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V-Chip Proposal Triggers Apprehension

February 26, 1996

I'm writing in response to Howard Rosenberg's commentary on the V-chip ("Tuning In to the Great TV Labeling Debate," Calendar, Feb. 19). In particular, his use of the phrase "rot and hypocrisy" directed toward those who reach a different conclusion from his own.

Obviously, he can take whatever position he chooses about this issue. As television critic for The Times, he has an obligation to voice that position. But clearly, too, there is an obligation to keep the dialogue at a level that does not seek to demonize those who disagree with him.

Apprehension about the government's intervention in defining programming content is neither hypocritical or filled with "rot." It's based on a desire to do good work in a workplace absent of agenda-based pressure groups, whether they originate from a network, an advertiser, a political power base or, as in this instance, the government itself.

I was once involved with the writing of a show that depicted bare-breasted women, kidnappings, prisoners chained in horrific conditions, rape, a brutal amputation, a nearly endless flogging of a teenage boy. The name of the production was "Roots" and I sincerely believe the existence of the V-chip would have seriously compromised its integrity as well as the network's subsequent support.

BILL BLINN

The Caucus for Producers, Writers & Directors

Burbank

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