Witty ReviewerStephen Hunter's wit is a great asset to...


June 05, 1994

Witty Reviewer

Stephen Hunter's wit is a great asset to your paper.

One would hope that the editors realize this fact, but after reading the letter from Paul J. De Luca (May 20), it becomes necessary to rise to his defense.

Mr. De Luca blames him for thinking "that we are more interested in what he has to say, and how witty and stylish he is when saying it, than in finding out about the movie under review."

Well, if Mr. Hunter thinks that, he is right. I read all his reviews, even when I know that the picture is dreadful.

The movie may lack craftsmanship, but Mr. Hunter's reviews seldom do. I never find them "pompous, arrogant [or] over-blown." On the contrary, I find them clever, humane and humble -- or at least self-deprecating.

Mr. Hunter surely knows that he has a rare talent. But he is also aware of his middle-aged figure and receding hairline. He admits he's no hunk. (But then, neither is the average reader or the average movie-goer. We can empathize.)

Baltimore is extremely lucky to have a reviewer of the caliber of Stephen Hunter. Please treasure him (I do hope you pay him well), because we can't afford to lose him.

Priscilla Tweed


I feel that I must defend Stephen Hunter's movie reviews against the comments of Paul J. De Luca.

Where he finds his tone "denigrating," I feel that Hunter's remarks are insightful and informed, his opinions expert and trust-worthy.

Rather than "pompous, arrogant and over-blown," I find his writing style to be original and delightfully rollicking, his wit refreshing.

Moreover, the films which Hunter "denigrates" are 100 percent deserving of it ("You So Crazy"), while the "handful of films he has reviewed favorably" turn out to be the consistent Oscar winners ("Schindler's List").

For this movie-goer, Hunter is right on the mark, every time.

Jaye Dansicker


Papal Wisdom

Pope John Paul's latest letter, "On Reserving Priestly Ordination to Men Alone," while painful in the extreme to Christian women and men, dare not dismay us for long.


Simply because John Paul's words are unjust. They will not stand.

Frederick C. Ruof


Money Bill

I wish to commend Representatives Roscoe Bartlett and Wayne Gilchrest, both R-Md., for their May 12 vote for an amendment to the Economic Development Administration reauthorization bill.

The amendment, had it been adopted, would have eliminated a scandal-ridden, pork-laden creation of Lyndon Johnson's Great Society. Presidents Reagan and Bush had sought its elimination.

President Clinton, however, is seeking to increase funding. As the bill now stands, it will cost the taxpayers another $1.1 billion over the next three years.

Supporters of the program contend that this government-sponsored attempt to create private sector jobs is needed in areas harmed by military base closings.

The amendment's sponsor, Rep. Joel Hefley, R-Col., pointed out, however, that in one good month the U.S. economy will create, all by itself, more long-term jobs than the EDA has created in its 28-year history.

Where were Representatives Bentley, Cardin, Hoyer, Mfume, Morella and Wynn when $1.1 billion tax dollars were to be saved?

Charles R. Serio


Clever Response

Mary Thrasber wrote a clever May 30 response to my letter about GTE Airfone's billing practices, but she avoided the issue.

It appeared to me (and was confirmed by my credit card company) that GTE Airfone begins to charge customers not when the person being called picks up the phone but when the caller takes the phone off the hook and begins dialing.

If it takes 11 seconds to dial, make the connection and ring a few times before someone picks up, and the conversation lasts 50 seconds, that's 1:01 total, or two minutes GTE time.

That's how they get those extra minutes, turning a 50-second call into a two-minute call, at $2.50 a minute

Elliott M. Simons


Mideast Bias

The unbalanced reporting of Doug Struck, your Mideast correspondent, should be a source of shame to your newspaper. You continue to publish his articles, which are so biased against Israel that no right-minded person could characterize them as maintaining even a pretense of objectivity.

A recent example appeared in The Sun May 30, when he reported on the controversy about the possible visit of Yasser Arafat to Jerusalem.

In the course of his article he said, "Jerusalem was physically divided between Arabs and Jews until 1967, when Israel evicted Jordanian troops from East Jerusalem during the Six Day War."

This is intended to subtly convey the impression that Israel is the aggressor and the occupier.

Mr. Struck does not inform the reader that the physical division of Jerusalem lasted a mere 19 years. It began in 1948 when the Arabs rejected the United Nations' plan for partitioning Palestine, which included the internationalization of Jerusalem.

The Arabs attacked and conquered East Jerusalem, including the Old City, thus ending a Jewish presence that had lasted since Biblical times. During the Jordanian occupation, Jewish holy sites were desecrated and Jews were denied access to the Western Wall and other venerated places.

Since 1967 the city has been united under Israeli control, and full freedom of worship is afforded to those of all religions.

Is it too much to ask for Mr. Struck to give us a balanced picture once in a while?

Searle E. Mitnick


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