June 13, 2005

No Blonde Jokes, Please
Having been a producer at Good Morning America, I can personally vouch for the observation that Diane Sawyer is the consummate workaholic [“Duel at Sunrise,” by Meryl Gordon, June 6]. More than once, I can recall Diane paging me in the middle of the night after wrapping up an edit session at 3 a.m. on a piece for that morning’s show, requesting that I tweak the story. Her commitment to excellence inspired all of us. As for the clichéd “Ice Queen” label, when I brought my 5-year-old daughter to the studio, Diane was warm, gracious, and maternal.
—Tom Martin, Ridgefield, Conn.

Behind the Music
After reading “The Choirboy” [by John Heilemann, May 30], I did something I rarely do. I read it again. My favorite English professor once said, “A truly good writer can write about horror beautifully.”
—Fred Hamit, Defiance, Ohio

I do not think that Lawrence Lessig’s motives were entirely pure. One thing that has bothered me about all the child-molestation cases is the fact that victims infrequently report it to their parents. If this event was so painful, why don’t they turn to a loved one at the time of the abuse? Many people are coming out decades later and claiming that they were grievously injured. I find it all hard to believe.
—David K. So, Caldwell, N.J.

“The Choirboy” was profoundly moving. It brought to light a monumental flaw in our own justice system that allows such institutions to be shielded from consequences after allowing the sexual abuse of children to happen on their premises. My heart aches for John Hardwicke and the struggles he continues to live with decades later. By going public with the case, Lawrence Lessig is teaching his son that actions always speak louder than words.
—Anderson John, Manhattan

Unlikely Duo
This week’s “Look Book” [by Amy Larocca, June 6] featuring real-estate broker Miriam Sirota is the best “Look Book” yet. Although it’s my favorite spread in the magazine, sometimes I’m disappointed by coverage of farty people from the Upper East Side. Thanks for featuring someone successful with a down-to-earth sense of humor—and a good point about waxing! Ms. Sirota can sell me a piece of real-estate any day.
—Alaina Paciulli, Brooklyn

Many thanks for providing my union shop with much hilarity thanks to last week’s “Look Book,” starring the Puma-wearing (I mean Armani) and all-around classy guy Bobby Vita, electrical contractor [by Amy Larocca, May 30]. We clearly are in very different unions. I wouldn’t like to be “caught from behind” by him, but if I see him in my Astoria neighborhood, I’ll be sure to call out, “Hey, honey, it’s Puma!” and then run away.
—Alice Bee, Astoria

Caffeinated Crusade
In Bushified America, it’s easy to understand how Starbucks could feel it doesn’t have to be any better a corporate citizen than it already is [“Baristas of the World, Unite!,” by Anya Kamenetz, May 30]. God bless Daniel Gross for trying to force them to do so anyway. Can anyone say “Don Quixote”?
—Dale Davis, Jersey City, N.J.

The courage of those working to unionize Starbucks is to be applauded. But while repetitive-stress injuries, anti-union practices, understaffed shifts, a substandard wage, and the other issues highlighted by Gross are serious in their own right, his comparing it to slavery neglects the total brutality of the latter institution.
—Gabrielle Prisco, Staten Island

Baristas of the world, grow up! I have been a Starbucks barista in New York City for more than two years. For my average of twenty hours a week, Starbucks gives me the same health insurance I received when I made six figures working as a computer programmer. The pro-union baristas are jeopardizing my 2-year-old son’s health insurance. I’m not a history buff, but this particular revolution needs rethinking.
—Marni Goltsman, Manhattan

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June 13, 2005