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TV reporters need to learn that silence can be golden



Published: Thu, April 7, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



TV reporters need to learn that silence can be golden

EDITOR:

While watching the news coverage on the passing of Pope John Paul II, I don't think I have ever been quite as disgusted and so often embarrassed by our country's network news media. Every channel I turned to, including cable networks, was showing the prayer services just prior to the announcement of the passing, yet there was not one where we could actually hear the service. ABC for a brief moment actually did have the service with a translator which was wonderful, but that only lasted for one prayer. Even the cable religion channel had a commentator babbling on loudly and annoyingly about the fact that John Paul II was ill, was dying, the crowds had gathered in the Square -- well, we could see that.

It seemed as if there were some beautiful hymns being sung, some inspirational prayers being said, but who could tell? Some of the announcers said that they would try to keep their voices low "out of respect" and one even mentioned that she was getting "looks" from those around her when she broke a moment of silent prayer to tell us, through her cell phone, that this was a moment of silent prayer. If she didn't have the intelligence to be embarrassed, I was embarrassed for all of us as she was representing our country and not doing a banner job of it.

The channels were far too busy telling us that the lights were still on in his apartment and what he had done in his papacy and how upset Poland was to even let us hear (or even notice) the announcement to the crowd that he was gone.

On a few short occasions, we would get a moment or two of translation which was appreciated, but to be honest, if they didn't have an interpreter available for the other parts, couldn't they just be quiet and let us reflect on the moment until they found one?

When did what the American press has to say become more important than dignity? More important than solemn respect for a beloved leader? Is there really the public demand for incessant babble while something like this is being broadcast?

Wake up, American journalists. This is just one more example of our rudeness, disrespect and falsely superior attitude that is tarnishing the United States' reputation in the eyes of the world and in our own country. We need to be informed, we like some background and history, but to everything there is a season and time for every purpose under Heaven -- and this wasn't it.

CATHY GUYAN

Youngstown

Doctors have a monopoly; now they want protection

EDITOR:

Thanks for running those pro and con pieces on so-called reform of medical malpractice laws.

We may be in more serious health care trouble than we can imagine when we allow our medical doctors, who have a monopoly of practice by state licensing, to cut themselves an exemption from what local Atty. James Callen noted as 1,000 years of Anglo-Saxon tort law.

The bogus claims of "frivolous malpractice suits" and "disappearing doctors" made by the medical establishment are but the latest example of physicians isolating themselves from larger society.

This longtime Libertarian voter curbs his free market dogma when it comes to health care. I favor universal health care, plain and simple, to help reassert reasonable civil authority over our medical establishment, and rebuild good regard for medicine by the public.

Don't we have Mahoning Valley physicians who are uncomfortable with the AMA and the Ohio State Medical Association's political rigging? Don't we have Mahoning Valley physicians willing to step up to the plate to favor universal health care?

JACK LABUSCH

Niles




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