I am writing to support K. Gilreath’s call for action (Hawaii Reporter, 11/16/2007) against A&E for taking Duane “Dog” Chapman’s show off the air just because of his racist comments. I mean the History Channel shows clips of Hitler all the time, and he was the king of racism, wasn’t he? PBS even had show on the Ku Klux Klan. Tell me the KKK is an equal opportunity employer. Gilreath made another great point too. A&E is cheating us out of a basic right – the right to decide what we get to see on TV. Even though I couldn’t find the specific passage, I am sure that there is something about TV somewhere in the US Constitution. Gilreath gets to the meat of the matter in asking, “Since when is it up to a television network and it’s [sic] sponsors to dictate to people what they are going to watch without asking the viewers or checking the ratings first?”
Right on, Gilreath. I have been writing to the major networks for years complaining about the complete lack of programs on agricultural practices in Micronesia during the 1700-1800’s. But, do you think they listen? No, they don’t even respond to my e-mails anymore! What makes a parent company of a TV network think that, just because they own the network, they can unilaterally decide which shows to broadcast? Even though I am not a shareholder of any network-owning company, doesn’t my mere existence as a US citizen guarantee my right to influence programming decisions? (the Constitution will, I’m sure, back me up on this point).
Anyway, back to “Dog” Chapman. I never actually saw the Bounty Hunter show, but if Gilreath wants to watch a bad guy catch other bad guys and throw them in jail, I say Gilreath should have that right. Powerful corporations, with billions or even trillions in assets, should be ashamed if they think they can dictate the choices of “little people” like Gilreath and me, especially when it comes to life’s really important decisions, like what TV shows we get to watch.
Todd Shelly, a Hawaii Kai resident, can be reached at mailto:email@example.com
HawaiiReporter.com reports the real news, and prints all editorials submitted, even if they do not represent the viewpoint of the editors, as long as they are written clearly. Send editorials to mailto:Malia@HawaiiReporter.com