Using 'public interest' as fallacious excuse to assail our...


September 25, 1998

Using 'public interest' as fallacious excuse to assail our 0) liberties

The release of the videotapes of President Clinton's testimony to the grand jury has me aghast. It is frightening to think of the damage that has been wreaked on our personal liberties by this media feeding frenzy.

A free society rises and falls on the ability of the citizens to identify the real issues and to distinguish the causes and effects of these issues. The past few years have brought an alarming increase in the loss of privacy under the fallacious guise of "in the public interest." If our society is to prevail, we need to recognize that "in the public interest" means protecting all of our rights to privacy.

This does not include displaying our country's dirty linen for all to see. Nor does it, in good conscience, permit the media to bombard us, and our children, with constant doses of sexually explicit and implicit material.

Our society will not rise or fall because of Bill Clinton's indiscretions. The true determination will be how we, as citizens, and how our representatives respond to the invasion of privacy that has occurred as a result of the inability by the president

(and others) to control their libido.

Sandra Kelman


Republicans tearing apart the fabric of our nation

I watched only moments of the tape with anguish. This must be the darkest day of United States history. It is surely the smarmiest, most degrading day in our history.

To expose our president to this kind of abuse is mind-boggling. To expose any man or woman to this kind of abuse is just too awful to even consider. What the Republicans are doing to the fabric of this country is too terrible to imagine. We may never recover from this venomous assault. I am sickened to think such hate lives in this nation.

Richard Everett Upton


We say goodbye to probe, media keep saying hello

Kudos to David Zurawik for his column on the saturation coverage of the Clinton scandal ("Saturation coverage despite the polls," Sept. 19).

Finally, even though it's in the Today section, someone has articulated the ever-increasing annoyance I have with the way the media have been cramming not only "all the facts" but also telling me what I ought to be feeling.

MSNBC (all scandal, all the time) is over the top, not only with hour after hour of droning talking heads, but also with the constant attempt to make its point of view my point of view. And trying to make me feel guilty for not agreeing.

Well, the truth of the matter is that most of my friends and associates are tired of this. We don't need graphic details, and we don't need people telling us what to think. We're quite capable of thinking on our own.

If ever there was a more clear-cut example that a media elite exits, this is it. When the polls don't agree with their point of view, they play it down while banging their drums ever more loudly.

Some of us aren't voyeurs, needing pandering to by ratings-starved media.

John McGing


Starr, Congress members unlawfully distributed sex

Since 1996, a law has been in place to bar the use of government funds to distribute any material that is sexually explicit. That law was invoked in a federal appellate court ruling that the U.S. Bureau of Prisons may ban certain magazines.

As the Starr report is clearly sexually explicit material, Kenneth Starr has plainly violated federal law by using government funds to distribute that material. Further, members of Congress who voted to distribute the material via the Internet have also directly contributed to and encouraged violation of the law.

Mr. Starr should be held accountable for his actions, prosecuted and disbarred. The members of Congress who voted to use government funds to distribute the sexually explicit material should be impeached.

It's unfortunate that in their zeal to get the president they overlooked their own actions.

Alexander Geist



President Clinton has certainly done something morally wrong, but Kenneth Starr and his henchmen have done a terrible disservice to children in our nation.

I think that all of the Republicans, and especially Mr. Starr, should be censured for allowing such smut to be aired.

Geraldine Cohen


Ordinary citizen would face speedy exit from the job

Another morning, another newspaper, another feeble attempt excuse the inexcusable ("Disgrace, little more, is placed before nation," Sept. 14).

Chief executive caught fornicating in the Oval Office? "An ordinary citizen," says The Sun, "would not be in criminal difficulty."

Not be in criminal difficulty? After sex with an intern, on the job, in the office, after lying to investigators and a federal prosecutor? The ordinary citizen would indeed be in criminal difficulty.

Certainly, any chief executive officer would have been chased into retirement by these revelations.

As for the military, the officers whose careers have been terminated in the past few years must be dumbstruck to find this misbehavior private when conducted by a president.

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