Coupling in South Bend

I'm rather embarrassed to write about this, but our local NBC affiliate WNDU chose not to air the comedy series Coupling this season because of its content. Only 2 stations in the US chose not to air it... Salt Lake City and here. Yesterday in the South Bend Tribune , fellow SJCPL colleague Franklin Sheneman has this to say on the opinion page:

Change Channel

I would like to thank WNDU-TV for making the decision for its viewers not to air NBC's new sitcom, "Coupling." Why, I don't think we would be able to decide for ourselves if the content of the program met with the so-called standards of our community.

Just to let WNDU know, most of us do know how to change channels if we see something objectionable. Here's a perfect example. Whenever WNDU does something nice for the community and then pats itself on the back for the next month in syrupy sweet commercials, I simply pick up my remote and change the channel. It's just that simple!

Franklin Sheneman

As a librarian, I'm all about free access to whatever anyone may need. I may not like the subject matter, I may find it offensive or I may love it, but heck, I'm not going to stop someone else from getting access. I think WNDU should have let the people of this community decide if they wanted to watch Coupling or not. I get the New York feeds on my Dish Network system so I watched it and, Lordy, was it boring and not that well done. I have seen the Brit equivalent on BBC America (Thank God for England) and it's a hoot.

In fact, we have the DVD of the first season of Coupling (BBC) at SJCPL. Hoorah for the Sights and Sounds Department! If I want to see the Brit version I can check it out...if not, I'll pass it by...

A recent opinion piece in the SBT urged the University of Notre Dame, who owns WNDU, to sell off the station because it doesn't jive with ND's mission. Michael Cloonan, South Bend Resident, writes: "Notre Dame rightly takes strong moral stands and holds principles not in tune with the evolving, or many would argue devolving, broadcast television industry. The university should seriously consider selling WNDU, as owning a modern broadcast station is apparently incompatible with the admirable mission and stated goals of Notre Dame." Yeah, maybe they should. Cloonan remarks in his piece about talking with people when he travels about our area. I have done the same thing travelling to various library conferences representing my library and my town:

"I frequently travel for business and am proud to tell people that I live in South Bend. A common misperception encountered is that South Bend is boring and backward, and these comments even come from Notre Dame alumni. While I will still defend Michiana, I might also ask these colleagues to tape "Coupling" for me, at least until I get a much taller TV antenna."

Come on, let's let the public decide! And give me a break, I don't like to have to DEFEND my hometown. I think I'll say I'm from Traverse City from now on...

Posted: Wed - October 1, 2003 at 06:32 PM