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Anger over fire coverage on TV

September 05, 2009

As a resident of La Crescenta, I say "Brava!" to Mary McNamara's "As Hills Burned, TV Was -- Where?" [Sept. 1].

I was fortunate to get the evacuation and fire information I needed to keep my family safe from friends posting updates on Facebook, the city of La Canada's excellent hourly updated website, and the Forest Service's InciWeb Incident Information System page.

The lack of coverage by local TV stations as my community was surrounded by fire is unforgivable.

Bernadette Murphy

La Crescenta

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I'm certainly not surprised at the inadequate coverage given to the wildfires burning in the Angeles National Forest. After all, the first fire at Morris Dam started off "San Gabriel" Canyon Road. Both the Morris Dam and Station fires were burning in the "San Gabriel" Mountains above the "San Gabriel" Valley.

Substitute "San Fernando" for "San Gabriel" and the reporters and camera people would have been fighting it out to get information and pictures.

Barbara DeLory

Rosemead

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The lame response of TV news directors to criticism ("It was just a brush fire at that point," etc.) is unsupportable. Why have news crews at all if they can't cover significant emergencies as they happen?

It's time the TV corporate heads handed out pink slips to local news chiefs for abdicating their community responsibility and doing a flat-out lousy job.

Bonnie Sloane

Los Angeles

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In an attempt to find out the damage being caused by the wildfires burning out of control this past weekend, I naturally turned to our local television stations for their usual wall-to-wall fire coverage. But I guess since this was not Malibu and no washed-up actors' homes were being threatened, all I saw were infomercials, cartoons, religious programming and, of course, the continuation of the 72-hour funeral of Ted Kennedy.

My indignation over this coverage is only slightly tempered by the fact that I now know how to lower my monthly mortgage payments and by the knowledge that, no matter what the disaster is in my area, I can always count on a bonus episode of "Hannah Montana."

Tom Fielding

Pasadena

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