Political Coverage Demands BalanceIn the July 3 edition of...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

July 17, 1994

Political Coverage Demands Balance

In the July 3 edition of The Sun, I noticed an article about a recent candidate forum sponsored by one of the Democratic clubs in Howard County. The Sun apparently considered this event newsworthy, although only about 40 people attended, and most of these were either candidates or were directly involved in one of the candidate's campaigns.

I found this especially interesting because The Sun chose not to provide coverage to any of three Republican candidate forums held in February, April and June (although two of the three were covered by Patuxent Publishing). The three forums included candidates for the U.S. Senate, governor, General Assembly and Howard County state's attorney. Unlike the recent Democratic forum, all three events were well-attended, with the June 23 forum attracting about 135 interested voters, most of whom were not affiliated with any candidate.

These forums are intended as an opportunity for voters to ask questions directly and make their own judgments about the candidates. For voters who do not attend the event, news media coverage can help them be better informed when they enter the polling booth. However, by failing to cover well-attended events in Howard County where Republicans have significant political strength, The Sun risks losing its usefulness and credibility as an information broker. I suggest that during the remainder of this year's election cycle, The Sun provide more aggressive coverage to candidates from both parties.

Hans K. Meeder

Columbia

The writer is with the Howard County Republican Club.

Hill's Candidacy

As president of the Greater Baltimore chapter of Federally Employed Women Inc., I was both pleased and proud to learn that Ethel B. Hill is running for a seat in the House of Delegates.

I was pleased because I believe very strongly that Ethel will promote an agenda that includes women's rights and women's health issues. For as long as I have known her, she has been encouraging females of all ages from young school girls to senior women. Also, Ethel is not a single-issue candidate. She has a long-standing interest in education and has been active in issues involving education in Howard County. . . .

I was proud to learn of Ethel's candidacy because she was a member of the Greater Baltimore chapter of FEW until her recent retirement, contributing to the growth and vitality of the organization. Her employment history includes the position of federal women's program manager for the Social Security Administration. In that position, she was the administration's advocate for women employees and her duties included

counseling female employees in all facets of their lives. She did so with compassion and professionalism. . . .

Clara Barrett Powell

Columbia

The World's Caving In

When you look at the world around us, sometimes it feels like it's all caving in on us.

The problems are huge and they often strike close to home. Homelessness, AIDS, drugs, violence and divorce -- and teen-agers are often caught in the middle of it all.

Children are forced to make major decisions at an earlier age than ever before. Which parent should I live with? Should I carry a gun to protect myself from gang violence? Should I try crack like the rest of my friends? I ate too much, maybe I should vomit so I don't get fat. He says he doesn't like wearing a condom, should I make him?

When I was a teen-ager, not so long ago, my biggest decisions were who should I go out with or should I try marijuana? I thought my decisions were tough. . . .

Who can today's teen-ager turn to? . . . The teen-ager has to look to adults, yet he sees the way we have so thoroughly screwed up this world.

The streets are full of homeless people, drug addicts and the deranged. We pollute the waters and air. We run up the country's debt. We honor sports stars with extravagant salaries. We glamorize drugs and violence in our movies. We cheat, steal and lie on a daily basis. Then we go to church on Sunday and praise the Lord. Is this who you would turn to for advice? No wonder our youth are looking toward drugs to alleviate the pain.

No longer can we bail out at the first sign of trouble in our marriages. No longer can we tolerate low moral standards in our teachers, preachers and community leaders. We need to turn off the television and talk to each other.

We need to tell Congress we no longer want to subsidize one-parent families (welfare), and two working parents (tax credits.) What we subsidize we get more of.

Let's subsidize the family unit (wife, husband and child). Let's subsidize housewives who make mothering their career. We need to make it easier to be a family and to take care of our children and the elderly.

Let's tell Hollywood that we don't want the crap it's making. We don't need any more Al Bundys and Roseannes. We don't need New Jack City and Snoop Doggy Dogg.

I am not advocating censorship. I am advocating consumer advocacy. If you don't like what you see, turn it off. If enough do that, we will have programming we can be proud of.

We don't need Rush Limbaugh. Who needs all this negativity? Whatever happened to standing behind your president? We constantly raise up new heroes just so we can knock them down.

The Bible says we are to avoid gossip. To me, this includes when you agree with what the gossiper is saying.

As for the teen-ager, look to your heart. Maybe you can do better with the world than we did. . . .

Mark L. Spangler

Ellicott City

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