I'm not a "Journalism Critic ...," just an American who belonged to, supported, and worked for the Republican Party for the first 40 years of my life [Editor's Note: "Journalism Critics Wanted," August 18-25]. However, I was appalled to see Editor Brian Kelly's statement: "Historians will sift the Bush legacy for years—as will we—but at this point it's fair to say that the first draft of history will show that he had the fortitude to execute one very tough call, and so far the country's better off for it." You and John McCain may be better off, but the rest of the county is going down the tube thanks to the economic drain caused by this war. From a national security point of view, we are not "safer" but rather much less safe thanks to the Bush administration's irrational decision to attack a Muslim country, thereby triggering a landslide of negative sentiment toward America and sending thousands of additional Muslims flocking to al Qaeda. I read several online news sources daily along with some of the best newsmagazines from around the world. It's safe to say your analysis of this administration and its choice to attack another county is "unique."
Ben Bellus Sr.
Des Moines As news editor for Silver Chips Online, a student-run online school newspaper, I am constantly troubled with selecting stories that will be pursued and eventually published. I was told that the fundamental concept of news writing is objectivity. While this objectivity relies on word choice and structure, it also depends on story choice. I understand that the publication needs to gear its stories to its constituency, but we don't need so many different stories on the U.S. economy every week. If international news were truly given objectively, there would be fewer stories about oil and more stories about foreign government conflicts. If everyone had thorough knowledge of pressing conflicts all over the world, the compromise necessary to create peace would be achieved. The media have the responsibility to find and publish information that is important to all people, not just Americans.
Montgomery Blair High School
Silver Spring , Md. I realize that you cannot hire an infinite cadre of journalists in order to have "balance," but major editors ought to have access to an informal "kitchen cabinet" of individuals representing left, center, and right perspectives upon whose heads you can bounce some of the ideas and concerns of the day, and from their feedback distill something that will result in your imparting not only knowledge but also wisdom. I witness this phenomenon of "basking in the shadow of think-a-likes" too often in my field of medicine. Doctors spend an inordinate number of hours in their practices and at hospitals and frequently listen primarily to each other's output. The resultant parochialism has enhanced their effectiveness in influencing politicians' counterproductive meddling in medical issues.
Clair S. Weenig, M.D.
Walnut Creek , Calif. It seems your publication's stories seldom mention any of President Bush's many accomplishments, such as his fortitude during and after the 9/11 tragedy, which brought our country out of despair and out of possible financial and economic catastrophe. Most of all, we need to admire that he's been doggedly resolute to keep our country safe and free of any terrorist attacks since 9/11. I will never forget your cover story on the "Worst Presidents" mentioning President Bush ["The 10 Worst Presidents," Feb. 26, 2007]. I wrote a letter to the editor that there should not be such judgment while a president is still in office. Were you/your staff fair to the president? No.
Ventura , Calif.