Legislators should have donated tixMy heart goes out to...

the Forum

April 16, 1992

Legislators should have donated tix

My heart goes out to Sen. John A. Cade, the Anne Arundel Republican state senator. He justified his appearance at "legislative appreciation night" at Oriole Park by stating that: "After working hard for 90 days, we deserve a break."

I, too, think he deserves a break -- a permanent one from the state legislature! How about all of his constituents who work just as hard for a lot less money and a lot more days? What kind of "break" do they deserve?

Wouldn't it have been refreshing to have read about at least one of these so-called "representatives" who sacrificed his four free tickets so that a furloughed county employee or an unemployed father could have gone to the ballpark that night?

Dorothy Dowling

Ruxton

Hall on Clinton

The more I read Wiley Hall 3d, the more convinced I become he is possessed of a lunacy befitting those of the liberal persuasion.

On April 9, Mr. Hall opined that despite his history of immoral, unethical and illegal behavior, Bill Clinton doesn't have a credibility problem.

Mr. Clinton's difficulties are the result of dumb reporters who ask "irrelevant questions" about his peccadilloes. One supposes that the lingering effects of the Reagan legacy play some part in Mr. Clinton's growing disrepute.

And while apologizing for Mr. Clinton's documented deceptions, Mr. Hall alerts us to a real credibility problem:

"When President Bush made his famous slip about the date [of the attack on Pearl Harbor]," Mr. Hall wrote, "he was, in fact, lying."

Goodness! Such an insensitive accusation represents a quantum leap in logic, if Mr. Hall's reasoning can be called that. He blithely assumes that a stupid verbal mistake, in and of itself, constitutes a knowing and willing attempt to mislead the public.

In doing so, Mr. Hall denies Mr. Bush the right to be human and make an honest mistake, holding Mr. Bush to a higher standard than the man who would replace him.

Les Paradise

Middle River

Media hypocrisy

The media hold politicians, public figures, business leaders, social activists and many others accountable for their judgments, youthful and contemporaneous. But how or by whom are these same editors and publishers held to a similar standard?

The issue is not freedom of speech or even the right of privacy. It is about individual newspaper men and women being accountable for their decisions that do unnecessary harm without serving the public -- usually for reasons of money.

The First Amendment gives a newspaper the legal right to publish allegations about Arthur Ashe's intimate medical problems but the tragic pain imposed on the Ashe family, compared with the public's need to know, makes it a horrible judgment. Publishing anonymous rumors about President Bush's infidelities or pot-smoking by guests at Jerry Brown's residence is irresponsible and bad judgment for any thoughtful and principled media professional.

The media are too quick to sink to the lowest common denominator in a frenzied attempt to increase sales by pandering to the public's prurient interests. Simultaneously, these same editors and publishers are attacking public servants for failing to deal seriously with substantive issues. We need less hypocrisy and more accountability from the media.

Roger C. Kostmayer

Baltimore

Pomerleau's force: From stone age to jet age

I cannot accept as facts the opinions and assumptions of Gregory Kane in his writing (Other Voices, April 10) about Donald Pomerleau.

Prior to retiring in April 1987, I served 32 years in the Baltimore Police Department. In response to Mr. Kane's rhetorical question, I can shed some light on the state of the department for a period of at least 10 years prior to Mr. Pomerleau's tenure as commissioner.

In a word: deplorable!

Obviously, there were many competent and dedicated people whose efforts prevented total collapse, but they were impeded by the gross incompetence, ignorance and lack of integrity of many others who were secure in their purchased promotions and/or politically procured positions and assignments.

A study by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, possibly sparked by a series of articles written by investigative reporter Richard Levine and published by The Sun, led to a major shake-up and eventually to Mr. Pomerleau's appointment to police commissioner.

Changes? From Stone Age to Jet Age in a few years, from one of the worst to one of the most highly respected police departments among major American cities.

Many qualified blacks were recruited, hired, trained and promoted during those years and were groomed for positions they now hold or from which they retired.

The significance of the anniversary of Martin Luther King's death was not misinterpreted by Mr. Pomerleau, nor did he lack contact with the black community. Intelligence from many sources, including responsible members of the black community, indicated a possible outbreak of rioting and violence. To have ignored those straws in the wind would have been nothing less than dereliction.

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