Letters to the Editor

From the week of May 23, 2002

It's a shame that those who felt that Jensen's "facts were not accurate" didn't simply write their own articles in which, presumably, they could easily have exposed his mistakes. It's an even bigger shame that when they went behind Jensen's back to try to get him fired, Rocky Mountain News publisher John Temple apparently didn't have the guts and integrity to tell them to do so. Instead, feeble protestations to the contrary notwithstanding, it's obvious that Temple bowed to pressure and forced or enticed Jensen into "resigning." As a result, Denver has lost its best local writer by far on international affairs. Will the News fill his post with the print version of Scott Redmond? (Chuck Green, maybe?)

The only reason I'm asking Westword to withhold my name from this letter is that given these current intolerant trends, I don't want my wife and child to pay for me expressing my personal opinions. I don't want to be given hateful labels by people who don't know the slightest thing about me. (Don't you dare call me an anti-Semite: My grandfather nearly died in a Nazi prison camp after helping Jewish families escape from occupied territory in World War II.) If you disagree with my opinions, don't be a cowardly bully: Don't egg my house, scream at me, frighten my family or complain to my boss. Instead, have the courage of your convictions, use our hard-earned freedoms, and write your own damned letter to Westword.

Name withheld on request

No freedom of the press: Thank you for printing more information on what happened to Mr. Holger Jensen of the Rocky Mountain News. Being a Tibetan refugee and growing up in Kathmandu, Nepal, I always like news of the world instead of the sports and gossip found in the Denver papers. Coming from oppression, I can understand the oppression of the Palestinian people and why they had suicide bombers to fight against the American F-16, tanks and missiles. It is sad that on both sides, innocent people were killed.

I thought in America you had freedom of the press, but in reality you do not, for powerful forces control the press, radio and TV.

It is sad that the American people cannot hear both sides of an issue, but the news is very biased. In Nepal, the Mao communists are really the good guys, as they will get rid of the evil government. Never mind that no tourists come and the economy is very bad and people are starving. In China, they took over Tibet in 1959, and the Tibetans are shown as happy with their new rulers. Never mind those who risk death to escape over the Himalayan mountains at 17,000 feet in the cold, in tennis shoes, and the many who freeze and die; the Chinese government is our friend and can do no wrong. Mr. Bush and Mr. Clinton talked of human rights, but the message was lost in a glass of Scotch.

Yes, I will miss Holger Jensen and his objectivity on events in the Middle East, but I'm more concerned by the lack of freedom of the press in the Denver newspapers. I am most sorry that the editor, John Temple, compromised his integrity and dismissed Mr. Jensen. A sad day for objective news in Denver and the U.S.A.

Palden Yangtso Hester

Animal Planet

The sorrow and the PETA: After reading Heather Moore's letter in the May 9 Westword, which was filled with PETA rhetoric and her idealistic viewpoint regarding animals, I was left with a nagging question: What planet is she from? I thought about it for a while and then it hit me. The Disney planet!

Maybe she could catch an intergalactic taxicab home. Maybe Barney and Mickey and Goofy could ride along. They could sing songs...

Jeff Brabenec

The Sound of Muzak

Name that tune! Robin Chotzinoff talked about one of my favorite subjects in her May 9 "Muzak to My Ears." I can still vividly remember being in the Loveland Safeway about eleven years ago and hearing "Wild, Wild Life," by the Talking Heads, followed by a wonderful rendition of "Superstition," by Stevie Wonder (missing the classic synth-bass intro, of course -- wouldn't want to get a shopper's blood moving). I almost waited to see if they'd co-opted Elvis Costello's "Radio, Radio," too.

That was then; it is nice to be able hear real live tunes now. Just last week in King Soopers, I heard "I know what happens/I read the book/I believe I just got the goodbye look..." (Donald Fagen writes the best songs based on upcoming violent deaths.) While a catchy tune, I wonder if anyone actually listens to the lyrics.

And just yesterday, shopping with my wife and daughter at the Gap, I was amazed at how loud and how indistinctively bad the background music was -- although not as bad as the fake French pop at the Limited Express (which has probably shortened my teeth by almost an eighth of an inch because of the gnashing and grinding it caused). It was refreshing to end up at the Great Harvest bread store and hear "Wang Dang Doodle" being belted out by Koko Taylor. (My wife and I had just finished discussing how bad the music we had to listen to at the stores had been.) I couldn't remember who did the song, so I asked. I was hoping it was a collection to prime people for the upcoming Blues & Bones Festival, but no. They got the CD sampler corporate sends to play there and let me see it: good collection, wish I had it.

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