MONDAY’S LETTERS: ‘Crisis’ or No?, Pulitzers Biased?, ‘Public Good’

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By: E&P Staff

In today’s edition, both conservatives and liberals react to Greg Mitchell’s “A Crisis Almost Without Equal,” thoughts on the Pulitzers, and the a call for E&P to keep the “good of the public” front and center.


A Clarification

Ohio’s constitution has a two-term limit on the governorship. Gov. Bob Taft is now in his second term and cannot seek re-election to the office, contrary to [the Associated Press] report on the Kansas governor’s ethics investigation.

“Ohio Gov. Bob Taft, a Republican, is now considered vulnerable in his re-election bid because of an ethics scandal involving his failure to report free golf outings and other gifts. Taft pleaded no contest to four misdemeanor ethics reporting violations last year and was fined $4,000.”

Dean Schott


Pulitzers as Self-Congratulation for Prison-Deserving Lefties?

I think Dana [Priest] should have to repay all expenses used by foreign governments as well as the U.S. to look into this “so-called blockbuster story.” Both she and Mary McCarthy need some quality time in prison. Something has to be done about the blatant lies that so-called journalists are publishing these days. I’m for bringing back the mental institutions. We’ve seen what happened when we closed them and let everyone out. They’re running our news centers, education system, even the CIA. Well, Strupp, your bunch has been caught with your pants down again.

Marilyn Peterson
Deming, N.M.

This year’s Pulitzer Prizes in Journalism have been another embarrassment de riches for the political left, the flavor of journalism the Pulitzer committee have for years been all too disposed to favor. An increasingly irrelevant pantheon of liberal stars have yet again shared laurels, as their once-dominant but now diminished liberal news outlets lose ever more market to the resurgent journalism of the political center-right.

But must acerbic defamation of all things Republican forever trump all other concerns, even national security, with the Pulitzer judges? Such state of affairs not only serves to dim the luster of awards they have been empowered to bestow but also tarnishes what modest shine remains in a profession that even the best of times grant scant respectability to within the court of public opinion. Joseph Pulitzer might have hoped for better.

And how ironic it is that this administration’s astonishing effectiveness in protecting us from further al-Qaeda outrages at home makes possible the calm deliberation in which overtly partisan scribblings from so few apparently enchant so many on the Pulitzer committee. Pulitzer’s true heirs must savor this irony; perhaps some future restoration of Pulitzer Prize integrity will encourage more of them to prose.

Ron Goodden
Smyrna, GA


Bias in the Eye of the Beholder

I couldn’t help but notice one of your letter writers bemoaning once again the idea of “bias” when it comes to the media and it simply re-enforces the idea that most people who use the word have no real clue as to what it means.

If every idea you have proves wrong, if every decision you make blows up in your face and everyone else’s, if your ideology is given a chance and it proves disastrously wrong, inept,and incompetent, if every prognosis you make turns out the opposite, if everything you say turns out not to be true, is it being biased to say so? That’s the position of Republicans and conservatives who, like Bush,Cheney and Rumsfeld, cant admit they were wrong about anything when they were wrong about everything.

Maybe what Republicans call liberal bias and the truth are exactly the same thing. Which is why Republicans and conservatives railed against it for so long, and unfortunately, the cowards in the press ( yes that is one thing everyone can agree on — we have total cowards in the press) swallowed it for the sake of their cars and beach houses.

Marc Rubin


Re. ‘Post’ Editor Hits ‘Criminalization’ of Leaks to Media” I hope that Editor and Publisher will make every effort, during the confusing times to come with all the Leak Investigations, to keep front and center “the good of the public” in all your reporting.

Cheney-Bush, of course, are trying hard to obfuscate this point in their expected spin of calling their own leaks “good leaks” and all leaks that expose their own wrongdoing as “bad leaks”. The leak in this current article is a good case in point. You report Porter Goss as saying, “The damage has been very severe to our capabilities to carry out our mission,” much as we might expect an administration minion to say. Look at the statement more closely. What damage was done to our “mission” by revealing that there are secret detention centers for torture? And since when is it a “mission” of America to torture? Of course, a Bush apologist would say that we must torture in order to prevent terrorism — which most of us don’t buy — but even there, where is the damage? Interrogations may still go forward even with the astounding and horrifying revelations that the Bush administration is indeed running secret torture chambers.

And, back to the focal question, which horn of the dilemma is most for “the good of the public”? To reveal the secret torture chambers or to keep them concealed? True, it’s a dreadful thing for the public to discover that our government is conducting such a heinous, unspeakable policy. But aren’t we better off knowing, so that we can say “Not in our name! Stop!”

Bob Locke
Sacramento, Calif.


Crisis Not Without Equal Opportunity to Rant

The only “crisis” is that liberal elitists such as [Greg Mitchell] still have no “case” against George W. Bush except that you do not like him or his policies. What galls you most is the fact that, unlike your favored Democratic friends, he is not corrupt. All of your attempts to foist the “Bush lies” on the unsuspecting public have fallen on deaf ears. Certainly his poll numbers are down, but so what? There is no such thing as a “popular” war in this country, unless it lasts no longer than the average ABC sitcom (I forget, is that 13 weeks, or three?). Leadership is supposed to go beyond polls, and certainly beyond the imprimatur of a pliable mainstream press.

What you really fear is that, despite all press reports to the contrary, the interim elections will not garner any gains (and my prediction is the opposite) for the Democrats, and you will have to spend the next two years gnashing your teeth at the prospect of continued conservative leadership. And hope for Hillary.

And wait for the inevitable sunset of the traditional power of the industry you represent.

Mark Zoeller
Denver, Colo.

I sure don’t want the foreign policy influenced by America hating, terrorist loving, arrogant, elitist, far left wing fringe kook democrats such as yourself. I hope that the FBI has any eye on you and your ilk for there is no doubt you’re giving aid to al-Qaeda, the only question is if you’re also giving them any kind of monetary or operational support.

Did you ever think that the majority of Americans don’t have the vicious hatred for the United States that you and the majority of “journalists” have?

Curt Massie

Thank you [Greg Mitchell] for your recent column urging acknowledgement of our country’s crisis and prodding the media and politicians to investigate and act.

Your description of a Democratic Party allowing the crisis to compound and refusing to explore impeachment is dead on. I prodded our local Congresswoman (Carolyn Maloney) to support Conyers’ investigation of whether grounds for impeachment exist (a first step) and to hold a Town Hall mtg. on Iraq to inform her constituents of what she was doing and how we could help. Because I challenged the Congresswoman for Congress as a Democrat last election, she decided it was in her best interest to explain herself (or make an attempt to) on April 10th here in New York City. Rep. Murtha attended as well.

Many constituents were disappointed and i’m begining to hear back with specific unaddressed concerns and a general feeling of repulsion at the lackadaisical response by the party in opposition. Although I myself was ‘honored’ with having my question to the two Reps asked first, I feel that both – but especially Maloney – are completely out of touch.

My question: given the outrage felt by most americans (and certainly by most of her cosmopolitan, well-educated, and reasonably well-informed constituents) at the Administration’s use of torture, its war of aggression, its permanent detentions of citizens (and non-citizens alike), its building of permanent bases, and its surveillance of u.s. citizens w/out court orders – given all that, what are you (Representatives) doing and how can we (your constituents) help?

The pointed sense of urgency was only hightened by her response: return the House to the Democrats. The audience was not impressed.

Robert Jereski
New York, N.Y.

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