PostScript

Letters to the Editor

“Big” Omission

To the Editor:

Mark Jordan did a nice job in his list of “Movies to Dine For” [February 12th issue]. However, he did miss the greatest one: Big Night. Please rent this one and rewrite the column.

Don Rawlins
e-mail (Memphis)

Flinn and Childrens’ Radio

To the Editor:

As an avid reader of The Memphis Flyer, I know of your commitment to “get the facts.” Unfortunately, “The Buzz” [a “Fly on the Wall” item in the February 5th issue] omitted some important information.

You reported that Dr. [George] Flinn, owner of AM 1430, “changes formats like some stations change songs,” citing that he had switched from children’s programming on WOWW to Relationship Talk. Though it is true that a format change has taken place, the decision to abandon children’s programming did not rest with Dr. Flinn.

From February 13, 1997, to January 30, 1998, Dr. Flinn put considerable dollars into Radio AAHS, a 24-hour-a-day syndicated format for children. Despite the fact that advertiser support for such a “positive” influence in our city was lacking, Dr. Flinn continued to be committed to keeping the format on the air in the Mid-South. It was, however, the Children’s Broadcasting Corporation which pulled the plug on Radio AAHS. The CBC, which provided the programming for Radio AAHS, was no longer financially able to produce what the public wouldn’t support. Therefore, after seven years of producing some of the finest programming I have ever heard, children’s or otherwise, the network was forced to fold.

As someone who has worked in broadcasting for nearly 20 years, I find it personally disheartening that positive programming for our children has received such a cold shoulder. When Radio AAHS signed off the air at 12 midnight on January 30th, Dr. Flinn was one of the few who listened with deep regret, not for his own personal interest, but for the interest of the children and families of the Mid-South.

Mary Norman
Flinn Broadcasting Corporation
Memphis

(Editor’s Note: As the article reported, numerous calls to WOWW point man Steve Kelly concerning the format change were not returned.)

Without Justice …

To the Editor:

In “Out-Frenching the French” [“Viewpoint,” February 12th issue], Richard Cohen wrote in conclusion:

“The real scandal of the present scandal is how it is still misperceived. It is no longer about sex. It is about law.”

About law? Like everything else, it is about justice! I am surprised and disturbed that Cohen made no mention of justice. Without justice, there can be no law! Without justice, there can be no order. To leave out the concept of justice is to make a mockery of law (and order) and all that it symbolizes.

Yes, as Cohen pointed out, “America is a nation of laws, not men …” But, please tell me, dear editor, what happened to the concept of justice? We don’t see much justice these days. At least I don’t.

Arthur H. Prince
Memphis

Something Positive

To the Editor:

In the eight years since I met Jackson Baker, although he is warm and friendly when I meet him in person, I cannot recall a single positive comment he has ever made about me in any of his columns. In your January 28th issue, he goes out of his way to resurrect one of the most miserable years of my life.

In 1990, I lost my state executive committee seat to Mark Flanagan and my late father lost his Chancery Court election to Chancellor Floyd Peete. In his column Baker suggested that Governor Ned Ray McWherter asked me not to run for a second term as chairman of the state Democratic Party because I had lost my state executive committee election to Flanagan. I had many discussions in January of 1991 about the governor’s wishes for the party chairmanship. His advisors told me that the party needed a full-time chairman who resided in Nashville with ready access to the Capitol Hill media. I really don’t think my loss to Flanagan (after winning in 1974, ’78, ’82, and ’86) had much to do with it. …

Since your readers have not learned anything positive regarding my performance as state party chair, I want to share a few of the Party’s accomplishments from 1988 through 1991.

n Tennessee Democrats were on top when I left in 1991. We had six of nine members of the congressional delegation, both United States senators, the governor’s office, both houses of the legislature, the public service commission, and all five members of the Supreme Court. Only a small part of the credit for staying on top should go to leadership of the party during that period, but we did do pretty well in those good old days.

n At the time I took office, we were operating without any governing charter or by-laws. I drafted and passed a comprehensive set of by-laws for the party.

n We designed and implemented a smooth and fair Supreme Court nominee-selection process. We elected all five nominees to the court.

n I am proud to say that I was the first Southern state chair, McWherter the first Southern governor, and Tennessee the first Southern Democratic National Committee delegation to support Ron Brown, the first African-American chair of the DNC.

I freely acknowledge that I have many faults, but I remain proud of our successes and wanted your readers to be aware of some of them. I actually enjoy reading Baker’s columns and he is truly friendly when I see him in person. Maybe I’ll give him a chance to say something nice about me someday.

George T. Lewis III
Memphis

The Memphis Flyer encourages reader response. Send mail to: Letters to the Editor, POB 687, Memphis, TN 38101. Or call Back Talk at 575-9405. Or send us e-mail at memflyer@aol.com. All responses must include name, address, and daytime phone number. Letters should be no longer than 250 words.


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