Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

February 04, 2005

Media ruling protects choice and diversity

The Justice Department's decision not to appeal the lower court ruling on media deregulation can be seen as a remarkable victory for consumers ("FCC won't appeal media deregulation ruling," Jan. 28).

The Federal Communications Commission and its departing chairman, Michael K. Powell, apparently feel that profits are more important than the public good and our constitutional right to access unbiased news and entertainment.

Despite overwhelming consumer opposition, the FCC decided to ease restrictions on media ownership.

But the airwaves belong to the public. And it is in the public interest to have a broad diversity of independent thought and opinion. However, mergers have resulted in fewer independent news sources and a loss of diversity in opinion and perspective.

Mainstream networks, cable channels and the Internet offer variety but not much diversity. Most news sources already present the same news items day after day - and much of this material seems to be sensational in nature, designed mainly to boost ratings.

Other programming has become dumb, formulaic and lacking in creativity.

Americans deserve factual, independent, thoughtful news and programming that provides substantial information and advocacy.

Commercial interests seem to put profits ahead of journalism. Relaxed regulations in other areas (cable TV, phone service) have hurt the consumer, and it is not in our interest to allow something similar to happen to our papers and TV and radio stations.

These public resources are too important to be left to giant media corporations whose priority is money and power rather than an informed public.

Charles Meyers

Parkville

Marriage debate obscures real woes

Two Johns Hopkins University students were murdered in the past year.

Murder occurs in the streets of Baltimore almost daily.

Homeless people are freezing to death.

The Beltway is choked with traffic.

And we have politicians worrying about gay marriages ("Religious houses stand divided on gay marriage debate," Jan. 30)?

The politicians I voted for had better concentrate on the real problems.

David Heston

Glen Arm

Plight of homeless too often ignored

Janet Merritt, along with many other homeless people, should never have to live outside or go without adequate food or clothing ("Counting those left out in the cold," Jan. 31).

It is cold out right now. But regardless of the season, homeless people have been ignored, and their plight is often trivialized by the unknowing.

I read and hear about the billions of dollars being spent on the war in Iraq, yet we have people right here at home living in poverty and being forced to get by on nothing.

The plight of the people in Iraq is sad, to say the least. But in my opinion, it is no worse than that of the men, women and children suffering right here in front of our faces.

Homeless people are just that, people, and the fact is that many of them need help - help that they are not receiving.

Murphy Edward Smith

Baltimore

Praise for Iraq's vote mired in critical tone

In the editorial "The hope and the trap" (Jan. 31), The Sun remarks, "With no little courage, the Iraqi people showed their determination to take affairs into their own hands."

I think The Sun was trying to say something positive. However, true to form, given its propensity to accent the negative on such matters, The Sun couldn't help phrasing the comment negatively.

Chances are that The Sun never thought to say, "With great courage, the Iraqi people showed ... "

What a shame that The Sun cannot even find the words to phrase a positive piece of news in a positive way.

That failure costs The Sun readers and credibility.

James M. Bolton

Parkville

Respond in kind to governor's edict

I think Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. is absolutely in the wrong in his ban against two Sun reporters ("Judge seeks more information on Ehrlich's ban of 2 journalists," Jan. 29). Having said that, I am a little impatient with the litigation to resolve this issue.

I have a law degree and numerous relatives who are attorneys. I have nothing against litigation per se.

But I think this issue falls between the cracks in our Constitution.

And I think The Sun fails to recognize the symbiotic relationship of politician and press, particularly here.

What The Sun should do is refuse to cover this administration as long as it persists with this tactic, and ask fellow members of the press to join this approach in recognition of the fact that what the governor does today to The Sun can be done to other members of the media in the future.

After all, the governor has no constitutional right to The Sun's coverage.

Erin Gilland Roby

Ellicott City

Time for reparations has come and gone

In her column "Healing the divide" (Opinion

Commentary, Feb. 1), Taunya Lovell Banks argues that "racial reconciliation" is the missing component to the argument for reparations. But what Ms. Banks has really done is show us a new whip for the proverbial dead horse.

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