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Positive thinking, the Fairness Doctrine and UHF DTV
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ECONOMIC THINKING
Dear Ms. McAdams,
I greatly enjoyed your editorial in November’s Television Broadcast, both for your commentary on economic “magical thinking” and for the general high quality of your prose (increasingly absent from so many publications).

Curiously, though, I have the impression that a great deal of the bad news we are currently experiencing is also do to perception and psychological factors trumping rationality and creativity. I’m fairly ignorant about economics, but I have to wonder how much pain and suffering could be avoided if some people (or larger entities) simply chose not to give in to fear and horde mentality.

A little positive spin from a few key places might turn the downward spiral around. After all, most of the “money” that has leaked out of everyone’s pockets was fictional anyway.
If you have not already seen it, you may be interested in the following excellent article [“Why Wall Street Always Blows It”]. Thanks for continuing to publish a useful and entertaining magazine for the industry!
Sincerely,
Eric Wenocur
Lab Tech Systems

FAIRNESS DOCTRINE
Dear Ms. McAdams,
Regarding the “Fairness Doctrine,” Democrats such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Congressmen Dennis Kucinich and Maurice Hinchey are doing more than just “talk about bringing it back” as you stated in TVB....they are all aggressively pushing for it to become law. Because Nancy Pelosi is a major supporter of the FD, she goes against the will of the American people, against the majority of Congress, and against nearly half of her own caucus by refusing to allow the House of Representatives to vote on the Broadcaster Freedom Act, which would permanently put an end to the return of the Fairness Doctrine.

By continuing to block this legislation, Speaker Pelosi is threatening to nationally silence the voice of Christian broadcasters, which you failed to mention in your TVB article. As of today, there are 198 signatures on the discharge petition and 218 are needed for the Broadcaster Freedom Act to receive a fair up-or-down vote on the House floor. If passed, this doctrine gives the FCC the authority to mandate equal airtime on controversial matters and creates serious constitutional problems for free speech. Reinstituting the “Fairness Doctrine” would also result in compelled speech--representing a fundamental violation of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. We don’t need government telling us what we have to discuss and how to discuss it.
Respectfully,

Kevin Kaas
Chief Engineer, Television Systems
St. Petersburg College-Seminole

UHF DTV
Hey Pete,
Thanks for your article in the November issue of Television Broadcast magazine. I’m going to use it as proof that KLRN-DT isn’t the only VHF DTV station in the country (though we are the only one in San Antonio--for now) and that lots of people are having trouble with their new UHF-only “HDTV antennas.”

We have suspended all vacations for our staff for the month of February 2009 because we know we’re in for a wild ride when the analog shut-off happens. San Antonio is going to have its first “roadblock” analog shut-off test on Dec. 11 and soon after that, we’ll have a fairly detailed picture of how big a problem our city is going to have come Feb. 17.

Thanks again for your informative article and web site.

Charles Vaughn
KLRN Public Television
San Antonio, Texas

Peter Putman responds:
Charles,
There are lots of VHF DTV assignments across the United States--about 40 on low-band VHF, and 400-plus on high band VHF. So you are not alone!

I just re-did my rooftop and attic DTV antennas to accommodate two VHF ATSC stations in Philadelphia (Channels 6 and 12) and we also have VHFs on 8, 9, 11, and 13 not far from here. Here’s the article on the antenna work.