Bob couldn't hold Lester's microphoneRobert A. Erlandson...

the Forum

March 05, 1991

Bob couldn't hold Lester's microphone

Robert A. Erlandson (Other Voices, Feb. 25) goes to great lengths to mention that he has met the famous Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, Peter Arnett, these days better known as "Propaganda Pete." In building up to this great climax, Erlandson notes that popular WCBM radio talk shown host Lester Kinsolving "couldn't carry his [Arnett's] typewriter."

Apparently Erlandson failed to check into Kinsolving's credentials. As a fan who has become a friend, I know of some of Kinsolving's accomplishments. Kinsolving was nominated for Pulitzer Prizes by both the San Francisco Chronicle and its rival, the Examiner. His expose of the Rev. Jim Jones of the People's Temple six years before the death of more than 900 people in Guyana resulted in a plan by Jones to have Kinsolving murdered. An expose on a Nazi war criminal on the governing board of the National Council of Churches won Kinsolving an award from the National Committee to Bring Nazi War Criminals to Justice.

In addition to being a syndicated columnist accredited to the White House press corps for 15 years, Kinsolving is also a successful radio commentator. His commentaries have won him awards including the Associated Press Broadcaster's Award for Virginia's best radio editorial.

Lester Kinsolving is looking for someone to hold his microphone. Robert A. Erlandson is a good candidate.

Michael D. Kearney


Sen. Alan Simpson of Wyoming is correct: Peter Arnett and most of the left-wing U.S. media deserve all the criticism they are receiving.

Arnett is a textbook example of the flagrant left-wing media bias that is too evident today. He is not a journalist! He is a peace activist with a socialistic political agenda and is currently serving as a manure spreader for Saddam Hussein. Instead of being informed, we are seeing in Baghdad what Arnett and Hussein want us to see, half of which is probably staged with Arnett's help and direction.

The Sun and Evening Sun exhibit the typical thin-skinned media attitude that everything and everyone can be criticized except the media!! As usual, when attacked you media types resort to name calling, or scare words such as "censorship," "chilling effect" or that old favorite "McCarthyism."

Sorry, comrades, it's not going to wash anymore. You've used the old "Mc" word once to often. Arnett, like The Baltimore Sun, is trashing freedom of the press and is justly being condemned for it.

Thomas Silhan


Paying for relays

The state Public Service Commission recently submitted to the Maryland legislature a bill to recover the costs of a telephone relay service via a monthly surcharge of up to 45 cents for each telephone line. (A relay is a device similar to a teleprinter by which deaf people can communicate using the phone system. The Americans With Disabilities Act requires that the C&P Telephone Co. have a statewide relay system in operation by 1993.)

This charge becomes a "line item" charge which shows up on every Maryland telephone user's monthly bill as a separate charge, as opposed to an including it as part of the basic rate.

The commission and, of course, the C&P Telephone Co., have refused to consider a reasonable increase in the basic rate, which would be more cost-effective and more equitable. A researcher who conducted a study analyzing the various funding mechanisms concluded that the surcharge method contains the "potential for promoting a runaway spending mentality without regard to cost containment."

Under normal circumstances, when a new or improved service is introduced, traditional regulatory principles would dictate that the telephone company would recover related costs by increasing the base rate. Moreover, using a surcharge, as the Delaware Public Service Commission ruled in a 1990 proceeding, "seriously violates fundamental principles of traditional rate-making."

Let us hope the Maryland legislature was listening to the opinion of its neighboring state and will at least study the funding issue closely and choose an increase in the base rate as a way of paying for the service. How to fund the relay service should not be determined solely to suit the telephone company's financial interests.

Robert J. Mather


Competition needed

In reference to "Layoffs possible at Grumman" (The Sun, Feb 23): It is ludicrous that our federal representatives could even consider eliminating one of the two suppliers of naval aircraft, particularly at a time of war.

The present and future importance of proven naval aircraft has only been emphasized in Operation Desert Storm. We must give our fighting men and women the best equipment we can so that they can do their jobs with the least problems and the least loss of life. This can only come from a competitive marketplace.

David Heston

Glen Arm

A point about guns

It is interesting to note that while legislators are considering the enactment of a draconian law that would deny law-abiding citizens the right to own certain firearms, a group of criminals is robbing business establishments in Baltimore city and county, using weapons (sawed-off shotguns) that have been banned by the federal government for over 50 years.

This, I believe, gives more credence to the saying, "When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns."

J.J. Hess


For trivia buffs

A question for trivia buffs, history buffs, editors, political writers, (Witcover and Germond, take note), old-timers and those with long and good memories:

In any political election, during wartime, has an incumbent failed to get renominated and failed to get re-elected?

Louis J. Piasecki


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