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Mac McKinnon

Tuesday, April 28, 1998


By Mac McKinnon

TV has share of blame in society's problems

How much television do you watch per week? How many hours do
your children spend in front of the tube?

I'm not going to resort to what CBS' 60 Minutes commentator
Andy Rooney accused newspapers of doing in a recent
broadcast and that is to blame television for many of the
ills in society.

It seems there are a wide variety of opinions on the evil of
television. I firmly believe that this is a free country and
each television has an "off" button.

But, in many cases, parents just don't get involved with
their children, nor do they screen what they watch on
television. Many parents don't even know where their
children are at any given time, what they are doing or who
they are with.

Do you remember the many television newscasts at 10 p.m.
that started with the line, "It's 10 p.m. Do you know where
your children are?"

I believe there are many good things on television and there
are bad things - from my point of view. However, I realize
that other people have different likes than I do so who am I
or any other person to dictate what other people watch?

I am familiar with the old adage that there are more than 40
channels and nothing to watch. I have that problem from time
to time but I also know the television business having
worked as news director at KMID-TV for about 18 months. I
realize television lives and dies by ratings. If people
don't watch, advertisers don't buy. And there are times of
day and night that few people watch television, the middle
of the night, holiday weekends and Saturday nights. Thus the
programming - the money spent on programs - is weak.

It seems now there is a channel for almost any interest. We
don't have access to all these channels in Pecos but those
on satellite can get many of them.

However, how many hours can you watch cooking shows, art
shows, golf, home improvement and the list can go on for
almost forever. Sure, those channels might be good to watch
for short periods but not for many people.

Television stations only realized less than 20 years ago
that people work in this nation around the clock and there
is a need for 24-hour broadcasting.

There are times that all of us in any business lose contact
with the outside world.

But, as usual, I've strayed from the subject at hand. I do
believe there is too much violence on television, too much
emphasis on drug use and in some cases glamorization of the
use of drugs. Then young, impressionable viewers hear or
read that their heroes use drugs. It appears that Hollywood
is not only the movie capitol but the drug capitol. There
seems to be too much money and too much free time among many
movie makers. Let me quickly note there are some of the
finest people in the world in the movie business but there
is also a lot of trash and that trash gets publicity. There
are certain people whom I've named in previous columns that
I won't watch for any reason due to their criminal record.

I do enjoy action films except many of those flicks get
carried away with what they depict. It's just not humanly
possible to accomplish what some of the movies depict. But
some people believe everything they see on television or at
the movies.

I will say that I blame television for the loss of reading
ability in the world as people don't have to read any more
for entertainment. Television does serve many purposes but
so do books, newspapers and magazines. So there, Andy
Rooney. It's your fault.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Mac McKinnon is the editor and publisher of
the Pecos Enterprise. He can be e-mailed at:

Our View

Learning more important than just one test

The schools of Texas are in mass panic this week.

It's TAAS time in Texas. Will the students make the minimum
grades or higher? Will the schools lose money, incur the
wrath of the Texas Education Agency or earn incentive money
for good scores?

It's life in a pressure cooker and as far as we're
concerned, the whole thing is ridiculous. A large part of
class time throughout this class year has been taken up with
getting students ready to take the test.

Graduation in many cases will even depend on TAAS scores in
addition to exit testing.

We've held for many years there is too much emphasis on
testing. We realize the state and nation need a way to gauge
the progress of students and how individual schools and
teachers are doing.

Many states including Texas have gone to testing teachers in
addition to the requirement that they have certain
educational certificates. How much are we going to require?
When is enough enough?

There are mixed feelings about all this from teachers as
some believe it takes away from the time they have to teach
a normal curriculum. From all indications, that would appear
to be the case.

How can teachers do their job when they are being dictated
to prepare students to take one test? Sure, it appears that
students are slipping in the classroom but as we have long
contended, most of that problem comes from lack of parental

Schools even try to help parents help their children,
holding special meetings but few, if any, parents show up.
Sure schools need to have accountability along with teachers
but the bulk of accountability needs to go to parents.

What makes all this more than obvious is that many parents
don't even care that the bulk of instruction their children
gets is how to take TAAS. Parents need to be outraged and
demand that the state educate our children, not worry about
the test.

Your View

More important issues should be addressed

To The Editor:
This letter is in reference to the entertainment that was
held at the Suavecito Club this weekend. There was
absolutely nothing wrong with what took place.

Why are the people of Pecos protesting about entertainment
for women when men go an hour away to Odessa and see females
totally nude!! Just because Pecos has a smaller population
than nearby towns such as Odessa, Midland or El Paso does
not mean that we cannot have the same advantages.

These "protestors" were complaining that the entertainment
was too close to a school and a church and it was immoral.
Well then what were they doing outside the club protesting
with their little kids!! Drug dealers live all around the
town and nearby the schools and I don't see protestors
holding up signs saying it's immoral. And what about all the
teen pregnancies, no one is seen protesting this either. The
entertainment held this weekend was for adults and we don't
need people telling us what we can and cannot do during our
leisure time. You protesters need to get your priorities
straight and think about more important issues that affect
Pecos. If you don't want stuff like this around you then
don't go, stay home and don't ruin it for everyone else.

Name Withheld by Request

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Pecos Enterprise
Mac McKinnon, Publisher
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324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321

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