Tuesday, January 03, 2006

The Desk of Paul

We kick off 2006 with angry letters and e-mails at WBRE. A national Christian group is a bit peeved about the upcoming NBC program "The Book of Daniel," claiming it demeans the Christian faith. Its response? A massive letter writing campaign to NBC stations.

Quite a few people in northeast Pennsylvania are heeding the call. A tipster says WBRE news director Paul Stueber is getting "inundated" with lots of letters and e-mails from people who are upset at the NBC program, but don't realize that news directors typically have no control over non-news programming issues.

Still, I think some fun can be had of this. When Stueber was news director at WNEP, he would sometimes have witty/sarcastic responses for Talkback 16 callers. Let's reprise that role! Just think of the amusing things he might say to the people flooding his inbox.

UPDATE: WTWO (Terre Haute, Ind.) and KARK (Little Rock, Ark.), both owned by Nexstar, have announced they will not show "The Book of Daniel." We'll see if WBRE follows suit or stays with the show.


Anonymous Tom Carten said...

Dear Form Letter Writer:

Do you wear clothing with different fabrics? Have measuring cups of different sizes in your kitchen? Those deserve the death penalty, according to the Bible. After we finish with that, we can discuss a program which you have never seen, because we have never broadcast it. How have you heard of it? Because various church leaders have told you about it; the best publicity the program ever had. I bet it's a subtle psychological trick to encourage you to see it for yourself (those clever clergy!).

By the way, have you ever read the book of Daniel? Have you ever read the complete Bible? It's good stuff and I recommend it, especially the Gospels, which are chock full of radical, liberal teachings which --in their day-- were far more shocking than some television program that happens to mirror issues that you run into on a daily basis.

Join us; think about the issues. Don't let someone else tell you how to think before you've even seen it for yourself.


1:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Viewer:
As you may know the February sweeps will soon be here and that means television executives are looking for stories of crime and passion, families in crisis, people behaving badly towards their fellow man or woman, sordid tales that would make Larry Flynt blush, so what better place to find such than the bible. Boy, those prophets knew how to weave a story line. Now, I understand why you might find the show, which no one outside of NBC has seem, offensive, but please try to keep an open mind. Here’s an idea, why not watch the show and make up your own mind, instead of taking the word of someone who hasn’t seen a clip of it yet. As we used to say in the 70’s “Try it, you’ll like it.”

12:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

American Family, isn't that the same group that warned us about the Telebubbies????

Look what happened there, those little children being exposed to purple purse carrying cartoon charactors!

Surely the end is near!!!!!

4:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have read the statements on both the NBC and AFA websites, and I must admit, these forms of protest are no surprise to me. WBRE needs to tread carefully with this one, I can't imagine how much publicity they would get if they slipped up with this one.

5:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear loyal viewer,

A while back when I worked for the ABC station up the road, I took your calls and read your e-mails about the bare butts shown on NYPD Blue. Now after I sign on with an NBC station, I understand your concern about a television show which appears to feature a mortal man who can talk to God.

This has not happened since John Denver spoke with George Burns (I don't think anyone saw the sequels). In any event, we survived NYPD Blue, and we will survive this. Even the most easily offended viewer has the ultimate (dare I say God~Like) power in their very hands. They always have the option of changing the channel.

If you don't want to watch, then don't. We have other quality programs for you to enjoy, and we look forward to you tuning in.

Sincerely, PS

1:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just pulled this from the USA Today site...

TV station won't air show featuring Jesus
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (AP) — An Indiana television station is refusing to air a new NBC series that features Jesus Christ as a supporting character, citing complaints from viewers.

The Book of Daniel, which debuts Friday, stars Aidan Quinn as an Episcopal priest who speaks to a physical Jesus Christ.
Duane Lammers, WTWO-TV's general manager, said he was exercising the station's right to reject network programming.
"If my action causes people in our community to pay more attention to what they watch on television, I have accomplished my mission," he said in a statement posted on the station's website.
The show has drawn fire from conservative Christians, including the Tupelo, Miss.-based American Family Association.
"We expect other NBC affiliates will join WTWO in their decision," said the AFA's chairman, Donald E. Wildmon. It was not immediately clear whether any other stations planned to do so.
NBC Entertainment President Kevin Reilly told The New York Times last month that the show was intended to be thought-provoking.

9:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A network show that's intended to be thought provoking? Well that IS a first.

12:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Am I missing something here, don't television sets come with a channel button that allows viewers to switch off a show? What about the people in Indiana that want to watch the show? Bad move on the stations part...

1:11 PM  
Blogger Howard Beale said...

The louder you are, the more likely people will listen to you. So does threatening to cut off a revenue stream by contacting a station's advertisers.

An interesting point of note here: KARK is in the same town as the American Family Association. Not surprising that they would crack.

3:32 PM  

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