April 30, 2007

Talk Back
Jonathan Coleman’s “The Last Don” was wonderful [“Intelligencer,” April 23]. Smart. Insightful. Empathetic. It made me sad, but it was a great read. Let’s hope Imus can return someday soon. If you can ignore the stupid locker-room shtick, he was the best interviewer in the media. No one speaks truth to power as he does.
Sandy McClure, Orchard Lake, Mich.

“The Last Don” left a bad taste in my mouth. While I have never been a fan of Don Imus’s and never listened to his radio show or followed his career, I feel a certain resentment that he is being penalized so harshly for his “inappropriate comments.” From what I do know of Imus, this is only one of thousands of such comments he has made on-air against one group of people. Unfortunately—or fortunately, depending on how you feel about him—not everyone has a Reverend Al Sharpton to stage protests and attract media attention. It nauseates me to think of the power we give people like Imus and Sharpton. To me, they are both self-promoting egotists who will do whatever it takes for their own gain.
Cristina Tiliakos, Ozone Park, N.Y.

Is it possible that Jonathan Coleman missed the point of Don Imus’s asking, “Where are you, baby?” during one of his final radio shows? Imus had just asked one of his news people if there had been any “famous” people who might have been involved in an auto accident and therefore unable to call in and support him during this difficult time. He referred to Harold Ford Jr. The following morning, on radio only (having already been fired by MSNBC), Imus said that Ford’s not having contacted him was despicable, especially as Imus had received death threats as a result of supporting Ford in his unsuccessful bid for a U.S. Senate seat in Tennessee.
Arlyne Ettinger, Mt. Tremper, N.Y.

It Takes One Kidney
I read with great interest Charles Graeber’s “The Tainted Kidney” [April 16]. I donated a kidney to a stranger and agree with the decision to allow a murderer like Charles Cullen to be able to give a kidney to Ernie Peckham, his ex-girlfriend’s brother. Of course, one would prefer a kidney from a righteous person, but would it have been better for this person in need of a kidney to die? I have been contacted by many in need of a kidney as a result of articles written about me. So far, I haven’t been able to find a donor for most of them. Graeber’s story hit it right on the button by saying, “Almost everyone has two kidneys, and all you need is one.”
Chaya Lipschutz, Brooklyn

Hogs and Hedge Funds
Hedge funds are nothing more than carefully developed monopolies where a few elite players strategize ways to seize control of all real estate, utilities, and commodities worldwide [“The Running of the Hedgehogs,” by Duff McDonald, April 16]. That they have been able to reach such enormous sizes and manipulate the free market by controlling supply and demand without strict regulations is absurd. As our fiscal clock keeps ticking, I hope the Federal Reserve is waiting in the wings to “flood the system with money.” Otherwise, it’s just a matter of time before the American economy is sucked dry.
Lisa Chapman Karbowniczak, Kirkville, N.Y.

A Hip Lefty
I love Keith Olbermann’s show, not only because we share the same ideology but also because his newscast, much like The Daily Show, “presents the news in a funny and hip format” [“Limbaugh for Lefties,” by Stephen Rodrick, April 16]. I am even a fan of Olbermann’s MSNBC colleague Joe Scarborough, the former Republican congressman, for the same reason. I can get my news from anywhere, so style counts a great deal.
Steven M. Clayton, Ocean, N.J.

Correction: In “The Weekend Getaway Planner” (“Strategist: Spring Travel,” April 23), it should have been noted that as of this week, the Center for Photography at Woodstock’s Eikoh Hosoe workshop has room to register.

April 30, 2007