Letters to the Editor

Made-for-TV home all about commercialism

A Jan. 25 letter on the "Extreme Makeover" home ("Why not distribute help among many?") ended with the question: "Was this political?"

No, it was commercial. It was a made-for-television, advertising gimmick. It was designed as a "feel-good" experience that makes you want to run out and buy products from the wonderful companies that supported the effort. The truth is that the only altruism involved was the small army of volunteers who donated their time.

In the wake of the whirlwind, the Gazette ran stories about the track record of this show and what sometimes happens to the recipients of the unexpected largess. Some of these stories could be classified as horror stories: People going deeper in debt, having trouble paying for utilities, foreclosures.

And all the while the producers say that they give owners the home and after that it would be wrong to participate in the homeowner's financial decisions. This is a euphemism for, "If you can't handle what we have thrust upon you, don't come running to us."

I agree with the other points made in the letter, but then again, distributing the money to help many people wouldn't make a good television show, now would it?

Henry A. RobertsonBeaufort