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‘20/20' and Palisades Parties

The publicity about the teen substance abuse in Pacific Palisades and its connections with the deaths of 10 young people (two of whom I knew) reflects an issue rooted deep in American society. This is “Over The Edge,” “River’s Edge” and “Less Than Zero” come to life: The highly malignant tumor that lurks within suburbia rearing its cancerous head. When the bubble bursts, it bursts big. Welcome to the big city.

If the media’s responsibility is to document what goes on in American society with its biases suppressed--an assumption central to its role in a Western democracy--then this is a story that must be covered.

The “20-20" crew, by letting the “Top of the World” party go on and not interfering, simply honored a tenet of documentary reporting. If the police had showed up, the crew would have reported their arrival too. Absolute idealism should have no place in journalism.

MICHAEL SNIDER

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Los Angeles

Please keep letters brief and include full name, address and phone number. Mail to Calendar Letters, Los Angeles Times, Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles 90053.


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