We get letters . . . .
Seems to me from reading your column, "Contraceptive Issue: Networks on the Spot," that the three major television networks are getting a bum rap on this issue, which is really two separate issues.
First, there is the question of the televising of, so to speak, generic contraceptive messages. Second, there is the question of who is going to pay for the airing of such messages.
If the networks refuse to sell the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists the air time for the contraceptive message, you can most certainly and quite rightly accuse them of hypocrisy on this issue. However, it would seem to me that if contraceptive messages were to be aired free of charge, then the door might be open for all manner of individuals and groups with counter messages to demand equal free time.
The networks do our country a great disservice by refusing to air a TV spot which would promote public awareness of contraception. By programming sexually suggestive, indeed often explicit material, and then condemning this spot as "controversial," the major networks demonstrate an arrogant hypocrisy.
So many unwanted pregnancies could be avoided by a little contraceptive knowledge. It is sad to contemplate the lack of social responsibility on the part of the powerful networks. When we regularly hear words in television advertising such as hemorrhoids, diarrhea and tampons, why not contraceptive ?
SHARI EPSTEIN, Los Angeles
To which constituencies are the networks being sensitive with their refusal to air the spot? Please identify them if you can.
CATHY BROWN, Los Angeles
It would make a lot of sense if the networks were required to show the contraceptive spot at least once on any program that showed or implied explicit sexual activity.
LEILA McDERMOTT, Granada Hills
Your article on "West 57th" is accurate in stating that its pace is too fast to do justice to any of its stories. However, there is nothing wrong with the show that couldn't be fixed by cutting back on the numbers of stories in each hour.
ALAN DONNER, Los Angeles
Your article on "The Mickey Mouse Show Goes to 57th Street" was right on. My daughter is 17, and you can bet it is definitely too young for her. If this is the news of the '80s, then shoot me straight to the '90s.
JO ANNA WALKER,
In reference to your column entitled "The Standouts Emmy Overlooked," I would like to correct your assumption that NBC entered the series "Punky Brewster" in the children's programming category because "NBC knows no one older than seven is interested." As I am sure you are aware, according to Television Academy rules, the producers of a series, not the networks, submit their shows for consideration. "Punky Brewster" was entered in the children's category because, from its inception, we have set out to create a series for and about children.
In all of the 22 prime-time hours of network programming, certainly there is room for a half-hour of wholesome, nonviolent, non-sexist entertainment aimed at promoting a positive role for children. The point of view in "Punky Brewster" is not that of adults raising a precocious teen-ager the size of a child, but rather the world as seen through the eyes of a 9-year-old girl.
RICK HAWKINS, producer,
What's this stuff about Emmy nominations for "Miami Vice"? With cigarette in mouth and drink in hand, the heroes declare war against all drugs except the two most used--and therefore abused--drugs known, even in Miami.
Every episode continues Hollywood's irresponsible and asinine glamorization of alcohol and tobacco. The enormous costs to society of these two drugs far exceed those of illegal drugs, and this fact is completely ignored.
The character of Crockett is inseparable from a cigarette. Apparently the show's producers believe his pastels go well with nicotine and tar and carbon monoxide. And we are led to believe that it's impossible for anyone to relax without several alcoholic drinks. I can only assume the relaxation is necessary to accommodate diseased lungs and livers, and tired, tired bodies. Miami vice, indeed.
PAUL TRENT, Woodland Hills
I saw Harold Greene's broadcast about Rock Hudson on KABC-TV Channel 7 and was appalled by its bad taste. As a chaplain to the AIDS Project LA, I was infuriated by Greene's implication that AIDS can be transmitted by casual contact. God knows there is enough fear of persons with AIDS without KABC-TV fanning the banner with comments that might be appropriate in a cheap tabloid, but hardly on a news broadcast.
REV. ROBERT BROWN,
Whether a media person knows it or not, he has a moral choice to make when put in a position of "doing his job" or respecting his fellow human beings as he would respect himself. The choice for respect is the basis of humanity, and it was given to us as a prerequisite for peace almost 2,000 years ago. I believe it's called the Golden Rule.
To see any one human being afflicted by an incurable disease is truly a sad thing to watch. However, when this disease is brought about by a gay licentious immoral life style that they have entered into of their own free will, it is difficult to be totally sympathetic. Come out of your ivory tower.
ROBERT C. PURCELL,
Oh, such concern! We are not concerned about Rock Hudson. We are concerned about the victims such as the 13-year-old boy who needs a blood factor for his hemophilia and now has AIDS. What if that were your child? You'd certainly not be so benevolent toward Rock Hudson.
While I share your outrage at the major networks' disgusting exploitation and sensationalization of Rock Hudson's tragic plight, I wonder if you are not making yourself party to it by repeating all their sanctimonious and hypothetical garbage. Is there no way to fight this without dirtying one's one hands in the process?
TRUDI ALEXY STERNLICHT,