FRIDAY’S LETTERS: Lovin’ and Loathin’ Neil Young’s Politics, Newspapers’ Lost Monopoly, Press Redemption on Iran

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By: E&P Staff

In today’s letters, cheers and jeers for Neil Young’s new anti-Bush album, calls for journalists to keep up the pressure on Bush over Iran, and acknowledgement that newspapers have lost their monopoly on the public discourse.


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My, My, Hey, Hey

Did I miss something? Neil Young now wants to “impeach the President for Lyin'”. Is he just a brazen hypocrite or was he too high on dope during Clinton’s term to be conscious? As every American who was remotely aware of public discourse during the 90’s knows, lying “doesn’t rise to the level of impeachment”, according to liberals. I hate to disappoint the “It’s all about sex” crowd, but the actual charges against Clinton were Perjury (Lying under oath), Obstruction of Justice, etc… When did the rules of conduct change? Is Mr. Young saying that liberals can lie but conservatives can’t? Does he expect a higher level of conduct from conservatives than he does from liberals? That alone speaks volumes. By the way, how does “believing” the intelligence produced by national and international agencies of several different countries constitute “lying”, anyway? Shouldn’t we be impeaching the President for “believing”, instead? Using that logic the presidents of a dozen other nations should also be impeached, since they all believed the intelligence. Neil Young should stick to entertaining pot-heads that can’t think their way out of a bag, and forget about politics.

Thomas L. Shimek
Brigham City, Utah



Thomas L. Shimek is an idiot. He says that lies are worth impeaching [for] but he seems to have forgotten the very Clinton episode he quotes from. Republicans come off as the world’s biggest hypocrites when they say that Bush’s lies aren’t impeachable but Clinton’s were. (Of course, no one died when Clinton lied.) But if the “it isn’t about the sex, its about the lies” crowd now wants to drink the kool-aid, then let’s impeach Bush for breaking the law in spying on Americans, committing treason in outing a CIA agent and for egregious errors in using 9-11 to start a war in Iraq in which thousands of our troops have died in vain.

Oh, those crimes don’t apparently count as long as you are a Republican. F*****g hypocrites.

As for me, I am going to go buy Neil Young’s album.

Greg Klein
Cooperstown, NY



Thanks for a brilliant story on Neil Young’s efforts and future recordings. It was very exciting. However, I feel I must point out that there may not be a Neil Young album without political gesture.

Please go back a ways to Buffalo Springfield and their famous song “For What It’s Worth”, or Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young’s “Ohio” that was recorded and released to the public within days of the Kent State Shootings demonstrating the power of an emerging new form of mass communication. Messages like that are seldom seen these days.

“Southern Man,” another politically tainted song, hastily criticizes [southerners] for their treatment of freed slaves following the Civil War to the current period.

“After the Gold Rush” has many interpretations due to the ambiguous nature of it’s lyrics but, if judged by it’s title and a few pertinent lyrics, a meaning of “what happens after we destroy the earth’s resources” could be derived easily.

“Keep on Rockin’ in a Free World” mentions many criticisms of the era of newfound “freedoms” ushered in by the Reagan era.

I could go on and on, deeper and deeper into Neil’s discography of 52 recordings and sometimes ambiguous and layered messages full of symbolism and code. It seams obvious that Neil Young has always been politically motivated and more than happy to express his opinions in a very passionate and timely matter.

Michael Faas



Get serious… Who really gives a crap what a d*****bag like Neil Young thinks about politicians? … His train left the station a long,long time ago. his brain got fried beyond repair many years ago… take him to the dogtrack and leave him there.

Ray Beattie


Are you people on acid? Nice try.

Neil Young is a far leftist hippie! He mocked the “Southern Man” as a racist, bigoted, close minded redneck for not agreeing with his liberal philosophy in the early 70s.

He’s slamming our president (just like every other liberal and terrorist) today.

Paul Daly



Great. Hope [Neil Young’s] song gets played over and over. It will help to energize conservative Republicans to go the polls in Nov. This is what the country will face for 2 years if we elect Dems to control the House. How do you spell “backlash”? Bring it on!

Susan Boyer
Brevard, N.C.



Why should it be newsworthy, and who cares, that some Canadian recorded an anti Bush song? Canadians, especially media types, cowards from the U.S., and entertainers aren’t known for wanting to stand up to our terrorist enemies, or much of anything else. Never heard of his father, who supposedly is a “famed” reporter. Is that plugged to give the story some added weight?

G. L. Gunderman
Florence, AL



Personally I really don’t think most people care what Neil Young or others in the entertainment business sing, say or do. They are only there to make statements against everything because none of them have half a brain to intelligently discuss any issue. They certainly aren’t helping their party and by no means helping our troops who are fighting for our freedoms. Yes, they have the right to protest, but during time of war (and not just in Iraq) they should just SHUT UP!

Iris Saunders
Reedville, VA


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Newspapers Can’t Control Information Anymore

The newspaper proprietors can try throwing billions of dollars at the web in a vain attempt to move their old technology businesses into the new age, though I doubt that they will find any way to regain control over the distribution of information.

A single individual with a computer and a few skills can be in regular direct contact with hundreds of people around the world using email, online video conferencing and Internet telephone services to communicate and gather information, and it does not matter where in the world they are located. They could even be located in Perth, Western Australia as I am, thousands of miles away from the major commercial centers of the world and over a thousand miles away from the next large city, and yet be in communication with individuals around the world.

If that individual can put together some sort of viable online publication, they can possibly attract hundreds of thousands of regular readers from around the world to their publication, and if one individual can do that, so can thousands or even hundreds of thousands of others, and over time they can form working alliances out of the initial chaos.

Soon the major advertisers will also want to be online, and will be ready to throw money at whoever can give them the levels of exposure they desire. Do you think those advertisers will be loyal to the traditional newspaper proprietors who have overcharged them for so long? I personally doubt it.

David Lockett
Perth, Western Australia


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Could Iran Coverage Redeem the Press?

Very timely article. It should be the duty of journalists everywhere to warn of the extremely dangerous direction the White House is taking with regards to Iran. This could well be The Big One. You quote opinion polls where large numbers of the public say they support an attack on Iran. But why? These people have no idea of the truly catastrophic consequences that would be inevitable from such an attack.

As said above, from now on it should be the first duty of journalists everywhere to explain that no one stands to benefit from such unprovoked aggression, and two, such an action, as well as kill and mutilate many thousands of wholly innocent Iranians, will certainly put the whole world in extreme and immediate danger.

P.S. Why are so many people in America so fixated with war and aggression? Otherwise decent people living in decent communities. Iraq was no more of a threat to the US than Tierra del Fuego. The country was well and truly on its knees and no threat to anyone, as even its neighbours in the region were quick to point out.

Bill Evans


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Press Paying More Attention to Bonds Than Bush?

Do you think the press has been more suspicious and aggressive regarding Barry Bonds’s assertions that he never knowingly took steroids or the President’s claim that he was misled by poor and faulty intelligence?

Kerry Taylor
Chapel Hill, NC

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