the “Jeopardy” game board, Bobbie Battista’s eyes).

And I have other concerns.

I’ve been watching TV since (noon yesterday, Snooky Lanson was on “Your Hit Parade,” the power came back on), and I just wish you would explain to me (the jazzed-up parental guidelines, exactly who it is that watches UPN, why people won’t leave Kathie Lee Gifford alone, how ABC justified paying all that money for footage of Pol Pot when he’s never been one of Barbara Walters’ “Most Fascinating People,” why my cable company never answers the phone).

But I have serious doubts you’ve got any answers to the questions I raise. If you did, would TV be in its present mess?

Let me tell you, I am fed up with your timidity in the face of (those Hollywood producers with their liberal agendas, those network execs trying to smother artistic expression, those money-grubbing advertisers who think a viewer is just a pair of eyeballs with a wallet, those know-nothing regulators who only watch TV to see themselves on “Meet the Press”)!

By the way, I expect an immediate personal response from you. And if I don’t see some fast results, I’ll be mounting a boycott.

I’ll boycott TV and everything advertised on it. Sure, I will.

Tags: Commentary

Click here to comment on this story »