Columnists > Mailbag


Issue: "Turkey: A terrible toll," Sept. 4, 1999

Tabloid TV

I was pleased to read Cal Thomas's piece on the media coverage of the death of JFK Jr., his wife, and her sister ("TV grieve-a-thon an embarrassment," Aug. 7). All week I was astonished at the presentation as the press kept repeating the question, "Why is the country so fascinated with this family and their tragedies?" I kept wondering, too, and I'm not so certain that that many of us were, in this instance. We hear the term "tabloid TV" and we think of "talk" shows like Jerry Springer. However, the coverage of this crash proves that television magazine shows, like Dateline and 48 Hours, are truly the tabloids of television. JFK Jr. filled the pages of the paper tabloids in his life and death, and these television magazines are simply the heirs of the same type of sensationalism. - Tyrus Clutter, Nampa, Idaho


I agree that TV news is dead and has been replaced with the "Television People." I used to be one of those people and my wife still is. Irrational emotionalism has replaced the reporting of dispassionately gathered facts. However, TV news did not die after the Kennedy plane crash. It has been a cold corpse for quite some time, and now it's really beginning to stink. - Mark Mathis, Albuquerque, N.M.

The bright side

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Yes, the coverage of JFK Jr.'s plane crash was disgusting, but look at the bright side: It wasn't any worse than whatever it replaced. - Donald D. Wall, Decatur, Ga.


Regarding "Is there no tomorrow?" (Aug. 7), it might be asked, "How can you blame people for not saving?" If those who levy income taxes would exempt a portion of income derived from interest or dividends people would have more reason to save instead of being penalized for being thrifty. - Norman I. Petzold, Schenectady, N.Y.

Aesop's economics

The personal savings rate, as the government and your story report, is falling and is now negative. But the national savings rate, which includes business and government, has been rising since 1992. Businesses are saving money by retaining earnings rather than paying dividends and the consolidated governments of the U.S. are running a surplus. Individuals are another matter, of course. Some are prudent and some are not, something that has been known since Aesop told "The Ant and the Grasshopper." - David Merkel, Ellicott City, Md.

No change

We have boycotted Disney for several years, but after reading "Safe for kids" (Aug. 7) decided to give Disney another chance and went to see Inspector Gadget. What a mistake. Disney has not changed, and we are even more determined to stand against it. - The Andrews Family, Conroe, Texas

Honest grief

I was touched by Andree Seu's lament for her husband ("An hour at evening," Aug. 7). At a time when much Christian writing degenerates into sappy platitudes and automatic responses, the honest expression of her grief was a breath of fresh air. - Jack Burhenne, Leroy, Ohio


Andree Seu's loving musings upon the grave of her recently departed husband brought me to tears, not only for her mourning, but also for the way I often take for granted my dearest friend, my husband. I appreciate her sharing her deep personal grief, and in so doing, challenging us all to greater love and gratitude. - Beth Burgess, Greenville, S.C.

Right to grieve

All who have lost loved ones share in Andree Seu's grief. It is right to grieve, and it is right to trust the words of our Creator, who holds our lives in His hands. - David C. Massee, Germantown, Tenn.

One word

Regarding "Security for the unborn or the recently bombed?" (Aug. 7): I have one word-disgusting. November draws near and our memories are not as short as our members of Congress would like to think. - Bill English, Arlington, Texas

How many?

Although we very much enjoyed his editorial about family portraits ("Sad family portraits," Aug. 7), Joel Belz (No. 85) incorrectly states that the Cross Clan is up to 166. As the father of 148, 174, and 186, I can assure him that we are beyond 166. I recently attended the wedding of 78 to 208, and my wife (127) is expecting 209 in January. - Earl Cross, Lookout Mountain, Ga.

Rebels or not?

The article "Between malls & martyrs" (Aug. 7) said that today's teens are less rebellious. What do you mean by rebellious? Although our teens are not "politically" rebelling by burning flags and protesting at the White House, some are rebelling now more than ever. We see kids killing kids, kids killing parents, and kids committing crimes ranging from drugs to violence. Let us not think that our society is getting "better." - Jason D. Klohr, Charlotte, N.C.


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