FRIDAY’S LETTERS: Your End of the Week Catharsis

By: E&P Staff

Today, readers sound off on Berkeley Breathed, the American Legion’s war on antiwar protests, the real reason Jules Witcover is no longer working for the Baltimore Sun and our favorite, a comment on an earlier letters comment. Let the games begin.

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Re: Steve Outing’s Modernizing the Editorial Page

Steve Outing says editorials have been “the ‘lecture’ model of journalism — the antithesis of a more conversational model of journalism that’s gaining ground…”

It’s great that editorials are moving into the future, but how about the syndicated (and other) columnists? Should they have a responsibility to reply to questions raised by their readership? To set forth the ethical code(s) by which they operate? To let readers in on their job description? (advocate, or judge?)

The “lecture” mode may be more comfortable for the lecturer, but the audience is growing restless.

Anna Haynes

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Re: Berkeley Breathed On His ‘Jailed Journo’ Comic Strips

I am enthralled with Mr. Breathed and have tried to locate him for years to send him a fan letter or something along those lines. When he disappeared for years, along with Gary Larson, I was heartbroken. The comics mean a lot to me and millions of others. When Opus appeared in my Sunday paper, life started to be good again. I have been saving the page out of the paper his strip appears on. Interestingly enough, it’s the page with all the “good” strips, like Doonesberry and a number of my other favorites. Anyway, could some one please get me an address other than his Web site, which the last time I checked offered no access to tendering up fan mail.

Rebecca Howell

Ed’s Note: This e-mail address, opus@washpost.com, was found on the “Write Berkeley” page of the artist’s Web site.

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Re: Jules Witcover’s 24-Year Run at Baltimore Sun Ends

Living in Baltimore, I read The Sun (online) daily, and I write the weekly Blog Box column for democraticunderground.com, as well as a daily blog.

I can show you the exact moment that Jules Witcover became a rightwing target: Wednesday, March 9, 2005.

I remember this date distinctly because I blogged about Mr. Witcover’s abrupt fall from his usual BushCo fence-straddling in a post called, “Yes, Virginia, There Really Is A Third Rail.” Here’s the link.

I also believe that the changes in management and ownership at The Sun during the past 2 years contributed to Witcover’s current situation.

The Sun’s new owners said their goal was to create a “performance-driven culture” at the Sun.

Thanks for publishing the truth about Jules Witcover’s departure from The Sun.

Delilah Boyd

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Re: David Paulin’s Letter Concerning Fired Miami Herald Columnist

In your Aug. 10 letters column, former Miami Herald reporter David Paulin says:

“Miami Herald Editor Tom Fiedler is, of course, correct when he says he never “violated the law” when staking out Sen. Gary Hart’s Washington townhouse during an investigation aimed at exposing the presidential candidate’s romantic life. On the other hand, Fiedler’s prurient sleuthing — which torpedoed Hart’s presidential bid — probably harmed journalistic standards far more than DeFede’s allegedly illegal tape recording.”

Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t Gary Hart challenge reporters to, in effect, “catch me if you can” regarding his alleged extramarital affair?

Stan Koper

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The Military Issue

Re: American Legion Declares War on Protestors — Media Next?

“The American Legion will stand against anyone and any group that would demoralize our troops, or worse, endanger their lives by encouraging terrorists to continue their cowardly attacks against freedom-loving peoples,” Thomas Cadmus, the Legion’s national commander, told delegates at the group’s national convention in Honolulu.

Interesting comment.

“any group that would demoralize our troops”

One group is Congress, which failed to pay these soldiers properly (and late in the session embarrassed into approving a pay increase), equip them safely, train them fully, provide them essential, fully funded medical and mental health care, and cutting $1.5 billion from VA hospitals.

“endanger their lives”

The president for concocting a war, instead of prosecuting the war against the terrorists who executed 9/11; for sending our troops into combat without the essential body armor, properly shielded military vehicles, and with enough soldiers and a sufficient strategy to overwhelm the enemy and adapt to changing conditions; and sending reserves to the front for which they were not trained so that we could save on expenses for fighting the war.

Let’s see if the American Legion has the courage it claims to have to fully and properly support our soldiers.

Jay Margolis
Boynton Beach, Fla.

Ed’s Note: For more reaction to Cadmus’ speech before the American Legion members, see E&P’s Aug. 25 letters page.

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If Thomas Cadmus ever fought in other country for freedom and democracy what would be his reason to try to destroy freedom and democracy in this country. He is out of control lunatic, declaring war on American people and demanding that our troops fight for protection of HIS and his unanimous delegate’s values. It seem that they prefer a dictatorship and fascism for this country. He does not speak for the American Legion. He is a disgrace to the Legion and should be replaced.

Sonny Thielman

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Re: Greg Mitchell’s Tipping Point on Iraq

Don’t you think there’s already enough negative Iraq coverage in the American media? Isn’t it enough when all big newspapers and TV programs concentrate on Cindy Sheehan (most often not mentioning her more radical statements) while ignoring the majority of soldiers’ families who still support the president and the Iraq war? Isn’t it enough when all that is mentioned is yet another car bomb, whereas Iraq now has 200 independent newspapers where there were none before, hundreds of thousands of mobile phones where there were none before, thousands of schools and hospitals rebuilt and tens of thousands of brave Iraqis working in grassroots democracy projects and Iraq’s new security forces — and nothing of this is reported?

You’re trying to start an anti-war campaign by the media? Just take a closer look: There already is one, and it has been there for more than two years. You say it is “do-or-die time”. Indeed that’s true. For the future of Iraq, that is. That’s why we need to talk about the progress made and the options available. The American people need to see the whole picture, which they can’t. Because the Bush administration is incapable of communicating it, but more importantly, because journalists present an intensely negatively biased picture of the situation in that country.



As a journalist, just do your job: report what is happening — all that is happening, including the good things. A journalists’ job is not to start political campaigns. So please just stop, and let those courageous Americans and Iraqis complete their mission, which they most certainly will, if only you let them.

Thomas Schroder

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