MONDAY’S LETTERS: Drudge Fans, Foley Flap, Steroids, Woodward

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By: E&P Staff

In today’s letters, Drudge Report fans respond to an E&P article in which Washington Post editor Len Downie admitted that the news aggregator was the biggest driver of traffic to the paper’s Web site, a reader speculates that the media’s obsession with the Mark Foley scandal is due to liberal bias, and a Chicago Tribune sportswriter agrees with E&P’s article about coverage of the professional sports steroids scandal.


Woodward’s Real Mission

Bob Woodward’s incessant desire to reprise the Watergate glory days has reduced him to presidental ankle-biting. My guess is he fears a Democrat in the White House will rob him of busting just one more Republican president and he’s taking what he can get.

Rodney Dahl
Bend, Ore.


Covering Steroids

Your point on steroids coverage was well-taken. Those of us who cover Olympic sports laughed at the way baseball writers dealt with the rise in home runs even before the 1998 chase. Should I have turned my expertise to baseball? Possibly. But at least know I didn’t avoid the subject. …

Philip Hersh
Chicago Tribune
Chicago, Ill.


Praise for Drudge, Downie’s Admission

[From the start, the Drudge Report] was incredibly accessible. You logged on and went to newspapers around the world. It has been a great intellectual tool to combat articles by the run-of-the-mill and very predictable media. My highly educated friends were aghast with my grasp of current events and now historical. I dared not say I saw it on the Drudge as it was ridiculed by media. It was fun as I was a week ahead of the news, sometimes a month.

Friends would say, “Where did you read this?” “Oh”, I proclaimed, “In Jewish World Review, or the New York Times. You can google it” Silence was the response. My husband would tell me a story that was in the paper, and I would comment, “Oh, I read that a week ago”. He couldn’t believe it, I would give him extra details to the story that the local press did not print.

Drudge has been great for competition and information: just look at the Foley story. People were appalled by his behavior as they should be, but Drudge pulls out the Stubbs story (the Democrat from Massachusetts who actually had sex with a page. He was applauded in session after he was censured).

Alicia Cashman

Problem is, there aren?t enough bloggers out there to catch all the lies and misrepresentations made by the print media. One thing for sure about the print media, they never let the facts or arithmetic get in the way of a good story.

Cliff Hair

Now would be a good time for the Post to get the commentary out of its news articles, and to get rid of the adjectives, and adverbs and buzz words that slant the meaning. What is so hard about that? News is news, if it needs a slant, it is commentary and should be printed as such. Also the Post should not continue to ignore the News that doesn’t fit its template.

G.B. Hall
Marietta, Ga.

I read your article concerning the relationship between the new media and the old media. My concern is that regardless if the message comes from a pigeon, a paper, or some sort of multimedia devise, if the “news” is flawed, then the carrier of that news will fail.

400+ years ago, a man named Julius Reuter put this all together. He did so to inform the “people” on the events of the day. Now the only use for the media is to bash some politician. And oh yeah, overthrow governments.

I think that any format of the news will work, as long as its accurate. Print and Network news would rule America again, if they would only tell the truth. But that always hurts too many people. I long for the return of Journalists to American mainstream media. When they do return, I may start reading newspapers again. But until that happens, I can find it on the Web in a hundred places.

William “Bo” Reuter
Tampa Bay, Fla.

I just thought I should clarify the concept left by Downie’s comments that somehow Matt Drudge’s site is a driving force in public opinion. In truth, I couldn’t disagree more with Matt Drudge if I wanted to.

That said, the Drudge Report is my browser’s home page for the same reason so many others probably see Drudge as one of their top referring web sites — the Drudge Report has, on it’s main page, the most comprehensive list of links to other news organizations I have found. I start there because it is easy to get where I really want to go. I am sure this is true of many many others.

Liam Shannon
Sherborn, Mass.

Post editor Len Downie’s position on the impact of the Internet on his newspaper is that it “helps to keep our paper honest.” This begs the question [of why] The Washington Post has established itself as one of the two leading advocates for the Democratic Party. The paper makes no pretense about its political objectives. No one reads the Post, or any mainline newspaper expecting to find the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. If he were to be honest, Mr .Downie would say that the Internet serves to “Help make the paper less dishonest.”

John O’Hara
Chelan, Wash.


Liberal media Behind the Foley Flap?

The Congressman Mark Foley flap begets a certain amount of confusion, in that lead Democrats more at home assaulting America’s mores are, here, feigning subscription to them. Such faux friends surely whither morality more than nourishing it.

Along these same lines, the liberal media’s biennial quest to stealthily blight the Republican side in elections will soon be brought into even sharper focus — by the shear indifference journalists will display toward the Foley story once November’s damages have been tallied.

If politics is the last refuge of scoundrels, news reporting clearly suits some as a serviceable alternative.

Ron Goodden
Atlanta, Ga.

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