TV Violence Appeals Only to Emotions

TV Violence Appeals Only to Emotions

Regarding the front-page article ''Washington Turns Up the Debate on TV Violence,'' July 14: Capital Cities/ABC spokeswoman Julie Hoover's disclaimer that ''my violence could be your thoughtful program,'' is as disingenuous as tobacco company claims that no one has yet proven smoking to be harmful to health. Graphic violence does not appeal to thought; it appeals to the emotions and the senses and is used only to attract viewers and to sell products.

Today's debate over television violence centers on children and suggests that discretionary viewing (ensured by a ''V-chip'' if necessary) will protect individuals from unwanted sensationalism. However, the climate of sensationalism on television is so pervasive as to be almost inescapable.

Censoring television violence may be no more viable than banning cigarette smoking, but defending either is inherently antisocial. After all, what is bad for children is usually not good for adults.

Kathe Geist Brookline, Mass.

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