TODAY'S LETTERS: Readers Respond

By: E&P Staff Readers wrote in today about lesser-known World War II internment camps, why web video shouldn't be edited, as well as Ann Coulter.

'Statesman Journal' Uses Web to Tell World War II Internment Story

You should be aware that Salem Statesman Journal did not inform its readers of the other side of internment -- the internment of almost 11,000 German Americans and some 3,200 Italian Americans.

You can learn more on this aspect of American history here.

Arthur D. Jacobs
A US-born internee at 12
Tempe, Arizona

Stripper Video Too Hot For AP

I?m not sure everyone quite 'gets it' in connection with the stripper video. In the age of the internet, is it not the user?s choice what to see, rather than the journalists? The attitude that we must decide what people can see is probably already obsolete. We are not arbiters of taste, nor are we limited by the amount of newsprint we can afford. The new limit is on newsgathering resources.

We are still refining the data, but it appears clear that not all the people who opened the story on our website chose to view the video. Surely that is the way to do it? Let them decide? The text was enough for many, but others did not assuage their curiosity about this incongruity of lap dancing and golf until they saw it on video.

Have we not told our writers for years, ?Show, don?t tell?? Now we have a new way to show. And, unlike the print product, it?s optional for the user. (We did not even put one image from the video in the print edition, because viewing it there would not have been optional for a user.)

The video certainly made a major contribution to the story. Now the dialogue is where it needs to be: What does the community think should happen? What are the community leaders doing about it? Long after the video is gone, we?ll still be covering that.

Bill Watson
Executive Editor
Pocono Mountains Media Group

John Edwards vs. Ann Coulter and 'The Crazies',

The Ann Coulter whom liberals excoriate is the mirror image of what, in liberal quarters, regularly passes for apt commentary. Her real offense is that she too effectively deploys a wit and candor liberals somehow imagine they have patent rights to.

Liberal dominance of the media in recent decades and their regime of political correctness -- where truth is too often allowed but one definition and tolerance ever so subjectively defined --has conditioned some on the political left to a point where Coulter can only be experienced as a splash of cold water across the senses, rather than as part of the legitimate cut-and-thrust of intellectual life.

Her critics should recognize that orthodoxy challenged is orthodoxy afforded a fresh chance to define and refine itself. Ann Coulter usefully adds, in her signature way, to the ongoing intellectual feast.

Ron Goodden

I looked in vain for a little bit of context in this article. After all, Coulter was simply, explicitly parodying a similar expression of 'hate speech' by Bill Maher. Moreover, the Edwards campaign had recently hired two bloggers to run some of its web operations, and refused to fire them in spite of protests and demonstrations of their rather off-their-meds rhetoric. Elizabeth Edwards herself indulged in some tasteless comments about the personal relationships within the Cheney family in 2004 and refused to apologize. This was skillfully employed by the eventually victorious Republicans.

It's not as though Ann Coulter is the only writer with bad manners in the political-speech business. A public that sees Michael Moore get softball treatment by the mainstream media, though Moore's immediate reaction to 9/11 was to protest that the bombers had attacked a Democratic state and not a Republican one, is not exactly going to get terribly outraged by Ann Coulter's invective, no manner how lathered up the MSM gets.

Mark Richard
Columbus, Ohio


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