TIL 10 PM!
News anchor defends comments.
HARRY MRS BAUM
"We have done shows explaining
Jewish holidays and what the symbolism
is behind those, or what is Ramadan.
n a Sept. 26 commentary
We are taking a different approach to
about telemarketers, WXYZ-
that half hour and have expanded the
Channel 7 Anchor Frank
format to be a lot more flexible and to
include some elements that typically
"Christians_ should take heart in
aren't seen on newscasts."
knowing that the Gospel is an offer of
The station has received "thousands
the good news that salvation from sin
of e-mails from people who are saying
has come through the death of the Lord
its nice to see that someone's faith isn't
excluded just beciuse it's on television,"
'And because our boss has given
orders to pitch as many people as possi-
Said Turner, "I wouldn't be surprised if
ble, every telemarketer with a proposal is it was 10 to 1 in favor. Channel 7 has
also a prospect to a Christian. Just
decided to allow me to let people know
promise to listen to their pitch
exactly where I stand on issues
after they've listened to yours."
of government, politics, educa-
Marshall Shapiro of West
tion, crime, morality and, yes,
Bloomfield pitched back.
even my relationship with
"This type of preaching is
God. This is an incredibly
just fine from a religious cleric
courageous and bold step.
whose topic has been
"Personally, I don't believe in
religion. I believe in a relation-
Shapiro wrote in a letter to
ship with God through the
the station. "But on regional
Lord, Jesus Christ," he said.
television, during an evening
"The Bible clearly teaches us
news program, to an audience
that religion is man's attempt to
composed of groups whose religious per- establish his own righteousness with
suasions vary from atheistic to Hindu, to God and that religious rituals and prac-
Buddhist, to Jewish, to Islam, to whatev- tices in and of themselves are meaning-
er, it is not only uncalled for, but to this
less absent a relationship with Him.
ex-Channel 7 watcher, is at the very
"My life publicly exploded in the
least, offensive, if not totally discrimina-
media, on television, in the papers and
on radio programs," said Turner, who
Shapiro is among the dozen or so
was fired from Channel 7 after an inci-
viewers who sent complaints to the sta-
dent with an ex-girlfriend became public
tion or to the Anti-Defamation League
and went to court. He was re-hired in
in recent weeks over the religious con-
tent of some of Turner's commentaries.
"When I gave my life to the Lord
"These are commercial stations,"
Jesus Christ, I was instantaneously and
explained Betsy Kellman, ADL
miraculously and immediately delivered
Michigan region director. "If you call in
from all of my addictions, all of my
and say you're not going to watch the
physical maladies, my emotional prob-
station anymore or participate with any
lems of depression and paralyzing anxi-
of the advertisers, that talks a bit louder
ety and panic attacks. My life completely
than what I might say"
changed and I am anxious to share that
Grace Gilchrist, WXYZ vice president with people."
and general manager, said Turner's com-
The religious overtones still bother
mentaries, which run between 7:27 and
people, said Kellman. "It doesn't
7:30 p.m. for 60 or 90 seconds, are sub-
behoove a station like this, which has
ject to review from the news director.
control of public airwaves, to assume
"It's marked a commentary, and we're
they have a Christian audience, particu-
very conscious of putting it in a place
larly in an area like this that has a big
where editorials run," she said.
Muslim and Jewish population," she
She said when the topic of religion has said.
come up, it is usually prompted by a
"What I [told] everyone who called in
news item. The 7 O'clock News was
was I am registering your complaint and
launched after 9-11. Some days, it's a
I am keeping track of them, and I cer-
normal newscast, but many times, it is
tainly will talk to the station." ❑
devoted to a topic of the day.
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