TV's color line: more than a 'business' decision I was surprised to read the opinion article "NAACP's war on television," (July 29) which seems so one-sided and even inaccurate. There were three points that needed to be commented on.
The author says more than once that networks are businesses and respond to market demands. To him, this appears to mean that only programs about Caucasians will be successful, and that programs involving African-Americans will fail. But this is untrue. The "Cosby Show," the "Jeffersons," and "Different Strokes" were all successes. If you look at those programs, you find wit, liveliness, realistic plot lines, and people worth caring about.
Could it be that the failed programs of recent seasons were simply bad ideas with equally bad scripts? Experience has shown that viewers will cross "color lines" when the programs are worth watching no matter who the stars are.
The author also argues that it is all right that African-Americans do not appear on prime-time television because they are well represented on cable. To me, this smacks of the old "separate but equal" argument. That point of view was found empty and useless a long time ago, and nothing has changed to give it viability.
Finally, if you were an African-American parent raising children in a white-dominated society where many advertising images in print and on television were focused on Caucasian life styles and people, would you get the feeling that maybe you were a nonentity?
Although I myself am a Caucasian, I think it is worth pointing out that our African-American, Hispanic, and Asian fellow citizens also have a right to be represented in our society, including on network television.
Rosalie E. Dunbar, Dracut, Mass.
'Wrongheaded' on Colombia Your lead editorial "Colombia: Another Vietnam?" (Aug. 6), had a good headline, but, unfortunately, the content of the piece was muddled and wrongheaded. You mention "spraying ... vast acres" of Colombia as if that were a good thing, forgetting that people live on those acres, and their houses, children, food, and water is being sprayed with poison.
Your editorial recommends doing anything and everything to fight drugs, but advises against supporting the Colombian military. That recommendation is patently impossible, and downright silly.
When suggesting that the US has an interest in preventing "lawlessness" in Colombia, do you mean lawlessness for poor peasants, or that which affects the country's wealthy class?
I believe we are pursuing the speck in the eye of the rebels, and overlooking the log in the eye of the conservative establishment in Colombia.
Robert L. Thatch, Kansas City, Mo
Watergate and Clinton After reading "25 years later, a presidency never the same" (Aug. 9), I had to write to disagree strongly with the authors' contention that President Clinton's impeachment was Watergate's second act. It most certainly was not! Watergate should have concluded with an impeachment based upon high crimes and misdemeanors evidence.
The true scandal of Watergate was that it did not result in Nixon's impeachment, trial, and removal from office. Even worse, President Ford's pardon removed Nixon from the jurisdiction of a criminal trial which he deserved to face for his grievous crimes against our Constitution and against the entire body of US citizens.
Clinton's misdeeds were never a serious threat to either the Constitution or to the citizens of this country.
Linda Hallak, San Jose, Calif.
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