We get letters. . . .
This batch includes responses to columns about pro-Sandinista news reports from Nicaragua, a West-thrashing PBS documentary series called "The Africans" and the coming ABC miniseries "Amerika," which depicts a future United States controlled by the Soviets and administered by the United Nations. There are also letters about Joan Rivers' new syndicated talk show and NBC's "Cheers":
The two reports of Leticia Ponce and Bill Press with "one view" of Nicaragua are too remindful of early visitors to the "workers' paradise" of the developing USSR, leading to later disillusionment. Don't we learn anything from history about the true face of Communism?
In your accolade of "The Africans," you joined the anarchist writer of this docu-propaganda by skimming past the fact that torture and murder have been for the most part the work of blacks on moderate blacks. That increased violence began with Tutu, who pushed his self-fulfilling prophesy for all its worth with a sick media.
Your basic mistake lay in dismissing the critique of "The Africans" by Lynne Cheney as irrelevant and going on to laud it because it presented a "challenge" to Americans about the role of the West in Africa.
The problem with your approach is that Cheney's critique deals with the most important aspect of the program: Is it telling the truth or even trying to do so? Short of that, is it trying to present a generally balanced view? Your own column suggests that both of these questions should be answered "no."
Your other premise--that the program is valuable because it "challenges" Americans--is also wrong. As you well know, there are plenty of people in the United States who will be only too happy to agree with Mazrui's anti-Westernism.
I will be looking forward to viewing "Amerika" and will savor every minute of it. I say it is about time. You "better red than dead" liberals have had your way too long with programs shown on television.
For God's sake, when are you bleeding hearts going to wake up to the stark reality that the Soviet Union is out to communize the world? Take your head out of the sand and take a look at the map and see how many countries are under Marxist control.
FREDERICK D. MULLEN
My acquaintances and I agree with your article about Joan Rivers. We laugh at her, not with her.
Having been reared in Southern California and also as a world traveler, I can state without reservation that from what I see on TV, "Mrs. Big Mouth" doesn't deserve to be watched. I not only turn off the TV, I pull the main switch on my house so as to prevent the bad vibes from contaminating the karma of my home.
WILLIAM J. PROBERT
" 'Cheers' has now broken new ground in a weekly prime-time television program. Words used in the Oct. 16 episode described the act of sexual intercourse most effectively. Did the words fit the story line? Yes. Could the same story have been done without these words? Yes!
Sex or nudity in print can be pretty much segregated by keeping the magazines on the top shelf or only in certain stores. The motion picture industry adopted a grading system for pictures, which is intended to give the viewer a guide to the audience that the film is suited for. Television currently remains free to do what it wants.
Over the years, "Frankly, Scarlet, I don't give a damn" has become accepted. It took us a while. We change. Our values continuously alter as time goes by. Frontal nudity is now common in print. It is common in motion pictures. It is not in prime time TV--yet.
Are we being tested? Is this dialogue on "Cheers" just a test to see if anyone cares? If we don't complain now, will we have oral sex shown to us at 8 every Wednesday night?
The language was offensive to me with my children watching. If the children had not been there, would I have been equally offended? No. It would have been quite imaginative and humorous.
"Cheers" has been a favorite of mine since its beginning. It is well done and I look forward to it each week. Please: Let me know when material not suited for children will be broadcast. Reserve these programs until after 10.