Before I dive back into the Cablevision/WABC wars - and there is movement at this very moment, as WABC awaits Cablevision's response to its latest offer, submitted earlier today - I want to address something that has been massively misinterpreted:

  Antennas.

  And Mastic Beach.

  This morning, I had a story saying (in effect) that if you don't have digital, head over to "Uncle Bob and Aunt Sue's in Mastic Beach" who may have an antenna and analog-digital converter. 

 Well let me tell you...People are mad. People want to tell  me how disgusted they are with me. People want to tell me that they think I was  making a joke. 

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 A joke!!??

  Here's an example of what I've received from people today. This one was signed "a concerned teacher."

 Dear Verne Gay,

 
    I was reading your article, "ABC goes off air", and was appalled by the generalization that if a person needed an outdated television with an antenna they would find it in Mastic Beach.  Once again you find it comical to poke fun at an area on Long Island that people deem unworthy or less civil than the rest of the island.  I was raised in that area, I teach in the same area, and have many friends and family that still live there.  The students in the school district are hard working and have had to face many challenges, yet some how always shine on in so many areas, including sports, art, music and business.  They have been disgraced by a local disc-jockey, and various articles in local papers, yet continually band together as a community, and try to make people see the good in the area.

  Now, here's what I've been sending to people who were bothered by Uncle Bob and Aunt Sue and their darned antenna. 

  But before you read, look carefully at the picture above.

  That's MY antenna. It's an old one, and still works beautifully. It's been up there since 1965. Maybe longer. 

  So as you can see, I AM Aunt Bob and Uncle Sue, even if I don't live in wonderful Mastic Beach.

 

   Thanks for your note, but please be assured - I HAD ABSOLUTELY NO INTENTION WHATSOEVER to impugn the good people of Mastic Beach. It's a wonderful town in  a beautiful part of LI.

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Here's a little-known fact about your friendly Newsday TV critic - I have an antenna on top of my house and it still works and I have used it on numerous occasions (although you still  need the converter to get it to work now.)

 I have no bias against antennas, never have and never will, and think all houses should still have 'em - just in case non-nonsensical disputes like this break out again.

   I certainly don't see antennas or traditional modes of receiving a tv signal as outdated or a designation of one's socio-economic status. I do see them as a sign of good, rock-solid common sense. God bless the Aunt Sues and Uncle Bobs of this world.

Thanks again for the note. Mastic Beach rocks.

Verne 

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