You're Watching Channel 11--But Why? | Letters | Chicago Reader

You're Watching Channel 11--But Why? 

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To the editors:

[Re: "William McCarter Answers," September 4]

Don't you think your memorial service and accompanying eulogy to William McCarter, WTTW's man behind the controls, is a bit premature? He looks healthy and isn't ancient or ailing. You must wait before you praise Caesar when the body is still warm.

And look, Bryan Miller, at WTTW's schedule, before you genuflect and adulate. We have Bradshaw competing with the Giants and the Cubs. Bradshaw, a nice enough advice-giver, is one of many WTTW populizers of feelings. We remember L.B., the Squeeze Artist. His motto seemed to be: Everyone is your main squeeze. He burbled over with love, put us all on the Yellow Brick Road to hugs and kisses. One could go into sugar-shock from the first ten minutes of his incoherent speeches.

Then we have that motley of arrogance, a whole collection of folks who appear on the WTTW weekend--so far to the Right, they will some day slide off the flat world they believe in. People like Pat Buchanan, who recently distinguished himself in Houston. Of his performance, the most cogent political commentary came from Molly Ivins. She said, "Many people did not care for Pat Buchanan's speech; it probably sounded better in the original German."

In the right-wing lineup on WTTW is the ever-popular William Buckley, charming even when he called the CIA's contras in Nicaragua Freedom Fighters. You think his large ferret teeth will fly out at any moment.

But best of all is the ear-shattering WTTW co-origination, the McLaughlin Group. McLaughlin, in his One-on-One, is heady enough, but hearing him as the moderator, commentator, and dictator of the Group, you begin to wonder at your own inability to turn the damn program off and stomp your TV set down to the last bit of plastic. It's just that those beady-eyed zanies are pouncing on nonrelevant issues. Was George really . . . er . . . ah . . . getting close to his protocol lady?

One could go on and on. Thank God for the BBC and Thames productions. As for that person in a pith helmet gadding about Chicago, another WTTW original, may he vanish in a 90-foot seiche from Lake Michigan.

Regarding the left-handed treatment of WFMT by the gods that be at CETA-WTTW, that chapter is covered by the Friends of WFMT and three years ago in a scathing column by Mike Royko. I think the mayor had to send out extra fire engines as the presses grew white hot.

If part of the station is surreal, it's what someone wants, either the people or the corporations "who have made this program possible."

May I suggest Molly Ivins? A good book? A long walk? Racquetball? Sex?

Dr. Wm. Grisham

Evanston

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