Letter to the Editor


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To the editor:

I recognize the enormous influence a TV news anchor has in today's society. Coupled with power, however, comes responsibility. When a well-known newswoman served as a substitute anchor for the 6 o'clock newscast Jan. 26 on Cape Girardeau's local TV channel, I was troubled by some off-the-cuff remarks she made following a segment involving the hunting of coyotes.

These predators can pose both an annoying and economic threat to area farmers, and hunting them is legal. But firing at them from a passing automobile clearly is not. The newswoman commented in a chat with her co-anchor that she had witnessed such a scene and, while it was pretty gross, "if it works, I guess it's OK."

Since this comment was made when any number of children could have been in the viewing audience, I found it particularly objectionable. The point had been made earlier that the practice was illegal, but the message by the newswoman clearly suggested that it's OK to break the law and that cruelty to animals, even a coyote, is OK "if it works."

In a society all too prone to violence, a statement of this type, no matter how unpremeditated, is irresponsible. What is to stop a young child from manning himself with a flashlight and Uncle Bubba's shotgun and taking aim, if not at a coyote, possibly at a neighbor's pet or, God forbid, at a playmate or his kid sister?

Is this really the message a quality news station such as KFVS TV-12 wants to beam to viewers on either side of the Mississippi?


Anna, Ill.