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Letters August 4, 2003

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Guardian Angel
The launch of a weekly U.S. edition of the Guardian is good news indeed, and Michael Wolff’s observations on the degradation of American journalism are right on the money [“This Media Life: En Guardian!,” July 14]. When I want pop psychology, sociology, or health and financial advice, I go to specialized publications. But what I want from newspapers and newsmagazines is news—much of which I suspect is not being reported. The day the Guardian reaches our shores is the day I cancel my subscriptions to Time and Newsweek.
-Charles Latimer, Sarasota, Fla.

Yank Cranks
Michael Wolff informs us with bated breath that the Guardian is coming to the U.S. I can’t share his enthusiasm. The Guardian has been hyper-critical of America for years, since long before Bush and the war in Iraq. It has always seemed rather amused and bemused by us foolish colonists, what with our lack of manners and culture, and our dangerous capitalistic cabals.
-Fred Goldsmith, Manhattan

Conventional Wisdom
I was blown away by Michael Tomasky’s “Anything Goes” [“The City Politic,” July 14]. Governor Pataki’s plan to lay the cornerstone for the 9/11 memorial during the Republican convention in New York next August smacks of a kind of political exploitation and outright propaganda that makes me sick to my stomach. It will be the photo op seen round the world, and will make Bush’s aircraft-carrier incident look like a small-town high-school pep rally. It is unconscionable to politicize such a moment in any way whatsoever. 
-Michael Amonett, Dallas, Tex.

Trial And Errors
It is genuinely unsettling when fiction, merely through repetition, acquires an aura of truth. Which is why I was appalled by the credence Chris Smith gave Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s article in The Atlantic Monthly regarding his cousin Michael Skakel’s murder conviction [“Dominick Dunne vs. Robert Kennedy,” June 23]. The Atlantic Monthly didn’t cover the trial, nor, apparently, did it perform any fact-checking of Kennedy’s claims. And yet it printed his blatantly distorted assertions as though they were somehow true. This does a grievous disservice to the twelve sincere, intelligent jurors who found Skakel guilty. They are the ones who attended court every day—while Mr. Kennedy made but two cameo appearances during the entire trial—and they voted, after not very lengthy deliberations, unanimously to convict. Had Mr. Smith been in attendance, he would have done so as well.
-Jonathan C. Benedict, State’s Attorney, Judicial District Of Fairfield, Bridgeport, Conn.

I’m Right, You’re Nuts
I just read Len Winner’s letter claiming that “the worst thing conservatives ever say about liberals is that they are dumb” [“Letters: Glib Libs,” July 28]. Then, in the same issue, I read “I’m Right, You’re Wrong,” in which Al D’Amato says it’s okay to attack a president for lying about getting a blowjob but not for lying to send young American men and women off to war, to die for Halliburton. He says, “It’s a totally different thing.” So if liberals are dumb, what does that make conservatives like D’Amato—insane, or just hypocritical?
-Rich Latimer, Falmouth, Mass.

’Tis The Treason
Strange that such a true-believer-seeming conservative as Len Winner would be so unfamiliar with the tone of recent right-wing literature. Exhibit A: Ann Coulter’s Treason: Liberal Treachery From the Cold War to the War on Terrorism.
-Richard Helfer, Manhattan

Stack My Beach Up
I object to your characterization of Cape Cod beaches as “rocky” [“Summer Fun: Hit the Beach,” by Sarah Bernard, June 30–July 7]. All I see are uninterrupted stretches of sand and dunes, where one can take a solitary walk for hours beyond the sunbathers and come across only birds and the occasional seal in the water. Though Nauset Beach is beautiful, we prefer Marconi Beach, which is part of the National Seashore in Wellfleet. It is magnificent—maybe even the best in the world.
-Lore Kramer, Hartsdale, N.Y.

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