THURSDAY’S LETTERS: Responses to Carl Bernstein’s Take on Bush, Astor and the State of Cartooning

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By: E&P Staff

In today’s letters, readers respond to an E&P article about Carl Bernstein’s statement that President Bush has damaged the country “far more” than Watergate did.


Bernstein’s Assessment of the Bush Presidency

Today’s article widely and wildly quoting Carl Bernstein’s comments about the EVIL Bush administration is pitched from the perspective of an “objective” participant with certain bona fides on White House crimes.

What you conveniently left out is the context. The context for Bernstein is that he’s been an active participant on the seething unhinged left wing party circuit for 2 decades. Explain to me and to other E&P readers, why Bernstein’s comments today are newsworthy?

Kenneth Scislaw

Sir or Madam: Witnessing and living through today’s rancorous political climate is truly a remarkable time event. Men and women of Bernstein’s caliber can freely throw around any phrase to either demean or praise. In Bernstein’s case it is all motivated by his well-known animus for those opposite his political bent and he should be ignored. But, as I mentioned about political climate, Bernstein thrives on the rancor and is only asked for opinions, not facts. Better he should, at long last, just shut up and go away.

KC Collier
Ponte Vedra Beach, FL

Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward did a superb job on Watergate, and Bob Woodward has proven that it was not a fluke. Carl Bernstein, however, has since led a life dominated by drugs, alcohol abuse, turbulent personal problems and literally no new contribution of any kind to journalism.

Bernstein is a poorly educated man with a lot of personal problems who was very lucky when young. Why you pay attention to this troubled, confused, ill-informed, and ill-read man is perplexing.

No one can challenge the accomplishment of his Watergate role, but he has been a one-trick pony and rally doesn’t merit the coverage you’ve given him.

Allan Conrad
New York, N.Y.

Here we see another member of the mainstream media demonstrating breathtaking ignorance. Is it any wonder that the mainstream media watches helplessly as its readership and credibility continue their inexorable march from the penthouse to the basement. …

What is worst of all about all of this is the aid and comfort given to our enemies. We have been fighting militant Islam for over a quarter of a century. I don’t see any end to this fight. I guess we could all convert to Islam, but what good would that do when it is apparently OK for one flavor of Muslim to kill another flavor of Muslim. …

So, thank you Mr. Bernstein. You continue to give aid and comfort to our enemies, and you are also hastening the demise of an industry that has made you a wealthy man.

Barry Duncan

The article you did on Bernstein was ridiculous …

“But perhaps worst, has been the lying and mendacity of the president and his men and women — in the reasons they cited for going to war”

Every world leader, congressperson, senator, the UN, Clinton, everyone, said Saddam had WMDs.

“Bernstein was also asked about the CIA leak case and the leaking of Valerie Plame’s name, which he called ‘a truly Nixonian event.'”

She was not undercover. It was not leaked. Everyone already knew. Armitage is the one who said he leaked it in this case.

Is Bernstien a liberal? Of course he is. We are in a War with Terrorists (Islamic extremists) and we need to do what we need to do or someday you will be blown up at your local Starbucks.

Abraham Lincoln was hated by half the country and look at him now. History will get it right with President Bush. I believe he actually wants to protect our country, something not one single liberal Democrat or liberal Republican is willing to do.

Paul Ridenour

Once again you attempt to rewrite history by make misleading and false statements. History will be the final judge and it will bear out that President Bush did the right and honorable thing by enforcing the more than 17 UN resolutions passed against the former Government of Iraq.

Fain Dalton


The State of Cartooning

Kudos to David Astor for his recent column about the sad state of editorial cartooning jobs, even in light of advances in color and animation. It’s good to remind newspapers of what’s happening to the field, and how this American art form and journalistic institution is struggling for lack of support. Positions aren’t being filled, local topics aren’t being covered and more spaces on the nation’s opinion pages are being filled with the same material from a seemingly shrinking pool of syndicated cartoonists.

Here in California, for example, there are only two staff editorial cartoonists in all of of gigantic Los Angeles County and only one in the entire Bay Area; around 1980 there were six staffer cartoonists in L.A. County and four in the Bay Area. The Tribune Company eliminated positions where multiple Pulitzers had been won at the Baltimore Sun and Los Angeles Times, and have left unfilled its position at the Chicago Tribune, and are only one of the companies doing this.

What’s sadly ironic is that editorial cartooning has consistently been popular with readers, and offers the visuals, conciseness and irreverence that surveys show that younger readers — the readers newspapers are struggling desperately to attract — prefer.

Steve Greenberg
Editorial artist/cartoonist
Ventura County Star, CA
(Steve Greenberg was the regular contributing cartoonist to Editor &
Publisher magazine from 1995-98)

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