Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 15, 1999

Lee Dresselhaus / L’Observateur / December 15, 1999

So. I’ve been following the current battle for ratings by the varioustelevision networks. It seems that minorities are upset and are protestingthat some of the networks aren’t posting enough minority-driven television vehicles, and some of them aren’t even posting television vehicles with minority passengers. The minorities, including African-Americans, Mexican-Americans, and Native Americans are upset with the European-Americans who run the networks and want more representation.

The European-Americans, although they haven’t come right out and said so because if they did they would be committing career suicide just as surely as a Japanese general on Iwo Jima, are concerned that that minority- driven network vehicles won’t attract the ratings they will need to be competitive. Why? Because the minorities are, well, minorities. And in a business where you need ratings to survive, you need the majority of viewers, not the minority. Do the math. But, this is a politically-correct world these days, so the networks are going to be forced to address the issue and put more minorities into prime time slots. And the politically correct shepherds that watch over ourlittle flock and guide us to righteousness will nod their heads wisely and say that this is a good thing.

Well, I’ve come up with a solution that I think will make everyone happy.

Or at least, it will make me and most of the men I know happy, no matter which ethnic group they call home. I’ve decided that I should start my ownnetwork. Maybe more than one. Don’t laugh. This one is a sure-fire ratingsmonster. And it will give those people so inclined something to reallyprotest. First well have.The Bikini Weather Channel. That’s right. The Bikini Weather Channel. A24-hour, seven-day-a-week weather channel with weather forecasters in very small bikinis. I can hear the protesters warming up now. But wait,you say, will they be qualified meteorologists like Flip Spiceland on CNN? My reply to that is simple. Who cares?Will they get the weather right? Again, who cares? In fact, one of the hiring requirements will be that their IQ is roughly the same as their cup size. Even then, they can’t be any worse that most of thecurrent forecasters out there anyway who don’t seem to know what the weather did yesterday, much less what it will do tomorrow. And they’ll bea whole lot more fun to look at than Willard Scott. The network could runon a low budget, too. It wouldn’t need all the high-tech weather wizardryused by the other networks. In fact, they could probably stand in front of amap of the surface of Mars while forecasting rain and nobody would notice, or care. And I’ll bet BWC, the Bikini Weather Channel, will stillget better ratings that ABC, CBS, NBC, and CNN put together.

Of course, this network, despite the incredible ratings it would get, would be the target of protesters. Most likely that radical group Women WhoNever Looked Like That In A Bikini In Their Lives (WWNLTABITL) would be howling the very first day BWC was on the air. In support of them would bethe men’s protest group’ Men Who Protest Because Their Wives Tell Them To (MWPBTWTTT). And last but not least, there’s that group called SpoiledRich People With Too Much Money And Time On Their Hands (SRPWTMATOTH), but they protest everything anyway. It’s all they have todo, and it makes them feel important. That is, they’ll protest my networkif they can get a break from protesting in the Northwest. I think they’reall tied up in Seattle right now saving the Gay Spotted Owl, or the Lesbian Blue Whales or something.

Furthermore, I think each and every network should have an official group or two to protest whatever it is they do. For instance, there’s the officialHunting and Fishing network. Twenty-four hours a day of nothing but guyshooking, shooting, spearing, gigging, netting, running over, or otherwise ending the existence of creatures lower on the food chain than themselves so they can eat it or stuff it and put it somewhere on their wall. I can hearthe introduction now. Welcome to the Hunting and Fishing network,sponsored by Remington Arms, and officially protested by the Society to Save Every Critter Nobody Would Miss Anyway.

And finally, I think my third network would be the Three Stooges Network Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week of the Three Stooges. Sigh.Sheer Nirvana. It would attract ratings because it would be the network’spledge to never, ever show one single episode with Curley Joe in it. Never.So, all you protesters out there, get ready. When the BWC premiers you’llhave something to protest. Hey, I know! Why not have the ProtestersNetwork? You could have a blast, protesting this or that, all day long. Nah.Never work. You would get no sponsors because nobody would watch. Mostpeople aren’t interested in whichever cause you’ve chosen to whine about today. Then your show would be cancelled. But that’s okay. It would give you something to protest.

Lee Dresselhaus is a regular columnist for L’Observateur

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