November 15, 2004

Mayor Player
Many thanks for the November 1 cover story on Rudy Giuliani [“Rudy, We Hardly Know You Anymore,” by Chris Smith]. What a waste of a rare example of true public service. Rudy should be using his well-earned popularity—along with such like-minded people as John McCain, Michael Bloomberg, Colin Powell, and Arnold Schwarzenegger—to create a new Republican Party of moderates. Instead, he is wasting his energies on a radical neoconservative regime with which he has very little in common. There are a lot of fiscally responsible, pro-choice voters out there who need such a party.
—Lisa McErlane, Manhattan

Thanks for the lovely cover photo of our former, and the universe’s current, mayor [“Red-Meat Rudy,” November 1]. It arrived just in time for me to cut out and use as a Halloween mask. If it were not for the events of 9/11, Rudy would have slinked out of office in disgrace.
—Mel Rabinowitz, Manhattan

From his self-serving speech at this year’s Republican National Convention, where he practically claimed sole ownership of 9/11, to his stumping for Republican candidates, I am left to conclude that Rudy has either become a new Trent Lott or the biggest hypocrite in American politics. If he were to run in 2008, I wonder how long it would take for the same right-wingers he now so lovingly embraces to crucify him in the primaries as an out-of-the-mainstream New Yorker.
—Luis Perez, Manhattan

One of the intoxicating side effects of George W. Bush’s presidency is that it gives almost anyone the idea that he too is qualified for the job.
—Bill Freeland, Sunnyside

I always considered Rudy Giuliani a straight-ahead, honest kind of guy, and voted for him twice when he ran for mayor of New York. However, during the Republican National Convention, when he likened President Bush to Ronald Reagan and Winston Churchill, he totally blew his credibility with me. Even if he somehow gets nominated in 2008, he’d never get elected.
—Ann Irving, Manhattan

Before 9/11, New York’s mayor was an intensely abrasive, mean-spirited man with a comb-over whose main claim to fame was that he eliminated the squeegee men from the city’s streets. After 9/11, he was still an intensely abrasive and mean-spirited man who became an instant hero because he happened to be New York’s mayor. But presidential material? I don’t think so.
—Michael Maxtone-Graham, Manhattan

Punch Line
How interesting that Ken Tucker’s piece on Jon Stewart arrived just in time for Election Day [“The Culture Pages: You Can’t Be Serious!,” November 1]. With fans like Mr. Tucker, who needs critics? I find The Daily Show insightful, edgy, and willing to ask and answer tough questions with humor. It’s the perfect antidote for those of us frustrated with the mainstream media’s talking heads, and the hoax they attempt to perpetrate on us by claiming to be unbiased journalists. Ken Tucker sounds a little like Tucker Carlson to me.
—Linda J. Marshall, Manhattan

I don’t agree with Mr. Tucker that the message of The Daily Show in recent months has been that both presidential candidates are “square” and undeserving of our vote. The show amplifies the most absurd qualities of both candidates for the sake of satire. In a manner similar to that of political cartoons, Jon Stewart’s show plays an important role in snapping people out of their single-minded stupor to grasp an alternative point of view.
—James Luttrell, Manhattan

I have loved New York since it began as a Clay Felker and Milton Glaser insert in the Trib. Throughout the various stages of my life, the magazine has been the next best thing to being there. It still arrives weekly in my West Hollywood mailbox, and I am—for a brief, stylish moment—transported to New York City. I enjoy the new look [“The Culture Pages,” November 1]. The concoction you have created is simply perfect. It works, and works well. I know you’ll get a few disgruntled letters about the new design, but I love it.
—Chloe Ross, West Hollywood, Calif.

Great new look. Just a suggestion—if the chocolate dripping down the page is not lickable [“The Everything Guide: Chocolate,” by Gael Greene, November 1], at least make the page scratch-and-sniff.Lynn Maddalena Menna,
—Hawthorne, N.J.

The new design is a huge win for the magazine and its readers. It is a much better read now. How any New Yorker could not fall in love with it, I don’t know. Here in the hinterlands, we congratulate you all. We are delighted subscribers.
—Donald E. Eckard, Louisville, KY.

New magazine formats are always inevitable, but valued departments are what keep subscribers. When Mary Ann Madden retired from the “Competition,” I remained, and will remain, a reader, but I would like another contest and hope the magazine comes up with one soon.
—Frank Klick, Chicago, Ill.

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November 15, 2004