Forum, Aug. 5: ‘Washington Post,’ Pro and Con

Friday, August 04, 2017
Way Too Much ‘Washington ‘Post’

 It is apparent “Left-Wing Post Bias” is affecting the Valley News. So much so that other readers have begun to notice. The Post’s articles are consistently rife with unverified sources; op-eds are often misleading.

Tim Dreisbach’s letters are on the mark.

My belief is that the responsibility of the editors and staff lies within journalistic integrity. To wit: verified and unbiased reporting. That being said, a more local and regional focus would be sincerely appreciated.

Joe Alvin

White River Junction

Wonderful ‘Post’ Stories

I hope the Valley News will not worry about the “too-much-Washington-Post” letters. It’s important to distinguish the various sections of the newspaper. Regarding news stories, it’s necessary for local newspapers that aspire to cover national and world events to subscribe to one or more news services — The New York Times, The Washington Post, AP and others. The Post is one of the best. I think it is wonderful that the Valley News is determined to be more than a local newspaper.

Regarding editorials, the owners of the paper and those charged with filling the space for editorials get to say pretty much whatever they want. If many Valley News editorials are from The Washington Post, it can only mean that the editorial boards of the two papers must agree on a great deal. Whether that pleases or displeases, that’s the way it is. I most often disagree with Wall Street Journal editorials, but that does not stop me from reading their generally excellent news coverage.

As for the rest of the paper — the letters to the editor in the Forum, the op-ed pieces and columnists — these are the sections where diverse and sometimes opposing views are normally presented, and I think the Valley News does a good job at it. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be writing this letter.

It’s possible that underlying the complaints is a politically-inspired dislike of The Washington Post. A recent writer complained that the Valley News was running too many Post stories about “pratfalls of the current administration.” One must wish the covered events were indeed mere pratfalls. But the unfortunate truth is that these events relate powerfully to matters such as the integrity of our electoral processes, our standing in the world, the prospects for war or peace, the moral character of those now in charge, and the viability of the administration itself. And in these areas, The Washington Post is highly credible and, in the view of many, the leading newspaper in the country.

Gus Speth


Don’t Judge ‘Kiss Me Kate’ Harshly

Oh, my, Nicola Smith, shame on you for your begrudgingly positive review of Opera North’s production of Cole Porter’s Kiss Me, Kate.

Fortunately, you have recognized the superb presentation of the show in Lebanon; it’s unlikely that one will ever see this musical done more beautifully. But why descend into worrying about the male-female attitudes expressed in the show? Admittedly, they are primitive compared to those of today; remember, however, that the piece was written in 1948. Instead, why not simply celebrate Porter’s musicality and wit, which stand in striking contrast to present-day offerings such as, for example, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton

Because musicals have deteriorated in all respects from the work of the greats — Jerome Kern, Irving Berlin, Rogers and Hammerstein, Leonard Bernstein, Lerner and Loewe — it’s a pleasure to be treated to an excellent revival of something like Porter’s Kiss Me, Kate.  

Harte Crow


Ethical Food Choices

Eons ago, humans domesticated wild animals to use for food, clothing, transportation, etc. Apparently, today in most advanced cultures, through technology, we have achieved enough food security for most people that we can now regard domesticated animals as pets — not to be “exploited.” How fortunate we are.

However, for everyone who wants to continue to eat, I recommend that we educate ourselves on how we get the food that we choose to eat. First, if you choose to be a vegetarian, how do you get those vegetables in a climate that has limited growing cycles? If you are a vegetarian, do you eat dairy products and eggs? If so, that requires cows and chickens. If you eat neither, research a culture, such as Hinduism, which reveres cows, to see how they deal with the issue of taking care of these animals. If we promote the idea that domesticated animals be considered and treated like pets, what additional pressure does that mean for our environment to meet their needs?

My hope is that if we truly know what is involved in producing the food that we all need and want, we will truly appreciate it — never  waste it, never take it for granted, never overindulge.

Long ago, my personal ethic became: Be truly grateful, use sparingly, never waste. Just my humble opinion.

Janet Eller


The Refugees We Create

We hear considerable speechifying these days about “immigration reform,” Trump style. However, little distinction is made between the immigrant and the refugee. The latter is not merely moving from one country to another but is seeking refuge from intolerable conditions.

Sadly, the United States has in recent years played a key role in creating such a state of affairs. One example out of many: our collaboration with Saudi Arabia in the holocaust perpetrated on the people of Yemen. To the extent that we may call ourselves civilized, the least we can do is to provide surcease and safety for those whose lives have been destroyed by our actions.

Robert Belenky