Reader Mail

Lessons in Tolerance

Reactions to the PBS faithful's reactions -- plus another sampling of responses to NewsHour Neumayr. Also: Basic training, Chicago corruption, and more.

6.23.05

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HATE THE HATE MAIL, LOVE THE HATE MAILER
Re: George Neumayr's PBS "NewsHour" appearance and letters in Reader Mail's Who Watches PBS?:

Wow. Judging by the anti-George Neumayr hate mail, I guess it's only liberals who watch PBS. The word must have gone out from PBS offices (or MoveOn.org) for the liberal minions to go on the attack and like the Wicked Witch's flying monkeys, that's just what they did. I can see them now, in their granny glasses and denim skirts, hunched over keyboards in their government (probably) offices, fingers flying, smirks on their faces, unleashing their choice invectives against The American Spectator and Mr. Neumayr. How intelligent, erudite, and witty they think they are. What they provide, however, is unintentional comedy. They are caricatures of themselves. Liberal writers, thank you very much for some good laughs. I wasn't laughing with you, but at you. Thanks just the same.
-- D.C. Norman
Durham, North Carolina

My goodness. All the leftist hysteria and hand-wringing about George Neumayr's appearance on the Lehrer News Hour sent me right over to the PBS website to read the segment transcript and listen to the Real Audio version.

And having done so, I say, "Good work, Mr. Neumayr!" I trust we'll see you soon on Fox News and C-SPAN, the fair and balanced, privately funded cable channels that trump PBS's lame liberal content with thoughtful, hard news 24/7, 365.
-- Doug Welty
Arlington, Virginia

I read the mail section containing the responses to the interview with George Neumayr on NewsHour With Jim Lehrer before actually reading the transcript of the interview. The level of hate and hostility on display was overwhelming as I read one profanity-laced, name-calling epithet after another. Some even contained veiled threats. What could Mr. Neumayr have said to inspire such animus? Had he compared PBS to the Nazi propaganda machine of Joseph Goebbels? Did he make McCarthy-like claims that all PBS affiliates were pawns in a Communist conspiracy to undermine our republic? Did he call Bill Moyers a bad name?

Better read the transcript, I thought. I did, and while I was disappointed in some of Mr. Neumayr's responses in defense of his position, his only "crime" seems to be that he believes that a pervasive liberal bias has been entrenched at PBS since its inception. This would hardly classify as an outrageously provocative stance given that numerous books and articles have been written expressing the same viewpoint. Apparently, however, his comment appears to have spawned the avalanche of hysterical invective printed on your web page. One couldn't help but notice that civil discourse seems to be beyond the comprehension of some who responded. I grow weary of the hypocrisy of calling another who doesn't agree with you "elitist parasitic vermin" and, in the next breath, making a claim to be an adult.

Surely there were some more reasoned responses from those who disagree with Mr. Neumayr that did not make it into the comment section. If so, I hope the Spectator will print them.
-- Rick Arand
Lee's Summit, Missouri

Wow! What venom. What pure undiluted bile. The unvarnished rantings from the intellectually unhinged. I did not see Mr. Neumayr's segment on PBS. I would not have, for obvious reasons. However, I suspect Mr. Neumayr managed to hit a raw nerve, given the invective pouring forth on the website. To prove the point, may I cite some samples from their pithy critiques? "CNN, ABC, CBS dominated by the right-wing"." Calling Bill Moyers liberal is asinine." "Moyers often had on conservatives." My good breeding forces me to forgo citing the ad hominem and expletive riddled attacks, but need I repeat such garbage? Did you also catch the intellectually vacuous observation that "all we needed to get Saddam was a bag of Doritos"? Yes, and I suppose all we needed to get Hitler was a juicy bratwurst. Finally, there was the tedious contention that if we don't want our tax $$ going to PBS, then those who do not support the war are entitled to the same exemption. Ah, sorry folks, your logic is tortured. (No pun intended). The war on terror was debated & approved by our elected representatives. Yes, that even included the Senate. John Kerry voted for the war before he voted against it, remember? Sept. 11 and UN Resolution 1441 also played a small role in our national decision. I don't recall any congressional legislation calling for a liberal media outlet paid for with taxpayer money. Is it no wonder why Dean, Durbin, Kennedy, Reid, et al., must feed the beast with their over the top rhetoric? The intellectual battle is on. I think we can win this one, and stuff ourselves with Doritos at the same time.
-- A. DiPentima

I commend you. Not for your views, which I find abhorrent, but for the guts shown in posting letters critical of George Neumayr's appearance on The NewsHour. I wish all publications, left and right, were as fearless.

I also sympathize with your plight. If I was forced to pay for Fox News, I'd probably kill myself. Hey, wait a second. Doesn't my cable company pay Fox News? Don't I pay my cable company? Am I paying for something I hate and more importantly, don't watch??? If I want to watch American Idol do some of my tax dollars (cable bill) support Fox News?

I have an idea. You figure out a way to make cable and satellite television a la carte (you pay only for those stations you want), and me and my fellow liberals will find a way to take the CPB off the government's hands. Deal?
-- Jon Bonanno

Very peculiar; after reading all the letters sent to the Spectator regarding Mr. Neumayr appearance in PBS's NewsHour with Jim Lehrer you can clearly see that must of the letters received came from a liberal or Socialist Democrats. Some of the letters got nasty and personal with Mr. Neumayr calling him names. I never understood why Democrats always fall for the name-calling, this usually happens when a Democrat has no facts to backup their point of view.

Is no question that PBS SHOULD NOT BE FUNDED with our tax money. PBS has been and still is just another tool used by the liberal democrats of this country to promulgate their liberal points of view and propaganda. As one of the letters said; ENOUGH! WE ARE NOT TAKING IT ANYMORE! Yes this viewer is right we are not taking it anymore. That is why I say that we will not continue throwing money away funding an entity such as PBS that only represents some of the people. Public broadcasting should be FOR THE PEOPLE and not just for the few. Last I want it to say to Mr. Neumayr, bravo. It took a lot of cojones to go to a show such as the NewsHour and present your point of view. Well Done!
-- Roberto Fontanez
Jacksonville, Florida

Thank you for the debate of 6/21, PBS has been one sided to long.
-- unsigned

Keep those cards and letters coming folks! One belly laugh after a HOO HAW after another.

Meanwhile I'd like all of you out there in Lake Woebegone to join me in the "Sour Milk Biscuit Song!" Altogether now:

Has your family ate 'em, Sour Milk?
Has your family ate 'em, Sour Milk.
Cause if your families ate 'em,
Then they did regurgitate 'em.
And now they've grown to hate 'em!
SOUR MILK!!!

"They help keep that liberal dyspepsia churnin'."

With a big razzbery to that Uriah Heep of the airwaves, Garrison Keillor.
-- Bob Keiser
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

Wow!! One reads the comments and still is amazed by the vitriol and stupidity. Those people really put the BS in PBS. Better they should pay for it than with my taxes. Defund CPB. The justification is those morons.
-- GMS
Media, Pennsylvania

Allow me to express my profound thanks to you for publishing the letter from some creature called "John Pitt," whose last name is truly appropriate. His inability to express himself without resorting to verbal filth is a perfect example of the "intellectual" level of self-styled "liberals." Also, I feel sorry for anyone such as Mr. Pitt, who is so filled with rage and hate. His must be a very unhappy existence.
-- W. B. Heffernan, Jr.

Just read the letters pouring in from all of the outraged ultra left-wingers in response to George Neumayr's appearance on PBS. Judging from the level of invective and mindlessness displayed in all of them, it's high time CPB was de-funded. In America's education system, increasing funds leads to less intelligent students. Decreasing the money should make these lefties smarter.
-- Ken Lizotte
Bristol, Vermont

Oh my! The Democratic Underground has been unmasked. Pathetic. Bundle all of these emails up and send them to every member of Congress. Probably won't help eliminate funding of PBS but it would surely make me feel better to know that the check signers also had to read the drivel produced by some PBS viewers.

We didn't watch Mr. Neumayr on TV because we don't have TV reception (quit watching in 1996 due to the senselessness of wasting time). But, this is one time it might have been interesting.

Way to go George! Encore!
-- Nelson Ward
Ribera, New Mexico

I had no idea that so many airhead liberals read your magazine or web site. It was actually very satisfying to read the unreasoned, blind hatred emanating from these imbecilic leftists, because it clearly illustrates the total lack of desire to acquire even a little bit of unbiased knowledge and truth, and hatred of those who do. They just aren't willing to even recognize any bias in the media but conservative ones. Laughable! (and sad).
-- Jay Bannister
Dallas, Texas

Today's Reader Mail Section "Who Watches PBS?" reminded me of a cute theory I've heard on when and who becomes a lefty. Could it be that Americans' adult political persuasion is developed before the age of ten on the nation's playgrounds?

Simply put, when the Big Kids came calling for your milk money or your dignity, those who submitted or whined for a teacher to intervene become Democrats and those who resisted and fought back become Republicans. The wretches who handed over their dimes are tortured by their inadequacy for life, forever trying to compensate for that invertebrate moment. Big government, pacifism, and nanny-state protection from the world's challenges supplants self-reliance, critical thinking and courage in adult life.

The attacks on George Neumayr ranged from vulgar and obscenity-laced (which passes for tough talk in liberal circles- a substitute for real toughness) to unoriginal sloganism to unflattering physical descriptions. Not one letter printed offered anything more substantive than invective.

So, who watches (and wants to fund) PBS? Apparently, many are people who'll continue giving up their milk money to avoid confronting reality.
-- Deane Fish
Altamont, New York

I found Mr. Neumayr's appearance on the NewsHour to be quite enlightening (Public Broadcasting Under Fire, 6/21/05). The liberal bias on PBS has always been clear to me, and I have to believe, to any objective observer. And yet, where could objective evidence of this bias be found? I determined to conduct an experiment of my own.

Utilizing the wonders of the Internet, I obtained the transcript of that very segment of the NewsHour. After a bit of cutting and pasting into a word processing program, I then made use of a handy little tool called a word counter. The result?

Your esteemed editor, Mr. Neumayr: 615 words.

The PBS shill, Mr. Bill Reed: 1,185 words.

Almost a 2 to 1 ratio. But then again, everyone knows we conservatives are just paranoid.
-- Jim Harrison
Mahopac, New York

Kudos to George Neumayr for the vitriolic response he inspired from the wacko, lunatic lefties. I did not see his appearance on PBS, but judging by those hilarious letters I say to George, "Well done."
-- Rich Holt
Nashville, Tennessee

After reading the letters from the viewers of PBS I don't know what else I can add that hasn't already been said. It never ceases to amaze me how the Bushie puppets like your executive editor Neumayr are so small-minded. He brings up the Buster episode of the lesbian couple in Vermont. I have raised my sons to embrace diversity, accept other's differences and seek to understand others with an open mind and an open heart. If Mr. Neumayr was MY son and said what he said last night I would consider myself a failure as a parent! The minority like Neumayr are the same people who want an amendment so we can't desecrate a piece of red, white and blue cloth, but also go out of their way to discriminate millions of gay families...real human beings who serve their country and contribute to society.

I teach Critical Thinking at the university level and it is very obvious to me that people like Neumayr, Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Rove, and the rest of the Evil Empire desperately need some education before this country is completely destroyed!
-- Wendy J. Payne
Spokane, Washington

Evidently Mr. Neumayr appeared on PBS from what I have gathered. From the letters you printed, I can see his appearance generated a little bit of hysteria on the left wing. I also see those "tolerant" people have commented in their usual urbane way their feelings. I think those comments reflect on the type of people who watch those programs and how ignorant their outlook on life really is. It's almost comedic to refer to PBS as educational, isn't it?
-- Pete Chagnon

Sorry to read all those negative letters about GM. Wish I could defend him but I NEVER watch PBS. Too biased and too left. Think he does a good job at TAS though.
-- Joan Moriarty
Stuart, Florida

I must thank you for publishing all those letters about George Neumayr's PBS outing. I NEVER watch the Lehrer NewsHour any more, so I missed the fireworks.

What a rush! What a trip back to 1973, when I was exactly like the extreme leftists who wrote, living on a commune closely following Nixon being undone! As I read,. I gritted my teeth, expecting a balanced set of letters, so I was very surprised you presented only putdowns. What a bunch of unreconstructed and brainwashed anti-Americans! At least you served me by exposing people who are to the left of the loony Howard Dean.

The ancient categories, 1.) Denial; 2.) Stuck Pig Squealing; and 3.) Cornered Rat Fighting to Death immediately come to mind, and totally apply. How much crazier can the left get before they realize how they are committing political suicide? Perhaps it's part of the spreading of democracy in AMERICA that the Democratic Party has chosen leaders who, in the past, wouldn't have been seen in public, because they were much too radical.

Just think. In 1980 Jeane Kirkpatrick absolutely nailed the Dems with the tag, "Blame America First," and now, with the Durbin-Dean-Kennedy axis of deviousness, they are in our face, unable to hide their true turncoat colors, and in my humble opinion, therefore, devolved into "Destroy America First, and Forever" types.
-- James F. Crystal

Well, that pretty much seals it for me. Having howled my way through these idiotic responses to George's PBS appearance, I'm now more than totally convinced (if that were at all possible) that not only do the inmates run the asylum, they also make up most of the viewership of PBS. Little wonder why I gave up watching anything on that network years ago (after WFB's "Firing Line" disappeared) and refuse to contribute to them during their marathon requests for public funding, which gets trumpeted here in NE Ohio at various times of the year. To the powers at PBS I say, "Take a hike, folks, and find some liberal suckers to fund you." You won't see a dime of contribution out of me, and I'll support any bill that removes government funding of the Pathetic Broadcasting System.
-- Jim Bjaloncik
Stow, Ohio

After reading the mail regarding Mr. Neumayr's appearance on "Newhour," I am more convinced than ever of PBS' liberal bias. It appears that only liberals are watching. Who else would spew such invective (why do they always talk about a person's looks? What has that to do with intellect? Why do they always seem to resort to foul language and name-calling?) It seems surprising to me that they actually watched "Newshour," as most of them sounded about as though "Sesame Street" would have been more their speed. Wish I had known in advance that Mr. Neumayr was going to be on. It would have been the first time I tuned in in quite a while.

Keep up all your great work!
-- Toni

The subject of George Neumayr was certainly covered in today's letters. I do not admire invective and insult, but certainly understand why so many people were angry. If Mr. Neumayr is truly an executive editor, I would suggest that you insure that he prepare before any more public appearances so he can get beyond the frames to his argument and respond with information which is truthful and insightful. Bill Buckley was not on the air at midnight, in California he was broadcast in the evenings. Bill Moyers has been well covered. Accuracy is important if one is going to make any progress selling an argument. Mr. Neumayr failed and
did the right wing a real disservice. I am only slightly left of center and will listen to conservatives when they have something interesting to say. Forget the talking points and framing.
-- M.K. Michelsen

I saw you debating what you see as a liberal bias by PBS. I am a Canadian and I just don't see it. The NewsHour is by far the best coverage of news both national and worldwide coming out of the U.S.A. and I watch it faithfully. In Alberta, Canada people here are asked to contribute to programming on PBS and they do; but that can only supplement other sources of funding such as federal support. It would be a shame if PBS declines for a lack of funding. The lack of bias that I see is an example to others on how to disseminate news fairly and objectively. It needs support from people who are fair-minded and lacking in bias. I hope that you are one of these.
-- John Early
Calgary, Alberta

It is people like George Tomlison [sic] of the CPBS and George Neumayr of The American Spectator who find fault with anything good. They are both narrow-minded, ignorant bleeding-heart babies.
-- Len Eagleburger

Thank you for your illuminating commentary on the News Hour tonight.

I believe that your views on the suppression of public funding for ideas that you find disagreeable with your positions would make Thomas Jefferson spin in his grave.

You have convinced me to increase pressure on congress to continue funding, in fact to increase funding for PBS.
-- Dr. Terry Flanagan

I want to congratulate you for your recent appearance on the News Hour defending the cuts in PBS funding. Your complete ignorance of the comprehensive content aired on PBS probably did more to deflate the arguments in favor of cutting PBS's funding than anything an opponent of your position could have said.

Mr. Rogers, Big Bird, Nova, Nature, Masterpiece Theater, Julia Child, Thomas The Train, California's Gold with Huell Howser, National Geographic, are just of few of the plethora of fine, objective, non-biased programs aired on PBS daily. Your assertion that Mr. Moyers's program represents the entirety of PBS programming and therefore its bias is laughable. Perhaps you should spend some time watching PBS before you make such sweeping and derogatory statements. It seems clear to this viewer that your position and your opinion were formed without having actually spent much if any time watching PBS or NPR or any of the other programs that will be impacted by the cuts under consideration by Congress.

I suspect that your issues with Mr. Moyers stem from the fact that his commentary was hitting a little too close to home. Nothing stings like the truth. I have seen portions of Mr. Moyers's program during the last several years. Mr. Moyers professionalism and balance is something that is very rarely seen on television today.

I found it interesting that you did not argue that the subsidies were anti-capitalistic. You probably realized that you could not defend this argument given the huge subsidies that Congress provides some American industries. If you were to have argued that all subsidies should be ended, at least you would have made a consistent argument. But to paint all of PBS and NPR with accusations of bias based on Mr. Moyer's now defunct program and one episode of a single children's show that mentioned a lifestyle that you do not support was less that impressive and far from persuasive.

You would do yourself, your tabloid, and your cause a great service by doing your homework before agreeing to become the defender of something about which you seem to know so little. On the other hand, for those of us that enjoy the great programming on PBS and NPR, your comments were reason for great cheer. Keep your ignorance intact; it will make saving the funding a lot easier.
-- Barton Anderson

Thank you for making a total fool of yourself on the NewsHour on PBS.

I am nobody's liberal. I am a Western Populist, moderate to quite conservative in most of my core values. I am a doctrinally evangelical Christian, with my degree from a fundamental Baptist college. I believe that your worshipped President, Mr. Bush, is a world-class hypocrite. I watch public television, and I know where the OFF switch is; I use it frequently. I do not fear, like you, that which I disagree with in the marketplace of ideas. I do not live my life in your dark little world where there is only enough room for a knee to jerk. I pity you and your paranoid soul mates. My only possible conclusion from watching you pout on TV is that the magazine you edit is most not likely worth lining bird cages. "Liberal" is not a dirty word, but your goofy, misdirected, and inaccurate whining is quickly making "conservative" and "evangelical" look pretty bad to fair-minded people of all persuasions, including those of us who abide by them.
-- R. Edgar

I just wanted to write and let you know that I was very disappointed to hear what George Neumayr had to say on "NewsHour" tonight. I am a Republican who is educated and cannot stand to watch such an awful attempt at news like Fox News. When I need to hear the full, honest story about something I turn to PBS. I do think that Bill Moyers is pretty liberal, but I'm intelligent enough to recognize between his opinions and his facts. I am constantly disappointed when my loved ones have important facts about politics or news wrong because they have gotten the story from Fox News. I love to read The American Spectator and I was alarmed that Mr. Neumayr came off tonight sounding like he didn't care about the facts but that he was simply on a hunt to destroy the only decent and educational programming on television today.
-- Sarah Buckmaster

I have just listened to the interview on PBS 's NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, on which George Neumayr appeared and I had to laugh at his ineptitude. His closed mind is reflective of his inability to argue his point (incorrect as it is). Sheer prejudice and hate for NPR, PBS shone through and reduced his opinions to pap. The public is not deceived or misled.
-- M. H. Drake

I want to say what a terrific job you did on the NewsHour segment on The Corporation for Public Broadcasting this evening. You were obviously well prepared to document in detail the left-leaning tilt of PBS and NPR, and I can imagine they were quite taken aback by your wide acquaintance with the entire range of programming involved. I have long known in my heart that Big Bird, Oscar the Grouch, the Dragon Tales program, the leads on the NewsHour, the singers in the various operas, the musicians in the symphonic performances often carried, and nearly all the rest of the whole shootin'-match do not represent anything worthwhile to the vast majority of the American people. And let the kids see the whole range of cartoons on Saturday morning, funded by junk-food companiesâ€"surely that is the kind of educational TV and nutritional advice the President wants! CPB and PBS deserve your crooked-cute sneer (which tops the President's by far), and may you put it on the air a lot more often.

Seriously, you came across as an ill-prepared fool, and made the idiocy of your side of the issue totally clear. Your grade for Rhetoric is F -. If "your" side on this issue cannot put on a better argument than this, it is in deep you-know-what. I will suggest to every conscientious and articulate conservative that your face and voice be kept off the air. Go hang your head -- saying you're a disgrace to your team is a gross understatement.
-- Peter R. Cross
Belmont, California

I can't help but comment on your appearance on "The News Hour" today.

I don't agree with your position on the current CPB situation; however, my comments concern your presentation. With all due respect, you gave what I considered a particularly lackluster performance.

In short, you kept harping on the fact Bill Moyers is a liberal (a fact, because I'm fairly certain that he would agree with the description) and a plot line from a PBS children's program ("Postcards from Bernie [sic]). As the other guest pointed out (albeit more politely) both of these points were rather silly, as Bill Moyers is retired and "Bernie" is no longer on the air.
-- Gary Coulton

I haven't been this offended by an uninformed Neo-con in quite a while. I am a 40-year-old moderate Republican from Oregon. When I say Republican, I'm talking about Real Republicans, you know, fiscal responsibility, state's rights, keep the Feds out of my personal life. The neo-cons have apparently forgotten all these values. I enjoy my PBS.

How this idiot got chosen to represent the right I don't know. He was constantly thrown stats that the CPB generated themselves (even Tomlinson's own private survey) that states that the vast majority of Americans DO NOT believe that PBS is not biased to the left. When given this info, he just claimed that it was either wrong, or that he disagreed. He offered no proof of his ideas. When The PBS station manager from Kansas City (a red state) cited the examples of the McLaughlin group with Pat Buchanan and Tony Blankley, and the Wall Street Journal Editorial report as examples of Conservative leaning shows, Neumayr stated that those were merely anecdotal. I could name plenty more like Religion and Ethics weekly, or the local hunting and fishing shows that air constantly around here...

If you're going to go up against some real debaters, please send somebody who won't so obviously loose the battle. Get me a real debater, and not the stuck up little snot that Neumayr came across as.
-- David
Oregon

Your statements on PBS were astonishing. For years, the only decent programming on TV has been provided by PBS. Programs like Nova, Frontline, Masterpiece Theatre, The American Experience and all the wonderful children's programs over the years have been very educational and enlightening. Your facts are wrong. The audience is huge. I suggest you reconsider your position.
-- Deborah Crafts

Your appearance on The NewsHour today was very disappointing. You did not offer any substantive rebuttal to the statements made by Mr. Reed. Your "one note song" on Bill Moyers and the cartoon episode was under-whelming to say the least. I have always looked to PBS to inform me on subjects the commercial media are afraid to touch, and I have generally been pleased with their balanced approach.

Go away Mr. Neumayr!!
-- C. E. Ulrich
Ashland, Ohio

I just watched George Neumayr defend the conservative agenda to destroy PBS. I've read a few of his columns in The Spectator and had been given the impression that this man had a brain. He apparently left it somewhere else regarding the PBS institution. As a journalist, pushing a slogan with a verb is not enough. The facts, the facts, and the facts are the key to success and respect. Just calling someone or something "liberal" does not constitute an argument. Where's W.F. Buckley when we need him. He suggested that PBS needed to air more opinion of the farthest right. Pat Robertson would qualify as a comedy show for the PBS audience. Did he ever consider researching his arguments before he makes them before the admittedly better educated PBS audience? Is he bent on giving everyone the impression that conservatives are dumb and dumber?
-- unsigned

I saw your interview on the Lehrer report this evening, and all I can say is you are a complete tool and ignoramus. If the conservatives needed their viewpoint advanced, I am grateful that they chose someone as oblivious of the world we live in as yourself. Let's hear it again -- Bill Moyers, Bill Moyers, Bill Moyers, Buster, Buster, Buster. You could not point your finger at one other example. It simply points out the bankruptcy of your position.

Thanks for appearing. It was a gift to all thinking people.
-- Bill Meyer

I've been watching you speak on the PBS program News Hour.

I don't understand what's wrong with showing that cartoon program where the main character meets another youngster with lesbian parents. You spent a great deal of your airtime denigrating Bill Moyers and again, I don't understand. What's wrong with him or the show he used to be on?

I watch PBS for education, elevated discourse, literary mini-series, nature programs and old English comedies. Tonight, I listened to what you had to say and I just don't understand what the problem is. You mentioned Mr. Buckley as a "token," and I'm not sure what you mean. I always found him to be aloof, unkind and a bit of a boor, and I could never figure out what he was doing on a nice TV station.

You said at one point that no one watches PBS. If that is true, then why are you so distressed?

If you can illuminate your position, I'd be grateful.
-- Alicia Grosso

As I watched the News Hour and thought about your comments I could not help but realize you are against government spending of any kind except for maybe the Hoover Institute (typical hypocrite). It is obvious you have an agenda -- rid the airwaves of PBS. However you made your argument was laughable; I hope you didn't come away thinking you had proven your point. In the 30 years of Public Television you could only come up with one show, NOW, and one episode of Buster. I can only be left with the idea that you are not interested in facts, but promoting yourself and your bias. Could you not have come up with other shows that displayed the liberal bias. Perhaps the fact that Elmo is red is really a cover that he is a communist. Speaking about communist, the only difference between your kind and Stalin is that you don't have power and Americans are smart enough to realize your rigidity. You want everyone to believe what you believe and have very little room for those who don't agree. Am I speaking about you without knowledge about you? Yes, but then you did the same tonight when it came to PBS.
-- unsigned

(The Editor replies: The Hoover Institution is funded by Stanford University (a private institution), an endowment, and private contributions.)

I have been a lifelong Republican and have worked directly for and with three Republican Presidents and Barry Goldwater, been a director of New York State Republican campaigning and legislation, etc. I watched Mr. Neumayr's performance on The NewsHour tonight and was thoroughly disgusted at his dishonesty and apparent ignorance of facts. By ignorance I mean choosing to ignore" the facts. You know -- that SIEG HEIL! mentality. The reason for funding CPB, PBS, NPR, and local public stations is because they are the ONLY source of balanced /and /Honest news. The networks are scared stiff of reporting the truth or even asking valid questions. You, Mr. Neumayr, are the mentality of "Mississippi Burning", the KKK, Stalin, Hitler, and Milosevic. May you and your kind molder in Tartarus.
-- unsigned

Had Public Broadcasting been as biased as you painted it, you would never have made it onto NewsHour.

Public Broadcasting provides the only forum for lengthy discussion, day after day, of the issues of our time, other than for CSPAN. It is the ONLY source of documentaries.

You guys have been very successful at portraying yourselves as persecuted victims, all the while amassing power in all branches of government and the media. It's not enough that you have virtually all the commercial broadcast media in your pockets, acting as cheer-leaders for a corrupt administration that got us into a dishonorable war for corrupt reasons. It's not enough that at the height of the build-up to the war, very few of voices of caution were heard on the networks â€" not even on PBS and NPR -- and the few that did were removed from the air or not invited back.

You would have felt quite at home as a Soviet Commissar, ever on the alert for a whisper of criticism of the government.

When power becomes arrogant, it over-reaches and destroys itself. And that's the point the conservative movement is at.
-- Dr. Kimon Papadopoulos
Rochester, New York

Let's see, Ken Tomlinsion openly takes his marching orders from the White House and George Neumayr says that he is the victim of a "smear." How many years has it been since the last conservative with an ounce of integrity died?
-- Ryan Ver Berkmoes
Lonely Planet Author
Tsunami Project Coordinator
San Pablo, California

Wow. This is man Neumayr must be going business with the same person as Rush. He needs some R&R before he is put away.
-- unsigned

Wow. One would think from the foaming-at-the-mouth responses from the PBS faithful George Neumayr had just cleaned out all of the toilets in Grand Central Station with the pages of a Koran. ("Infidel DOG! Son of a PIG! How dare you defame Bill Moyers, Peace Be Upon Him?")

And I used to read the Chechen websites in Russian and thought THEY were over the top.

Maybe swapping PBS for Al-Jazeera would be a step up.
-- Cookie Sewell
Aberdeen, Maryland

Open the oven door, stick a fork in 'em -- they're done!
-- Ron Pettengill
London, United Kingdom

GIVE ME FIFTY
Re: George H. Wittman's What Could Be Worse Than Gitmo?:

Of course, Mr. Wittman asks rhetorically, "Perhaps Senator Durbin doesn't understand what it takes to be an American soldier or Marine." Perhaps, too, Durbin doesn't understand what it is to be American? That's definitely rhetorical.
-- C. Kenna Amos Jr.
Princeton, West Virginia

Truer words cannot be written. My son completed basic training last year at Fort Knox (army), spent his AIT at the Maryland Proving Grounds, and is now stationed at Fort Drum awaiting deployment.

He has done those marches with a sprained ankle, a sutured foot, an abscessed wisdom tooth, and many other ailments and has never once complained to us -- just let us know what was happening. My admiration for him grows with each week he sticks it out to become the kind of soldier we are proud to see and hear about that's already over there.

Sen. Durbin should perform something deeply humiliating for those remarks of his. Our soldiers, marines, sailors and other military personnel should be so fortunate to be treated with such gentility as the Gitmo prisoners.

Of course, we know that all this training is to make our military the best, most intelligent and capable in the world.
-- unsigned

What an eye-opener. As an enlisted army Vet, 1966 (RA16955353) later commissioned officer through OCS (05427264), and subsequently other more "intense" training I can tell you Wittman hits a home run!

I must confess I had never made this training connection to the so-called torture at Gitmo as apparent as it was. So Senator "Turban Durbin," I don't accept your phony apology, nor your original rant. Sit down, shut up, and resign from your position if you had one ounce of character.
-- Jim
Blue Springs, Missouri

Mr. Wittman's article is, as our British cousins say, "spot on." People like Senator Durbin and most democrats do not believe in service unless it affords a millionaires' lifestyle and a pulpit from which to launch their anti-American, anti-Christian diatribes. We must ask: How did the democrat party of our fathers and their fathers become the anti-American, anti-Christ?

But we should also thank Mr. Durbin and his ilk because they, like the mad, insane rantings of Howard Dean, insure the democrat party will continue its descent into irrelevance
-- Jay W. Molyneaux
Juno Beach, Florida

Right on -- when I got out of high school in 1953, almost all the boys in my class were drafted or enlisted in the US military. We couldn't hide in college like senator Durbin, and many others of his ilk. We would have been ashamed to have done that!

He compares Gitmo to Concentration camps were millions died or to the Gulags where perhaps twice as many or more were murdered Pol Pot and his mad men killed a few million too. How many died at Gitmo senator? Maybe we should let a few of them loose and rent them a house in your neighborhood. You could invite them over to pray with you. Invite some of your ACLU lawyer friends too. You are either a fool or so blind in your hatred of Mr. Bush you have endangered the lives of our service men and women.

Senator Durbin -- spend a week in Gitmo enduring what the prisoners are forced to eat, and are treated then take a week of Army, or Marine Basic -- and eat field rations just as our troops do in Iraq. Then make a speech in the Senate about your experiences.

You, sir, are a feather merchant!
-- Frank Dollinger
Channahon, Illinois

"Oorah baby, Oorah."
-- Mark "Roach" Reimnitz

CHICAGO SHAKEDOWN
Re: John Carlisle's Corporate Cowardice Backfires:

No surprise in the city where "the shakedown" takes on the highest form, whether corporately or in the public sector (try and get anything done in this city without greasing someone's palm). Lastly, don't forget we have the granddaddy of 'em all, the Most Reverend Jesse Jackson, who I believe was the creator of the racial shakedown as it is applied to corporate America. Is it any wonder why U.S. corporations continue to leave Chicago and zero new comers anywhere in sight?
-- David P. Bennett

Just before I read the article by John Carlisle on a comments thread at Roger L, Simon's blog I read,

"I come from Chicago where the only experience you need to be an alderman is either a law degree or a prison record. It also helps if you're crooked enough to screw into the ground."

It seemed the perfect comment about this affair too.
-- Geoff Bowden
Kalamazoo, Michigan

I'LL TAKE ANOTHER
Re: John Connly Walsh's Iraqi Clippings:

Keep these stories coming. It adds a different perspective that what you'll hear from the MSM every day. Even though there are problems over there, it still sounds positive to me.
-- John P.
Elmhurst, Illinois

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