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The Struggle, the Shooting, the Videotape

July 31, 1993

I read, with interest, "KCBS Apologizes for Airing Video of Shooting" (July 22), by Daniel Cerone. I, too, saw the footage on the Channel 9 News with Jerry Dunphy. Dunphy gave a warning that it was graphic, giving us the choice of watching or not.

It is my opinion that the footage was not graphic at all and that no apologies are needed. You see the victim struggling with the perpetrator, the victim being pushed back and the perpetrator (apparently) firing the gun, with the victim falling backward against shelves. Then you see the victim stumbling to the phone to dial 911.

First, the video was somewhat blurry and out of focus. You do not see the bullet penetrate the flesh and you see no blood. It was, of course, upsetting to see anyone shot, but, to call it graphic, I think not.

It was important that the viewers see the video so that someone who might recognize the perpetrator could come forward with an identification. My only contention is that, because the video is so blurry, it would be difficult to identify the perpetrator--unless, of course, the video were enlarged, focusing on the perpetrator, and some type of electronics were used to make the picture clearer.

MARILYN WIGGS

Pico Rivera

Mike Myers, the Pro

I've never written you before, but I enjoy the opportunity and hope this note tells the truth about Mike Myers ("So, Mike, Any Truth to All Those Stories?," July 26).

I'm doing "Wayne's World II" with Myers and Dana Carvey. Myers wrote me into the script, playing myself! Whatever that is. I've never done that before. It's new and kind and respectful and funny.

I had never met Myers or Carvey before. When I did, we were at the script reading and eventually the filming. To have such young men being so professional and with so much show-biz "savvy" is sensational.

Myers has got enough on his mind, what with writing, creating, being talented and funny in all fields. It's not easy, but we make it look easy. That's show business.

RIP TAYLOR

Los Angeles

Public TV's Future

The Twentieth Century Fund Task Force on Public Television did not recommend, as stated in "Greater Focus on Public TV Sought" (July 13), that all federal funds for public television be spent on programming.

Last year, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting received $252 million in federal funds. As mandated by law, it passed along $126 million to local stations. Of this, the stations voluntarily contributed $105 million to their organization--the Public Broadcasting Service--for development of national programs. The task force calls for the full $126 million (or its equivalent in future years) to go for national programming.

Despite the modest impact of this change--$21 million spread among 351 stations--the task force members believe that there are two compelling reasons behind their recommendation:

First, since federal funds are collected from all American taxpayers, all of them deserve a return on their investment in the form of high-quality national programming.

Second, there is ample evidence that the formulaic distribution of federal funds has encouraged creation of many stations that simply duplicate the schedules of other stations serving the same community. The commercial networks reach the entire nation with little more than 200 local affiliates; public television has more than 350.

There is additional money available (from the remaining $126 million of federal appropriations to CPB) to support stations that provide a unique service. The task force, in fact, has recommended that funds be set aside for these purposes.

RICHARD C. LEONE, President

The Twentieth Century Fund

New York

No Rap Defense

Regarding the July 15 article "Rap Defense Doesn't Stop Death Penalty": If companies spend millions to advertise their product and in 60 seconds can persuade you to buy it, then why is it so hard to believe that continuous listening to hostile gangsta rap lyrics could be a contributing factor in Ronald Ray Howard's shooting a Texas state trooper?

It seems that ideas you continually put in your mind usually come out in your words and/or actions. I think that's something that gangsta rap music artists should consider.

JANE BACKES

Pasadena

The Casting Director

I am a casting director who reads Calendar every day and has been annoyed by a policy of yours that, after reading Kenneth Turan's review of "The Firm," prompted me to write (" 'The Firm': How to Build an Air-Tight Case," June 30). For some reason, when you review films and list credits you never list the casting director. Everyone from the main titles is listed: costumer, editor, sound, etc., except the casting person.

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