What Knowledge?In The Sun of May 15, a letter from Michael...


May 23, 1994

What Knowledge?

In The Sun of May 15, a letter from Michael Kernan, who identified himself as a former Washington Post reporter, asks why the press is "frothing at the mouth" to pick on President Clinton when it "protected" George Bush, Lyndon Johnson and John Kennedy by not printing articles about what "they knew" about those three and their interest in women.

1. If Mr. Kernan knew of such facts, why didn't he write about them?

2. Does he believe presidents should be protected?

3. Is he claiming that moral behavior in the White House in not subject to the standards of everyone else?

4. Was there ever legal action brought against the three by a lady? Should legal action by gagged?

It seems to me that the press should be complimented for bringing to light the latest woman's charge against Mr. Clinton because it is in court, and if the press deserves criticism it should be for hiding the truth about moral indiscretions by former presidents, if, that is, there was a legal case filed against them.

During the 20 years I wrote for the Baltimore News American, I cannot recall a court action being brought against Mr. Bush, Mr. Johnson or Mr. Kennedy by a woman who went to court to claim sexual impropriety.

Jerry Adler


'Gentle' Death

One of the media watchers at John Thanos' execution described his death as "gentle." Another noted it was "non-violent."

If Thanos had taken his victims, strapped them to a table and injected a life-ending substance into their system, I doubt those same words would have been used to describe the murder.

And now that Thanos is dead, will Maryland become over time a more humane place to live? Will its citizens behave less violently toward each other?

Will it be shown, particularly by execution advocates, how money not spent incarcerating Thanos over a life time will be used instead for a better good, such as educating children?

Hugh T. Skelton


No More Lies

Michael Kinsley (Opinion * Commentary, May 12) has done it again. His evaluations of the current dilemma in which our president finds himself, concerning possible extracurricular activities outside of marriage, leave much to be desired.

He notes that a couple of additional lies in Washington is a small price to pay for a saved liberal presidency. How can that be? My recollection of the campaign rhetoric and all since has been that this President is a "New Democrat."

When this latest charge initially came up, the White House response was that the president was never in that hotel. After it became obvious that schedules and witnesses could show that he was, the story changed.

Try as many journalists such as Mr. Kinsley may, they fail to understand that character and ethics do matter.

James Kouzes and Barry Posner, who wrote "Credibility," report that studies of the characteristics expected of leaders consistently rank integrity as number one.

If we cannot depend on the word of a leader, what difference does it make what he promises?

Mr. Kinsley may be content with a few more lies, but as for me, absolutely not.

D. J. Myers


Campaign Reform

When I read last week in The Sun that the speaker of the House of Delegates of Maryland had been treated to a real fund-raiser by the governor in the governor's home city of Baltimore, I first wondered why Baltimore was so interested in promoting a delegate from Allegany County.

After all, the speaker could be non-speaker next term when a new House of Delegates is elected. Furthermore, a delegate from Allegany County without apparent opposition does not need any more than gas money to keep in touch with voters and ask for their votes.

Continued reading of the article revealed that the speaker planned to use the funds to fund other delegates friendly to his candidacy in the forthcoming session of the General Assembly.

It is apparent that such an expenditure of campaign contributions without the consent of the contributors is simply collecting money under pretenses.

Therefore, I am suggesting that the state and federal tax laws be changed to tax as income all campaign contributions to a candidate that are not used in the candidate's campaign.

Furthermore, since the contributions to other candidates are apparently payments for support, they should be confiscated by the state as illegal contributions.

All illegal contributions should be confiscated by the state. If doubts arise, both the donor and recipient could be indicted and tried for violation of election laws.

Hopefully, some of our good government candidates for the General Assembly and Congress will introduce legislation to put these suggestions into law.

Emile Rutner

Takoma Park

History Lesson

In reference to the May 15 lead article in The Sun concerning skyrocketing gun sales, what did you expect?

A quick look at history shows people drinking during Prohibition, using narcotics while the country spends millions of dollars to prosecute them.

I see the gun ban, as passed by Congress, affecting people in two major ways not described in your story.

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