Reader Mail

Things Are Looking Up

Honor among the biased. Looking the landscape over. Mailer spotting. Enemy clowns. Plus much more.

6.2.03

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EXCITING TIMES
Re: George Neumayr's A Christmas Carroll:

All right, are you trying to tell me that there is more to this liberal bias thing than "it is in the eye of the beholder"? Well, by cracky, you may be right, but then it has only been one very brave, honest (or clever) man who has stepped up to the plate and, perhaps inadvertently admitted they are biased "sometimes" in their remarks.

Well, with the new comments I have read lately, as with John Fund's great article on the Clintons and the destruction they heap on the dems, and said clearly that he felt they were trying to place a soft candidate for '04, so Missy Hillary can sneak in to the White House in 08, life just gets delicious! (This has nothing to do with the subject, I just had to mention it!)

Still, the fact Mr. Carroll has spoken out still leaves the Los Angeles Times in the starting gate, for people will be watching, closely now for liberal bias or will want "sources" made public, which should be done.

Watching what is happening in America leaves me with the feeling that all the "dishonest messes" left by the liberals are slowly, but surely being changed to more honest business dealings, a superior military and a country that appreciates them, a delivery on its promises by the Republicans, the facing of the terrorists and now more honesty in the media?...

Kudos to Mr. Carroll. You may have started something. It often only takes one to start.
-- Carole Graham

"A Christmas Carroll" was remarkable. Scientific data is fact -- neither conservative nor liberal. Reporters by and large have no science background, have never worked in the field of bioscience, but they know enough not to go to herbalists and alternative medicine sources about medical issues (I think). However they do consider "activists" -- and people with strong "opinions warped with speculation" (based on a quote printed someplace and then referred to by someone else) -- as the "experts to seek out when reporting on a science based issue.

It is these people who are always sought and quoted on environmental issues mainly because they have the money to sue to further their social agenda and the simple fact that they are suing equates them to science-based experts. Reporters don't have to do much looking for them.

The right people with correct information, complicated as it is, are available with truth.

Amazing!
-- Judy Nuzum

Do you suppose we owe Jayson Blair a thank you for shining a light on the problem of liberal newspapers reporting something other than news?

It is nicely ironic that, by tarnishing the image of the NYT he might have motivated the LAT to clean up its act.
-- Richard Renken
Chesterfield, MO

MAILERING IT IN
Re: John R. Dunlap's Writer's Cramp:

I witnessed this maybe ten years ago on a quiet midweek afternoon in the lodge at the bunny slope at Killington Ski Area:

A man was loudly berating the girl attendant at the ski rental desk. His boots were wrong, his skis were wrong, everything was wrong, and it was all her fault. The man was abusive and nasty. He didn't see me, but I saw him: Norman Mailer.

So this is how the great Mailer treats the little people, I thought. The young lady was very accommodating, but it struck me that she probably knew as much about suitable rental equipment for skiing the bunny slope at Killington as Mr. Mailer knew about the naked and the dead.
-- Mark Candon
Rutland, VT

I don't know, Mr. Dunlap. I liked the sentence about the sky attaining the color of the tea set stored in the attic since Grandma died 20 years ago. It successfully conjured up a visual image for me.
-- Jenny Woodward
Bloomington, IN

I rather like, "The dugout exploded like a piñata."
-- J. Hannay
Dallas, TX

MUSEUM PIECE
Re: Herbert London's Picasso-Matisse vs. Manet-Velasquez:

Mr. London's article is delightful; I couldn't agree more. I also liked his quoting Robertson Davies, one of my favorite authors. When I saw Velasquez's "Rokeby Venus" in London, I thought it was the most beautiful rendering of the female body I had ever seen; even more than Botticelli's "Venus." I recently strolled through the Hirshhorn Museum (modern art) in DC and most of what I saw was pretentious ugliness. To me, art must be beautiful, no matter what it is depicting. In his wonderful sendup of modern art, The Painted Word, Tom Wolfe cites Tom Stoppard's definition, "Contemporary art is imagination without skill." Perhaps, but why does so much of it have to be ugly and even vicious?
-- Mike Novak

The correct title of the Robertson Davies novel mentioned in the article is What's Bred in the Bone. It is the second novel of his outstanding Cornish Trilogy. Davies is well worth the time if you haven't made his acquaintance already.

Thank you for a wonderful magazine and website.
-- Peter Dietz
Wilmington DE

Paeans to Mr. London for such a great essay!
-Dennis J. Flanagan
Levittown, PA

DOUBLE STEAL
Re: David Hogberg's The Deficit Game:

Your latest article on conservatives always losing the deficit game is bizarre. I have read, sorry I can't quote the original source, 80% of Americans want increased taxes and greater entitlements. Your elitist views only contradict the majority of patriotic Americans. GWB and Bushonomics are stealing from the people. Undoubtedly and unfortunately for your readers, you live in a bubble. I guess your magazine does provide you a living, how pathetic. Haven't you been harping at the same sad audience for years?

I think your online mag is very poorly written. [God] is merciful, there's room for improvement.
-- Warren Engelberg

CHUCKLE THE CLOWNS
Re: Enemy Central's Hope Springs Eternal:

Hey, really great article. Enjoyed it immensely. Still chuckling.
-- Gene Simmons
Battle Creek, MI

How do I comment on this perceptive piece? I caught the reference to Meanstreet. (Was this Sidney actually in Maltese Falcon? Nah, couldn't be. The other Sid was an actor, not a liar.) Willie may well be a 100 year president as I see his regime as a "benchmark" administration. Totally corrupt co-presidents surrounded by totally corrupt appointees. Reminds me of another benchmark presidency, Carter's, which set "standards" for incompetence. Never in the history of the republic have we had a more corrupt presidency preceded (by several years) by the most incompetent. (Dare I "pray" we never exceed these benchmarks?) Idiot Carter gave us dizzyingly high interest rates, a gutted military which couldn't afford the fuel to send ships to sea for training and the Mullahs in Iran. But, his piece de resistance was the giveaway of the Panama Canal, now controlled by communist China with a naval base at either end and authorization to train canal pilots. I have the uneasy feeling we are looking down the muzzles of medium range nukes and haven't noticed yet. Well, who needs Chicago anyway.
-- Dick Lambert
Eagle Rock, VA

One hundred years of Slick Willy? God forbid. I sincerely believe, regardless of the rhetoric, Bill Clinton says a prayer every night thanking God for term limits. There is no way Slick could have handled the world situation President Bush inherited.
-- Ken Hughes

A MESSAGE FOR JOHN COMBELLICK
Re: John Combellick's letter in Reader Mail's Feminist Gentlepersons, Mark Hessey's letter in Reader Mail's Second-Hand or First Rate?, and John Combellick's letter in Reader Mail's Chapel Bells:

Dear John,

I have been following your debate with another reader regarding the recent revelations of Mr. Bennett's gambling problems and what to make of them. I include your latest submission to the Editor on your own behalf.

Sir, you have seriously misjudged your protagonist, the seeming vast majority of the American citizenry, and, indeed, most of the "free world." You assume the ability to recognize a humorous turn of phrase.

Sir, most of the populace today has no sense of humor about itself, and therefore cannot recognize it in others. I can only assume that you are an old fa*t like myself, since you are so out of touch with your fellow citizens. The prevailing attitude today is that you must be constantly on the alert for the slightest effrontery. It is absolutely necessary that NO perceived slight go unpunished. After all, we are victims. We have been confronted by "hate" speech. Besides, you failed to append the Internet universal "LOL" to the phrase.

You, sir, were obviously taught (as was I) that "Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me." How out of touch, sir. A million little egos were probably damaged by your unthinkably abusive insensitivity. Tsk! Tsk! Please, sir, get counseling immediately and get a grip.
-- Ken Shreve
New Hampshire

John Combellick responds to my response, "...given the sophistication of the average American Prowler website correspondent, there was little risk that it would be used to criticize me. But events proved otherwise."

Well, by relying on those same sophisticated parameters, I would have thought that John could readily see that there was no criticism in my reply, just an alternative scenario on the subject at hand.
:-)
-- Mark Hessey
Belmar, NJ

NO FAULT
Re: "Bennett's Gambling" letters in Reader Mail's Chapel Bells:

Mea culpa!
-- C.D. Lueders
Boca Raton, FL

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