Count 'Em Out
Boy, did your article on those goobers at KTRK/Channel 13 strike a nerve [News Hostage, by Richard Connelly, March 18]. Although we rarely miss it, my wife and I love to hate their 10 p.m. news. We play a game and see how many times Shara, Dave and especially Marvin screw up their lines each night. It's amazing once you start counting!

Our biggest peeve is the "Before We Go" segment they do each night. This is a news show, right? But every one of those segments is just Dave reading some really funny or interesting story with no video at all! It totally defeats the purpose of the story that's based on a great visual. How annoying.

Enjoyed your piece. Keep up the good work.
Chris Camden
via Internet

Dressing the Wounds
Loved the piece on the Chron's Best Dressed List [News Hostage, by Richard Connelly, March 11]. I'm embarrassed for the Chron and for the women who are chosen every year. However, I suppose that doing it in the name of charity helps to assuage any guilt they may feel at indulging in such conspicuous consumption. Who do they think they're fooling? News Hostage is great -- keep up the good work!

Kathie Wall
via Internet

Tuning Out
Thoroughly enjoy your News Hostage column each week. Perhaps you should investigate just what percentage of each newscast KPRC/Channel 2's silly-ass whirling musical graphics take up. I don't know their intended purpose, but they are a good reminder to do the following: see if the commercials on Home Improvement are over; check what's cooking on the stove; remind myself never to watch Channel 2 local news again.

You undoubtedly have your hands full, but I hope in the future we may see the return of "Red" Connelly and his sports column. That was the best thing in Public News (R.I.P.).

H.J. Laker
via Internet

Buzzing Off
I am extremely pleased to see the first focus [News Hostage] I have ever seen brought to bear on the news media. I think the media is far too biased and influential.

About 18 months ago, I got a letter from Steve Wasserman asking my opinion of his KPRC/News 2 Houston. I told him his show should be called Buzz 2 Houston because they are in show business, not the news business. They remind me of a contemporary penny arcade.

I tried to watch KHOU/Channel 11, but most of their show is not relevant to me. I no longer watch local "news" shows. I read the Chronicle, but I don't know why. It's got something to do with coffee in the morning. I have seen a newscast from Victoria (yes, Texas) that was equal to Houston's best. With three-plus stations, you would think one of them could do it well.

K. Whitley
via Internet

Stick It to Them
I have rarely read such a disgusting and shocking article as the one about the overtly homophobic harassment of Chris Boone, a gay man, allegedly by his supervisors and co-workers at Garner Environmental Services ["Fire Alarm," by Wendy Grossman, March 18].

I hope he wins a $10 million judgment under laws that make same-sex sexual harassment illegal. These self-proclaimed rednecks need to learn an expensive lesson about how to treat their fellow human beings.

Jimmy Dunne
via Internet

On the Rocks
Your well-written article "Enron's Earth (Day) Quakes" [Insider, by Tim Fleck, March 18] is really appreciated.

We in the Geophysical Society of Houston joined the Citizens Environmental Coalition because it focuses on public forums on environmental issues important to the people in this region. At the last CEC delegate meeting, I was surprised to hear that Planned Parenthood not only would not be allowed to participate in Earth Day 1999, but that it also had been turned away at the gate in 1998.

My understanding was that all CEC member organizations were eligible to participate in Earth Day. We were informed that Enron decides who participates. I offered to withdraw the GSH from this year's event, because Enron does not set policy for the GSH.

Also, in this region Planned Parenthood is no more controversial than Earth Day itself, clean air, clean water or the absence of state licenses for soil science, chemistry, biology, geology (groundwater) and geophysics.

Thanks for bringing the controversy to the attention of your readers.
Stephanie Hrabar
via Internet

Money Talks
Mr. News Hostage, as I understand it, your job is to critique Houston's news coverage in a delightfully acerbic sort of way, right? Well, how about focusing your wit on the Insider's "Enron's Earth (Day) Quakes" story.

What lit Fleck's fuse this time? He talks to Planned Parenthood, and it (gasp! surprise!) confirms the plot to block the group from the festival. Without permission to participate, Planned Parenthood would have to pay for its own event. Again, outrageous!

Fleck dials up Enron's Mark Palmer, who says letting them in would force Enron to give a pro-life group equal access, something they'd rather avoid. Yes, it's hard to believe that a major energy corporation willing to underwrite a quasi-environmental event would at the same time be unwilling to also subject itself to a more controversial and potentially embarrassing political situation. Enron's paying for the party and thinks it can decide who gets invited. The duplicity of it!

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