This is how a recalcitrant television station responds to a complaint, trying to make a petulant viewer feel as if he’s been heard.
You remember that the Discovery Channel in the U.S. bought six episodes of the BBC One program, “Frozen Planet,” hosted and written by David Attenborough. But there were seven episodes. The last one was on climate change—anthropogenic global warming, to be precise—which Attenborough sees, correct, as a threat to the wonderful polar ecosystems. I urged readers to fill out a complaint about this naked pandering to special, antienvironmental interests (you can still do so here), and I finally got a response—or rather, a non-response. Here it is (several readers have posted it in their comments on the earlier post).
Dear Viewer: Thank you for contacting Discovery Channel. We appreciate your correspondence and for taking the time to share your thoughts and concerns with us about Frozen Planet. Frozen Planet will not be airing on Discovery Channel in the United States until early next year and many programming and scheduling decisions have yet to be made. We do know that the stories, messages and essence of all of the BBC’s seven episodes will be represented throughout the truly landmark series. Again, thank you for contacting Discovery Channel.
Sincerely, Viewer Relations Discovery Channel
Two points. First, you can still complain until early next year, though I wouldn’t expect more than this formal response. Second, how can the “programming and scheduling decisions” possibly include the last episode since it wasn’t purchased. If Attenborough felt that the issue of global warming was adequately covered in the first six episodes, he wouldn’t have made the seventh.