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A Watchful Eye on Spanish-Language TV

January 26, 2002

Frank del Olmo ("English Isn't a Second Language on TV," Commentary, Jan. 20), in writing off Spanish-language TV ("telenovelas, tacky variety shows and old movies"), is terribly unfair.

I occasionally watch the evening news in Spanish and come away as well informed on the American news stories of the day--local, state and national--as I do from English-language TV. Unlike a decade ago, news directors today give extensive coverage to issues close to the Latino community: affirmative action, bilingual education, immigration, the recession. Coverage of last year's Los Angeles mayoral race was simply top quality.

Del Olmo has it wrong in characterizing the younger Latino--U.S.-born--generation as preferring "rap videos on MTV or American football on ESPN to the recycled telenovelas (soap operas)." This hip, bilingual, bicultural generation, if Americanized, also is attuned to the cool musical styles from Latin America and their stars, thanks partly to U.S. Spanish-language TV.

Joseph Platt

Temecula

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