World Cup coverage showed Western bias against...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

July 09, 1998

World Cup coverage showed Western bias against Argentines

As an avid soccer fan, I have been most disappointed in the recent World Cup coverage. No wonder the Spanish-speaking network Univision attracts many who speak no Spanish.

The Sun's wire service story of the England vs. Argentina match was depressingly biased ("Agony for England," July 1). Granted, England has greater appeal to the American viewer. I only wish that American reporters were equally candid.

On Univision, it is out in the open: Commentators root for Latin American squads. Nonetheless, positive, accurate analysis is made about the opposing team, and "GOL!" is screeched, as in the last game, with each English goal. One feels absolute appreciation of the sport, regardless of alliance.

The Sun's article, written from an entirely English perspective, scattered with quotations from just the English team and coach, presents a lopsided picture. English fan hooliganism was airbrushed as "a core of unruly fans that occasionally dampened the entire tournament." (Just ask the French about that.) Never was it posited that the English players, too, were arrogant in attitude and committed highly offensive -- often uncalled -- fouls.

The graceful, often technically brilliant and valiant Argentine effort was left unmentioned.

Rachel Morgan Moran

Towson

'Historical' movies add to our ignorance of history

In his letter, Calvin Lampley criticizes Sun columnist Gregory Kane, presumably for the latter's objections to the racist stereotypes in the movie "Gone With the Wind" (" 'Gone With the Wind was fiction, not history,' " July 3). Because the original novel is "fiction and not history," Mr. Lampley apparently believes that the film's flagrant distortions are acceptable.

Oliver Stone's film "JFK" places Richard Nixon at the head of a conspiracy to assassinate President John Kennedy in Dallas in 1963. There is no truth to this notion, but a lot of people took it as gospel.

There is an appalling lack of knowledge of history in our country. We can't very well deal with our problems unless we understand how they came to be.

"Historical" movies that lie to today's viewers are making a serious problem even worse.

Thomas N. Longstreth

Baltimore

Blustery Teddy Roosevelt was No. 2 on San Juan Hill

A great article by Joseph R. L. Sterne about a psychologically mixed up Teddy Roosevelt, but we missed a solid reference to his commanding officer, Leonard Wood ("Up the hill, to the White House," July 1).

Wood was a physician who practiced in Washington after graduation from medical school at Harvard University. Apparently bored by life in the capital city, he signed on as a contract surgeon for service in the Army. His bravery and leadership, when he took over for a regular Army officer who was killed in battle, won him the Medal of Honor.

It was Leonard Wood who in 46 days recruited, equipped, trained and led troops overseas to success in battle as the famed Rough Riders, the unit in which Roosevelt was a boaster. Whether they won alone or with the help of other soldiers, whether it was Kettle Hill or San Juan Hill they stormed, Wood deserves the credit for his unit's overall performance -- Roosevelt was his second in command.

Later, and of more nearly permanent honor, in about 1908, Wood established the Reserve Medical Corps, the first unit of the U.S. Army Reserve, which has become so important in our nation's defense.

Wood had many more credits as an army general, including the establishment of peace in Cuba and in the Philippines. He became the only physician to serve fully as chief of staff of the U.S. Army (Benjamin Rush, another physician, may have held this position briefly in the very early days of our republic.)

After his benign brain tumor was removed early in this century, Wood was left with paralysis on one side. Undaunted, he continued to serve as a major figure in our government. He died after removal of the recurring tumor in 1928.

Mr. Sterne clearly showed Lieutenant Colonel Roosevelt, at best an inefficient battlefield commander at San Juan Hill, to be a self-important blowhard.

John B. De Hoff, M.D.

Cockeysville

Individual liberties include freedom not to recite pledge

"In any other country, it would be regarded as treason," states Grafton K. Gary on those unwilling to say the Pledge of Allegiance ("Saying Pledge of Allegiance a show of deserved respect," July 2) in his letter to the editor.

Nonsense, I say. It would only be regarded as treason in countries that are controlled by dictators or others with a fascist mentality.

Fortunately, we have a Bill of Rights that protects individual liberties. However, as much as anyone may desire it, we are not here to be jerked around like their puppets on a string.

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