June 21, 2004

I’d like to thank Alexandra Polier for sharing her story [“The Education of Alexandra Polier,” June 7]. I remember being appalled when the rumor first came out. There were lengthy news articles about it with nearly unnoticeable disclaimers at the end. Once upon a time, in J-school, we had to check and double-check our sources. Then the editing desk did the same. What happened to that?
—Barbara Schepers, Kansas City, Mo.

In speaking out, Alexandra Polier has proved herself to be a scrupulous reporter and a great writer. If the event has completely changed her life, this story should change it again.
—Scott Miller, Houston, Texas

It is a shame that media ethics have fallen so low. I think Ms. Polier’s story needs to be heard and more penalties need to be levied against the irresponsibility of the media.
—Steve Anderson, Redford, MIch.

Miller’s Tale
Franklin Foer may be correct that the same talent that enabled Judith Miller to get her stories also caused her to get them wrong [“The Source of the Trouble,” June 7]. He should, however, have diverted some of the blame for the failure of the Times’ Iraq coverage to the editorial desks and, ultimately, to the top editors, who allowed Ms. Miller to avoid their red pencils.
—Miriam M. Reik, Manhattan

Judith Miller put her ego, hubris, and ambition above the interests of Times readers—and, ultimately, of the hundreds of U.S. servicemen and servicewomen and thousands of Iraqis who have been killed and maimed over the past year. Has she no sense of decency?
—Richard R. Newton, Birmingham, Ala.

The Producers
I thoroughly enjoyed Meryl Gordon’s article about me [“Assassin,” June 7]. I must, however, set the record straight on one matter. I am not the sole creator of Theater Talk, the television show I co-host on Thirteen. Susan Haskins, the producer and co-host, and Steve Ahern, our first director, were instrumental in developing the show from the beginning. Indeed, without them, Theater Talk would not exist. That aside, Ms. Gordon’s article was on target. I recognized myself throughout. Sadly.
—Michael Riedel, Manhattan

Ground Zero
It is a myth that the wives of 9/11 victims are rich [“The Dead Wives Club, or Char in Love,” by Steve Fishman, May 31]. The truth is they are anything but wealthy. Most are merely getting by, and many are still ensnared in the complex psychological web of the shocking event that took their spouses from them and their children. Helping these secondary victims of 9/11 is a real challenge for therapists and health-care professionals, who deal with the grief, anguish, and anger of these bereaved but undefeated families every day.
—Margie Miller, Outreach Coordinator, WTC Family Center, Rockville Centre, N.Y.

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June 21, 2004