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Others Stand With Levin in the Torrent

February 22, 1992

Howard Rosenberg's scolding of Harvey Levin ("The Raging Torrent of Harvey Levin," Feb. 17) was justified, but in my opinion he didn't go far enough. Days before the storm's arrival, superlatives were used throughout the media such as "massive" and the sexist phrase "mother of all storms" to describe what was coming. By Feb. 15, Los Angeles was buttoned down, sandbagged and plastic-wrapped for this pre-sold disaster day.

What we actually met was a rather average storm front. KCBS et al. would argue that they were still performing a service by motivating everyone to prepare in case the storm had been heavy and that weather is unpredictable. Would it not have been more honest and responsible to emphasize this unpredictability and avoid the hype? If someone yells "Fire!" in a crowded theater, are they exonerated by simply stating that had there really been a fire they would have saved lives?

Levin has succeeded in muddying himself, but certainly his colleagues in the media should not get off unsullied, as they created a level of hype that Levin was desperately trying to satisfy.

BRIAN P. McENTEE

Altadena

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