Letters for October 24, 2002

Jeff H. Christ

Awakens the masses:Thank you for writing about the Lord/Jesus in the October 17 Bandwidth. I avoid local scene websites because typos make me cringe, so I never would have heard about him without Jeff Stratton's column. It's always good to know about people trying to wake up the scene.

And, completely unrelated, I'm so jealous you got to interview Leif Garrett. (Yes, I know that knocks my credibility points down a bunch.)

Jen Birchfield

Plantation

Putney is a dweeb... but a professorial dweeb:I don't know if he's a "little dweeb" or not, as McBride's man called him in the October 10 Undercurrents, but I certainly believe that the moderator at the gubernatorial debate, Michael Putney of WPLG-TV (Channel 10), acted improperly.

First of all, he frequently changed the wording of the questions that were asked by the public. Further, he asked different questions of the two candidates, so that they were not faced with the same issues. He also commented on whether he felt the answers were responsive. In Undercurrents, you note that he also rated Gov. Jeb Bush the superior debater. These things are not the function of a moderator.

I think, worst of all, he twice gave Bush additional time to rebut Mr. McBride's statements. He did this, he said, "in fairness." This is grossly improper. Not only did it give Bush more on-air time but it implied that McBride had been somehow unfair.

Bush also was given an extra opportunity to speak when the moderator, on his own, asked the governor whether he thought Mr. McBride was a "tax and spend" Democrat. This had not been mentioned previously and was not germane to the question being discussed but was simply an inflammatory, partisan, demagogic statement.

Future debates must be done fairly, with equal time for both candidates and with the same questions for both of them. The voters must have the opportunity to judge the intelligence, positions, and character of the candidates, not of the moderator, thus removing any possible "dweeb" factor.

Donald Berger

Hollywood

Freedom's just another word for nothing left to spend:I would like to thank New Times for the coverage in Susan Eastman's October 3 story, "Liberté, Fraternité, No Way." I get passionate about campaign money issues. I feel how much money you raise is not as important as the message. My opponent, State Rep. Connie Mack, R-Fort Lauderdale, has, I believe, more than $250,000 in his campaign fund and has not shown up for television interviews or candidate forums. He has not responded to the League of Women Voters' Dnet.org website, nor has he talked to reporters in any candid or willing fashion.

So in reality, who is really campaigning? I have been working my butt off with appearances at forums, television interviews, and newspaper editorial boards. For what it's worth, Jeremy Milarsky at the Sun-Sentinel and Chuck McGinness at the Palm Beach Post have been following my campaign, and both can tell you I have made myself publicly available in every way. Sure he can buy more billboards, but what does the voter learn from a billboard?

Brian Kuszmar

Candidate, District 91

via the Internet

Maybe we should call it theLouisville New Times:Bob Norman's September 26 column, "Hawking for Israel," is one of the most insightful articles I have read to date about the Middle East and the threatened war against Iraq. I only hope that his writing makes it to more publications and that his penetrating thought and analysis have more and more impact. I admire not only his fine writing but his courage in speaking out.

Norman Linton

Louisville, Kentucky

Do they know Norman's a Kentuckian? Are they related?Honest reporting and presenting facts are the foundation of true democracy. They help educate people about the sociopolitical and economic affairs that heavily affect their lives and influence their political approaches in addressing the decision-making process. I thank New Times and Bob Norman for his responsibility and accountability. I hope more reporters will follow his example.

Cye Masri

Louisville, Kentucky

Pretty darn hot e-mails like the next one:Congratulations for Bob Norman's article "Hawking for Israel." He says the truth even though, unfortunately, it is difficult sometimes to say it.

I suppose this column will fire thousands of angry e-mails because he has dared to write the truth. Please, Mr. Norman, just keep writing from an objective point of view that unfortunately we don't see very often in American newspapers when the subject is regarding Israel.

Cristobal Munoz

Pembroke Pines

Didn't Joe McCarthy expose the left, dude?New Times should stick to the restaurant reviews and ads for sex shops and bong pipes that made you famous. Serious political discussion and international events are just not your thing. One thing that I've learned from reading Bob Norman's "Hawking for Israel" article is that radical leftists such as Bob scare me as much as do the crazies on the radical right. They are both bigoted, close-minded, pretentious, and intolerant of others with views differing from theirs. Bob did us a service by crawling out from the rock he was hiding under. Exposed in the sunlight, leftists such as Bob don't look any different to me from the radical right. People such as Bob are to be feared every bit as much as the right-wingers. It's just that the right-wingers were exposed years ago. Now it's the radical left's turn.

Gary Tortora

Davie

A roadie strikes back:I read Jeff Stratton's September 19 article on Leif Garrett and posted a link to it on a few message boards. Jeff's phone interview with Leif was really rude. Did you want a reaction of negativity? Well, you have it.

I have been a fan since I was 14 years old. I went to those Leif Garrett concerts in '79. I'd be the first one to tell you: I screamed my lungs out, chanting. It took a lot of make-believe marketing credit back in those days to make Leif seem to be larger then life to thousands of girls. The magazines easily faked stories and posters just to get young girls to believe teen idols were perfect. Well, it's not the case today, and I'm sorry. As it is, artists have no private lives.

Leif Garrett has presented himself as who he is today and not who he was in the '70s. I've gotten to know Leif over the past four years as an upcoming performer starting on the bottom singing in venues and recording EPs (five songs)... Well, so what? That's no different from any of my other favorite bands. Some of them are Red Hot Chili Peppers and Kid Rock. So you see, I'm not totally out of the groove scene.

How dare you bad-mouth Leif, the guys in the band, and their music! Then you make comments about his fans and refer to them as his "now-menopausal fan base" as if we wouldn't get or like his kind of current music or something. Come on... get real! Most of the circle of Leif fans have all become close friends over the past two years. We've given congrats to each other for becoming mothers and/or grandmothers for the first time, getting married, and dumping a jerk for a boyfriend and cheered for each other when the oldest child left home and cried with each other when someone died.

On the road trips we have taken to see F8 play, we have seen each other face to face, hugged, and stayed up all night and chatted. We share an interest in a sweet guy, totally based on a nice personality, whom you can only love and protect like he was your brother. The fact comes down to, "you just don't dis a bro!"

Kathie Dike (www.leifgarrettfans.com)

Sioux Falls, South Dakota

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