We get letters. . . . Many are about "The Next Generation of Local News" on KCBS-TV Channel 2, most agreeing with my rip of Channel 2's new-look news block. There are also other comments here about local news, and about a column on former Channel 2 anchorman Jess Marlow and recent reviews:
I found myself experiencing a temporarily disconcerting sense of deja vu while watching the new Channel 2 news, and then it came to me that I was feeling the same way I used to feel as a very little boy when my mother made me eat Farina for breakfast and I would choke on the lumps.
However, you neglected a few items that I don't think should have gone unnoticed, for example Michael Jackson's permanent simper. I think he must have draw-strings on his lips, puckering and unpuckering them as the occasion arises.
Most important of all, though, is the sinister question of what it is that CBS has on Bill Stout to make it possible to force him to take part in this live-action marionette show?
You state that if its first outing was typical, then KCBS-TV's news format, featuring 20-minute varied-interest segments, is so soft "that Channel 2 is essentially out of the news business."
I think this new format actually has the potential for unprecedented depth in local news reporting. It could produce segments that include not only specialized, sometimes mostly entertaining sidelights, but also in-depth, local angles on the top stories.
And as a gardener, personable Kevin O'Connell should keep on doing some reports on zucchinis and other squash--I'm just nuts about produce!
DOUGLAS EVAN DRENKOW
I've watched the Channel 2 news for two days and I'm insulted. My memory span is longer than 20 minutes. The solution is to turn off the set. I watch Bill Stout at 4 p.m. Then I turn it off until 6:30 when Dan Rather arrives. Or maybe I should try Channel 4 or Channel 7. I'm sorry, Uncle Walter.
DAVID L. SCHUTZER
My eye caught your perceptive paragraph about Michael Jackson. Glib is the perfect word and he is no less obvious in "managing" his radio interviews. Was ever an ego so big and has ever a radio talk host so cleverly manipulated his program to match both his interests and his biases? But he interviews some terrific people. He is so professional and so quick thinking that I tolerate his slanted interviews until it gets to be too much for me.
Where is Kevin O'Connell from? That accent I can't place no how. I'd love to watch Tom Brokaw, but his speech impediment (he can't pronounce his Ls ) drives me nuts. I laughed when he did the in-depth report on the attack on the "Achiyee Yawyo." Who hires these people? The other night Dan Rather looked like his face hurt him every time he shot us a smile. Who cares about these theatrics?
Give us news and tell me if it's going to rain tomorrow. Fritz Schmitz. Maclovio is in his bar mitzvah suit every night. And Dr. Fishcake should put down that pointer already and go fishing. Such stupidity.
You referred to Jess Marlow several times as a gentleman. It's always been there for people to see. I'd like to add that he must also be a very gentle man. The fact that there is no longer an important place on the Channel 2 news for a man like that is a tragic indication of how cutthroat, commercial and callous television and its news broadcasts have become. No wonder many of us are turning it off.
Playa del Rey
I was surprised when you did not question Marlow's statement about the shortness of his career necessitating his enormous salary. Professional athletes can use this theory to rationalize their salaries because they can only work five to 10 years. But Marlow has been a newsman for 20 years now and he can easily go on for another 10 while making from $3 million to $10 million over that time, when the average working person gets a couple hundred thousand.
Why do I get this strange feeling that if your article had been about Jerry Dunphy or Tawny Little it would have been filled with sarcasm about the poor little millionaire/millionairess. You do have a strange double standard when it comes to Channel 7 and non-Channel 7 employees.
JON C. MEESE
I hope you were watching the Channel 4 news the other day when their anchor, John Beard, got a bad case of the giggles. He was trying to read a story about what he called "consumer fruits." He couldn't get through it, so they had to go to a commercial. Perhaps he and Tawny Little can be paired at some station.
KABC-TV "Eyewitness News" is the people's choice for the 5 o'clock and 11 o'clock news broadcasts. This is the same channel, same news and same newscasters you have been ridiculing and belittling for years. You're not a critic. You're a very demeaning, nasty old man.
Rancho Palos Verdes