Letters for November 29, 2001

The weekly paperís burden

 Jen eats:
Your November 22 letter "Jen bashing, Part 3,647,986," is a sarcastic barb directed toward your readership, effectively biting the hand that feeds you. Maybe it's not working out. Maybe Jen isn't suited to be a restaurant critic. By the way, it is indisputable that there is such a thing as New York pizza.

Marc Smilen
Dania

Name-calling for fun and political gain:
In regard to Ashley Fantz's November 15 story, "Long Shot," why am I not surprised at reading that Lois Frankel is a name-calling bigmouth with cat claws that she digs into whoever stands up to her? Cat fights don't belong in politics, though Frankel is sure trying to prove she can succeed by using them. Trying to get noticed by calling our governor a "bum" is not the way to do it, honey! Saying a decent man like Alcee Hastings is related to [Louis] Farrakhan... shame on her! Sending out fliers about Mimi Andrews's being arrested for DUI? Come on; does she really think she belongs in politics?

Connie Ward
Hollywood

Another ass-kickin' Israelite heard from:
Adam Pitluk's article on krav maga was very well done ("Fists of Jewry," October 25). There is a man who has been teaching krav maga in Coral Springs. He studied in both Los Angeles and Israel. He has been teaching mostly unnoticed for over four years. His name is Rick Seid, and his Website is www.kravmagen.com. On the site, you will receive further information about the history of krav maga and, as in most things, the controversy surrounding it. Rick Seid is a tremendous teacher, and interestingly enough, a good number of his students are middle-age, white-collar males and females. He has taught law enforcement.

Scott and Barbara Fantell
via the Internet

An affront to journalists everywhere:
There was some good reporting in Susan Eastman's September 27 story, "1984 and Counting" (September 27), specifically how WSVN-Channel 7's reporter claimed not to have been able to reach the firefighters involved in the flag issue at the Opa-locka fire station, even though New Times was able to find them easily by dialing 411. Kudos for exposing shoddy reporting by one of our local so-called news teams. That's the kind of reporting I like to read in New Times and know I won't find in the Miami Herald. But the rest of the article bothered me a lot.

In my years as an international photojournalist and writer, I covered riots, war, and way too many disasters. That experience informed my belief that her article was unfair both to journalists and to the public. At 49 years old, I may be closer to Dan Rather's age than Eastman's. I've learned that we communicators are merely and gloriously human, and our job is to present readers, viewers, and listeners with as much information about -- and interpretation of -- events as possible. When we are successful we involve the senses, not just the intellect.

Citizens turn to seasoned journalists to get not only the facts but also the flavor of the event. Sometimes it's communicated through a vivid photo. Sometimes it's through a voice breaking with emotion. Who among my generation and older will ever forget Walter Cronkite's voice as he announced the death of President Kennedy? So to criticize Dan Rather for crying or Diane Sawyer for expressing her feelings is simply unfair. Readers and viewers want and deserve more than a teletype version of the news.

I am a Democrat, a liberal, and no fan of President Bush. But to have denigrated our president by using the nickname "Dubya" during this time of true national crisis was to trivialize the trauma of our nation.

On the same morning I read Eastman's piece, I also read a Herald page 2 story by Lenny Savino ("Red Flags All Over the Place") on how the warning signs of impending disaster were ignored by the intelligence community, which relied on past history to form its view of future risk. Now, there was a story worth reading. It shed new light. In fact, it was the kind of piece I would have expected brilliant investigative reporters at New Times to write.

Sorry, New Times, but instead of brilliance, I felt Eastman's article was mostly a waste of critical thinking.

Pete Silver
Miami

 
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