February 12, 2007

Some Sin, Some Lose
David Gibson’s excellent article “The Cardinal’s Sins” [February 5] helped me understand the complex personality traits of Cardinal Edward Egan. Egan’s whole life can be summed up as “the good soldier just following orders.” Unfortunately for thousands of children abused by Catholic priests, this meant following the long-standing Church policy of moving predator priests from parish to parish instead of contacting law enforcement. As a result, many innocent lives were harmed beyond measure.
—David Cerulli, Manhattan

An item not mentioned about Cardinal Edward Egan was that while serving the Bridgeport diocese, he argued in court documents, in cases involving pedophile priests, that said priests were independent contractors and hence the diocese bore no responsibility for their actions. Arguably, this could be one of his “sins.”
—Conrad Rutkowski, Pomona, N.Y.

Thank you, David Gibson, for your fair assessment of the conditions in our archdiocese. That our priests think they will have nowhere to turn if falsely accused saddens me. If given the chance, we the laity will support and defend every priest of integrity.
—Penny Gonzeles ,Yorktown Heights, N.Y.

(Don’t) Save the Cheerleader
I’d like to point out George Bush’s role as cheerleader [“The Loneliest President,” February 5]. I was a cheerleader, and we were taught that no matter how bad things looked, the team—and the crowd—depended on us to keep their spirits up. The football score could be 49-0, and we were to keep cheering our boys on; it was our job. Unfortunately, Bush is still playing this role, the only difference being when the final whistle blows at a sporting event, the losing team is usually alive to play another day.
—Christine Lavin, Manhattan

Your cover article declares President Bush “the loneliest decider since Richard Nixon.” While “decider” is delightfully ironic, the word “loneliest” might be too kind. Bush is too disconnected from the people to experience the very social nature of loneliness. Nixon and LBJ were both lonely, and they finally “got it.”
—William L. Sharfman, Manhattan

It’s the New Guy’s Show
In the five-plus years since I retired from GE, I have answered every detailed question about the company with the happy words “I’m retired.” In Arianne Cohen’s interview with me [“Intelligencer: The Jack & Suzy Show,” February 5], this response about Jeff Zucker’s tenure at NBC was not appropriate and certainly subject to misinterpretation. In fact, I am a huge supporter of Jeff Zucker and have been for fifteen years. I wish him success as he continues to lead the network’s recent comeback.
—Jack Welch, Boston, Mass.

On the Record
I would like to elaborate on my quotation in Tim Murphy’s article “Generation W” [“Intelligencer,” February 5]. My longtime friend Arthur Schlesinger Jr. may not have worked on State of the Union laundry lists, but he contributed importantly to some of JFK’s best speeches, including his Yale commencement and his Amherst tribute to Robert Frost. The record should so state.
—Theodore C. Sorensen, Manhattan

Neighborhood Watch
Josh Lucas might start polishing his boots if he is going to kick Simon Hammerstein’s ass if the Box “turns into” a club [“Culture: What’s in the Box?,” by William Van Meter, February 5]. The Box is a club. Instead of searching the far reaches of Europe for “freaks,” he should look for local talent. He told me when he needed my family’s help with the community board to procure a license that he planned to feature local performers on weeknights and theater productions on the weekend. I hope he hasn’t bluffed those of us who hear the “Euro-disco thump” at one in the morning, don’t get to see the show, and can hardly make it into our apartments because of the endless stream of New York royalty.
—Lex Cohen, Manhattan

February 12, 2007