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Sentiment favors KREM on Kevorkian

November 29, 1998

By Jim Kershner
The Spokesman-Review

The fallout has continued all week from KREM-2’s decision to delete the “60 Minutessegment last Sunday showing Dr. Jack Kevorkian administering a lethal injection to a patient.

Callers immediately started lighting up KREM’s phone lines, and on Sunday night the protesters outnumbered the KREM supporters by about 70 percent to 30 percent. But on Monday and Tuesday, a funny thing happened.

“It shifted dramatically,” said Barry Barth, KREM’s general manager. By Wednesday the phone messages numbered 383 in favor of KREM’s decision to 246 opposed, he said. Letters and e-mail have been running at about the same ratio.

Here at the newspaper, the letters-to-the-editor and phone calls have also been mostly in favor of KREM’s decision.

On radio talk shows, opinions have been widely polarized, with some applauding KREM’s editorial judgment and others calling KREM’s decision blatant censorship. KKZX-FM’s radio morning team concluded their rant by inviting KREM to “jam it up your” (we here at Spotlight are exercising our editorial judgment by deleting the end of this statement).

The debate has been raging nationwide, too. Brent Bozell, a conservative media watchdog with the Media Research Center, said, “CBS’ rank hypocrisy has dragged it beneath tasteless to worthless.”

The only CBS stations not to air the segment were the six A.H. Belo Corp. CBS affiliates in Houston, San Antonio, St. Louis, New Orleans, Tulsa, Okla., and Spokane.

Barth said he thinks most stations were caught off-guard by the broadcast, which was not made available in advance.

Sunday, November 29, 1998

From → KREM

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