The Ratings Game Fuels Voter Anger

The author of the opinion-page speech excerpts ``Media Failed US Voters in `94 By Missing the Real Stories,'' Jan. 5, has a good grasp on what has happened with the US voter. The media can claim a larger share of the responsibility for voter anger. The reasons, however, are not quite as simple.

It is far more than reporters ferreting out ``all the news.'' I believe that the foundation was laid when news became ``entertainment'' and TV anchors became celebrities. Ratings became more important than issues, and polls became the driving force of elections. The network news programs fuel the anger by looking for tomorrow's news today.

The media now command a position of authority that is unprecedented in history; witness all the campaigning done on ``Larry King Live.''

No one has elected these people; neither have they been appointed by the president. Yet they have more power than any Cabinet secretary, congressman, or senator.

When I complain to news stations, (as I have done many times), they courteously say ``Thank you,'' and ignore the complaint.

With First Amendment protection, they are just about invulnerable to any challenge. June Fine, Newton, Mass.

Your letters are welcome. For publication they must be signed and include your address and telephone number. Only a selection can be published, and none acknowledged. Letters should be addressed to ``Readers Write,'' and can be sent by Internet E-mail (200 word maximum) to OPED@RACHEL.CSPS.COM, by fax to 617-450-2317, or by mail to One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115

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