LIBEL AT CHANNEL 8?
CHANNEL 8 was relying on its reputation alone when it came out with the Charles Duncan stories on Vic Feazell [“War in Waco,” October]. They thought it was their finest hour when in fact it was their lowest ebb. My family boycotts News 8. The Spirit of Texas is now a ghost.
YOUR EXPOSE on Channel 8 needed to be written! Duncan took another potshot at Vic Feazell in our Sunday Waco paper. Now he’ll talk to a Waco paper but not a Dallas magazine. How strange! Obviously, 8 is too pompous to admit it made a big mistake this time. I admire you for printing the truth. It took courage; the same courage that Vic Feazell had to take on the Big Boys (The Texas Rangers).
BRAVO! YOUR ARTICLE “War in Waco” was superb. Channel 8 did not answer any questions but your article sure did! I hope that Channel 8 takes a good look at itself and decides to once again tell the news, not try to invent it. Their invent-a-crime series on Vic Feazell was yellow journalism at best. Between your article and the great job Feazell did in his answer to Tracy Rowlett’s “Perspective,” the public should have no problem with Feazell. Now Duncan, that’s another story.
CARLTON STOWERS did a beautiful job with his article “War In Waco.” Channel 8 should hang its head in shame. While the series was going on I kept asking myself, “Why is this Dallas station interested in Waco?” At first it was puzzling; then after about the seventh episode, it became flatly amusing. They obviously had some ulterior motive for their inquisition. I wonder if we will ever know what it was. I’ll bet you it is a lot more interesting than the episodes they did on Feazell.
I THOROUGHLY enjoyed your article about Vic Feazell! Channel 8 and Charles Duncan did 10 of the most ridiculous episodes ever seen over the airways. Between the artist’s drawings and the misinformation and what was left out, the series should be an embarrassment to Channel 8 and its staff. I only hope they have enough sense to be embarrassed.
Mrs. L.E. Waters
CHARLES DUNCAN-all nerve and no facts. This kind of journalism just won’t cut it! How gullible did he think the people of Waco were? I mean, he had to have run that garbage for us-surely the people of Dallas couldn’t have cared less. Well, Duncan was wrong, wrong. Wacoans easily recognize yellow journalism even when it is wrapped in a pretty Spirit of Texas package.
Helen (Di) Jones
AIDS: RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITY
SUCH ARTICLES AS your October feature [“In Fear of AIDS”] serve to make our community as a whole more aware of the immediate need for AIDS research funds. Yet, while this pervasive disease must be dealt with posthaste, the homosexually sympathetic tone of your article is a most telling tragedy. In your article, Dallas Gay Alliance president Bill Nelson expresses his concern that the disease will provide “an opportunity to tell gay people not just to stop having sex, but to stop being homosexual.” Indeed, it is an alarming situation-alarming to realize that our society has plummeted to such a decadent low that perhaps only a nationwide epidemic can restrict such abominations as homosexuality and promiscuous heterosexual behavior.
IN HIS OVERVIEW of AIDS in Dallas, Tim Allis mentioned the Fifth Circuit’s reinstatement of the Texas homosexual conduct law, 21.06, and the circuit court’s claim that “implementing morality (is) a permissible state goal.” The bottom line of this matter is: If two adult people of the same sex love and are committed to each other, may the state or their community rightfully interfere with their relationship?
True, promiscuity in the male homosexual community was largely responsible for the amplification of AIDS once it was accidentally introduced. But does this mean all gay people may be considered “guilty” by association? I think the court should have explained how far it thinks the state may go to “implement morality”; it seems too convenient to let “Western tradition” cover up for irrational prejudice, from which the court has a responsibility to protect “different” people.
The gay community, however, must greatly reduce the incidence of all sexually transmitted diseases if it is to overcome the now legitimate fears of the public; educational efforts in the gay community are doing just that. I am afraid that the fear of AIDS will make many otherwise reasonable people become determined to hunt down gay men and isolate them from their livelihoods and society. Individuals should remember that some things they do in private do indeed affect others. Sexual activity with multiple partners is not any more a guaranteed “right” than is drug abuse.
LET’S GET SKEPTICAL
YOUR “SKEPTIC’S Guide to the Universe” [October] wasn’t skeptical enough.
The author, Mark Donald, related, “I tried to avoid the frauds and charlatans, a task made easier by local psychic John Catchings, who serves as president of the North Texas Parapsychology Association. This group of 50 Dallas area psychics, who promote and police their profession, has adopted a code of ethics which governs good behavior.”
Sure. And I know a group of foxes who police the behavior of other foxes to keep the chickens safe.
The author-a lawyer, for crying out loud-should have known better. He should have asked tough, specific questions and pushed for proof of all the psychics’ claims.
True skeptics will do well to contact the Committee for Scientific Investigation of the Paranormal, Central Park Station, Box 299, Buffalo, New York, 14215-0229. Its chairman is Paul Kurtz of the State University of New York at Buffelo; its quarterly journal is called Skeptical Inquirer. Its aim is to encourage the critical investigation of paranormal and fringe-science claims from a responsible, scientific point of view and to disseminate factual information about the results of such inquiries to the scientific community and the public.
Its members have debunked thousands of psychics, astrologers, horoscope-hopers, spoon-benders and table-rappers.
L. David Harris
Chairman, Point Park College
Department of Journalism and
STANDING UP FOR STRAUSS
THE “HEARSAY” PART of your “Inside Dallas/Fort Worth” section is just that-hearsay and gossip and beneath the tone you intend to establish at D. At least two of the items-those I personally know about-are glaringly snide, more suited to a cheap thrills paper than to a slick city magazine. I refer to the items about Annette Strauss and Nancy Smith.
I have known Annette for at least 25 years and know that she is simply not the “furious” type. Further, I have checked personally with her-something your reporter did not do-and know that she did not spend “all of her time” on the telephone to Dallas. Further, Annette never deserted “the steamy budget battles of Dallas.” She had all the materials shipped to her-at her expense, not the city’s-and she was here for the crucial meetings. Visible, excellent public officials are always fair game for poisoned pens, but it is beneath D to behave irresponsibly.
About Nancy and the “notoriously cheap” Herald. This was not the first time the paper had sent her to La Jolla. It may be your role to question the wisdom of that, but at least get your facts straight and do not make accusations by insinuation.
LUCAS: ANOTHER VIEW
A SOMETIME READER of D, I picked up the October ’85 issue because of “The Two Faces of Henry Lee Lucas.” I have been concerned about the physical, spiritual and political aspects of all those unsolved murders and kidnappings that somebody did! I can only say that even a layman such as I can see at least as many holes in the Aynesworth/ Henderson viewpoint as they saw in the Cuba/Norris research. To begin with, they say, “It is far beyond our area of expertise to comment on the serial killer profile. ..” and proceed to do exactly that-tear the said profile apart using Lucas as an example.
There is one question that haunted me long before Lucas was apprehended: Why, in the majority of the disappearances/murders/child snatchings in recent years, are there no ransom notes? While you are studying the painful reminder on your grocery sack, I suggest you read The Hand of Death by Max Call (Prescott Press). Whether you believe Lucas is Killer or Con Man, it will give you food for thought. (It resulted in enhanced safety precautions for our family.) Max spent several months researching and interviewing Lucas in his jail cell to write this book. Oh yes, Max is a Christian. I hope that won’t eliminate him from your sources of information as it did in your July listing of radio stations!
Thanks for bringing up the subject-I don’t think we can afford not to “. . . believe in the Ultimate Evil…” I repeat: some person or persons committed all those crimes- whether they wore the skin of Henry Lee Lucas or someone else’s. I suspect that all those who suffered and are still suffering from these crimes think it’s pretty Ultimate and downright Evil.
Name withheld by request
CHEERS FROM HOMEAND AWAY
AS A RESIDENT of Dallas for 18 years, it is hard for me to attend a small liberal arts college in Atchison, Kansas. Living in Dallas and seeing it grow is absolutely incredible; even though traffic gets thicker I still love it all. To me, the Midwest is very boring (people die yawning in the wheat-fields), and Kansas City is a grain of sand compared to “Big D.” I am glad to say that I get relief every month with your magazine! Keep up the excellent work.
Joseph P. Tarantino IV
I THINK YOU’RE doing great.
Is D what a city magazine should be?
Yes! At last, D is living up to its role. The changes in the magazine under Ruth Fitzgib-bons’ leadership have been dramatic. It’s sassy, provocative and thoughtful in its editorial content. How pleased you must be with your efforts.
Gerald E. Bennett
FIT TO BE TIED
NEVER IN MY life have I read a more irresponsible piece of journalism than I did in your October issue [“Hard Body, Hard Sell” by Angela Enright]. Nor can I believe that D is stooping to such one-sided, slanted, sen-sationalistic writing. We are committed to improving this industry, as is reflected by our immediate response to any complaints at the Better Business Bureau, our support and compliance with the bill before it became law and the monitoring of sales presentations to ensure the accuracy of material. In En-right’s article there were several distortions of fact and numerous omissions from our interview.
As the owner of Cosmopolitan Lady, I would like to offer the following statements as a rebuttal:
1. There was not one mention of thethousands of happy, satisfied members whohave enjoyed and benefited from our programs and have continued to renew theirmemberships to maintain the results theyhave gotten. Nor that we offer superior programs like HealthCheck and Freedanse.
2. The unidentified, unhappy ex-employees’ information about our compensationplan was totally inaccurate.
3. We have numerous qualified employees,including two Ph.D.s, several at the master’slevel, two licensed dietitians and an exercisephysiologist. Constant training of all employees is a priority. The Complete HealthClub Handbook, which gave us a mostfavorable review and from which Enrightquotes frequently, supports this information.
4. Cosmopolitan Lady was one of twoTexas spa chains to receive recognition fromthe Association of Physical Fitness Centersfor their outstanding work with charities twoyears in a row. I would hardly say that we are”sneaky, manipulating money-grubbers.”
In conclusion, I will readily admit we are not perfect, but I feel that this article was unwarranted and poorly researched. I would hope that in the future your publication will present an accurate picture before firing shots at local businesses.
Anton and Donna Skell
Owners, Cosmopolitan Lady
DEAL ME IN
THANK YOU FOR the mention in the October D [“Inside Dallas/Fort Worth”]. In reference to the line, “Vicki sold the TV rights to the Bloom-Atkinson ax-murder book,” I should point out that I was the co-agent on the movie deal for Evidence of Love. I represent the authors, John Bloom and Jim Atkinson. I do not represent the publisher, Texas Monthly Press.
LIBEL AT CHANNEL 8?