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By The Commentators

Captive Audience

By The Commentators Posted March 3, 2014 at 1:00 pm

This is Raleigh Mann.

My bride Betsy and I have been in the North Carolina Cancer Hospital and the adjacent Women’s Hospital off of Manning Drive a lot lately. She has been receiving treatments there, and our experiences at both places have been wonderful.

Of course, no one wants to have cancer or to have it strike a loved one. But the kindness and compassion of the people who have treated her at these hospitals is what is wonderful. They give the university and this community much to be proud of.

But unfortunately, not all of our experiences have been wonderful, and that one exception needs to change.

I have complained before about the jarring intrusiveness of unwanted televisions in the waiting rooms of medical facilities. We who prefer to read or simply be alone with our thoughts and prayers don’t like to be assaulted by that yammering TV in the corner or on the wall. It’s impossible to ignore.

That unwelcome TV blaring away is unpleasant enough, but those who operate the one in a waiting room at the Cancer Hospital have stepped over the line with their choice of programming that, as a captive audience, we are forced to endure.

At a recent visit, we were entertained with a loud commercial for a used car dealer that lasted for 30 minutes. That was followed by a program of extreme, one-sided political opinion, and folks, this was hostile, nasty stuff.

Every individual is entitled to hold and freely express his or her own political beliefs, of course, but when did it become OK for a tax-supported public hospital to foster a particular political view and force a captive audience of its patients and their families to listen to it?

It is not OK. It is outrageous, and if that waiting room TV isn’t turned off, at least someone with some common sense certainly needs to change its channels.

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