In Search of Reliable Sources
Thanks to you and all those who work with you both in offices and in the field for the very important watchdog work you do on the media. During a period when the media are manipulated perhaps more than in the entire history of our country, this activity takes on even greater significance. Since accurate and sufficient information is essential to a participatory electorate, a properly functioning democracy depends on people like yourselves. But you knew that.
I am also writing to address a problem that you may be able to help with, although it may involve a reexamination of your mission statement. As a regular reader of Extra! I am regularly faced with frustration, for although you tell me where to find misleading information in the media, what I want to know is how to find more reliable sources. In all of your research, you must run across media that are more reliable and less beholden to special interests. Wouldn't it be a great help to give your readers access to better sources by identifying them and including contact information? In doing so you would be creating a more informed public and, not less important, supporting those media that have journalistic integrity.
San Juan Capistrano, Calif.
Female Sons of Bitches in Short Supply
I have just today received my first issue of Extra! (5=6/05). Obviously I am just as concerned about the very frightening state of the media in this country as you are, else I would not have subscribed. And quite clearly you do take the role of journalism very seriously, as is evidenced by "'The Profit Motive': Laurie Garrett on What's Wrong With Journalism."
I too spent some meager portion of my youth in the media back in the '60s. Radio in those days wasn't quite up to journalistic standards, but I left it when my editor and boss said, "You just aren't enough of a son of a bitch for this business."
Be that as it may, I must offer my own adjunct opinion in response to the article "Opinion Omission: Women Hard to Find on Op-Ed Pages, TV Panels," by Julie Hollar. Women are just very simply not sons of bitches enough to contend with the very mercenary type of profit-motivated greed that drives the news media. It really doesn't matter what is in between your legs, it is what is in between your ears that counts.
David F. DeLoera
Encouraging Attention to Anti-Semitism
Thank you so much for the exhaustive report on anti-Semitism on the right. I personally would have liked to see FAIR call for Robert Novak's retirement after his insulting comparison of Democratic filibusterers to Nazi death camp guards, but it is nevertheless encouraging to see FAIR include this latest report in Extra! (5=6/05).
Those of us who are Jewish, religious and progressive often feel "homeless"--repulsed by the self-appointed "official" Jewish voices, and disregarded and insulted by "radical" lefties, despite high numbers of Jewish support (seven of 10 against Bush last November, the highest rate amongst "whites").
Thanks to Steve Rendall and FAIR for helping to remedy that situation.
Rabbi Michael Rothbaum
Reconstructionist Temple Beth Israel
Right Then, Right Now
I was fortunate enough to attend the National Conference on Media Reform in St. Louis two weeks ago. I picked up a lot of literature while I was there. I also moved my office from one part of my house to another. I put some literature in the john for quick reading including a copy of Extra!, and today began reading "What Do We Learn From the News?" A great article. It took a minute for me to realize that it was an old issue, unearthed in the move, from September 1992, when I was an Extra! subscriber. The article, which reported on factual knowledge about national and world affairs being essentially in inverse proportion to how much time a viewer spends watching TV news, is still very topical.
I can't afford to subscribe anymore, but it's nice to know you were right back then, as you are now.
Bluff City, Kansas
Moved to Write
I have been a subscriber to Extra! for a few years, and after seeing the Editor's Note in the May/June issue I received today, I decided to join in writing letters.
In the June issue of Extra! Update, Strom Thurmond's 1948 presidential slogan was given as "Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever!," which was actually George Wallace's presidential slogan in 1968. Thurmond's slogan was simply "Segregation Forever."