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Letters to the Editor

From the week of July 3, 2003

Ticket to Pride

Hair today, gone tomorrow:Regarding Kenny Be's artful malice in his June 19 Worst-Case Scenario,"The Straight Person's Guide to Gay Pride":

Kenny Be and I have never met, yet the man has savaged me twice now. It's only a cartoon; does he have to portray my receding hairline so precisely?

State representative Shawn Mitchell
Broomfield

If the shoe fits:Kenny Be, your unflattering, mean-spirited and slanderous depiction of me in the June 19 Worst-Case Scenario again shows your ignorance and vulgarity. You have drawn me in a tight woman's dress wearing a pearl necklace, large hoop earring and high-heeled shoes.

I would never wear hoop earrings with a pearl necklace. I only wear understated pearl earrings with such a necklace. And I never have, and never will, wear white pumps with my little black dress, as you have drawn. Shoes make the outfit.

You know nothing about cross-dressing. Pick up a fashion magazine every now and then.

P.S. I am not fat, damn it. I'm big-boned.

Jon Caldara, president
The Independence Institute


The Grapes of Wrath

Playing right field:Regarding Michael Roberts's "Public Row," in the June 26 issue:

It tastes like sour grapes. But it smells like liberal spin. Since far-left mouthpiece - and oh, yeah, lawyer -- Dani Newsum was canned for denigrating her KBDI Channel 12 Head On boss and ideological opposite John Andrews, the media's been struggling to stuff sixty pounds of excuses and righteous indignation into the forty-pound sack of reality. From the wholly objective Diane Carman and Dusty Saunders to the thoroughly neutral Newsum herself, lefties have been baying on cue about how "unfair" it is that she got the ol' heave-ho. Ignoring entirely the question of why this supposed professional believes she can spew crude, boorish insults at another actual professional and suffer no ill, the left-liberal media has thrown up a smoke screen (clever, you libbies!) to keep one of their own from looking like the flap-gummed fool conservatives have always known Newsum to be.

To the left-leaning media (e.g., Mssr. Roberts), the issue can't be allowed to become fellow traveler Newsum's loutish behavior, pathological inability to curb her big mouth and self-serving ass-covering. No, it's KBDI's having the huevos to sell air time to...a conservative! Isn't Channel 12 publicTV, after all? And isn't public TV a wholly owned subsidiary of the Democratic National Committee? Oh, the humanity!

Michael Roberts glosses over the fact that KBDI also sells airtime to lefties like dogmatic socialist sleep aid Aaron Harber. Apparently, it's only when conservatives dare to knock the shit off'n their heels in the pristine parlor of public TV that the issue of selling airtime suddenly seems so dirty. As for Ms. Newsum, she might want to consider a refresher course in reading contracts at the DU School of Law. She musta been out marching to save the baby grasshoppers the day they covered that.

JM Schell
Arvada

Playing left field:Michael Roberts's piece depicted a nauseating picture; even PBS, the people's airwaves, doesn't run on pixie dust. KBDI must sell its Berkeley-born soul to survive, even to GOP fat cats. Still, what burns my ass more is KBDI's bending over for Republican propaganda to paint and taint PBS, or the senator's Major Frank Burns move to tailor his opposition because Dani, pulling no punches, characterized Andrews as a "contemptible fraud and disgrace." If the shoe fits...

Brand me bitter, but admit the familiar role that color, class and gender play in these Archie Bunker-backlash times we're living in. Repressing a strong soul sister and replacing her with yet another Mary Poppins liberal yuppie who'd rather represent polar bears, the Everglades, prairie dogs and tall pygmies and, with misplaced missionary zeal, pathetically present moderate, watered-down arguments on behalf of people of color and blue-collared Americans.

Who sits at the big table is no accident. KBDI, taking the spineless Gumby position of backing the senator, illustrates conservative influence excluding a formidable foe from representation at the table. Media management supplies little balance, happily satisfying the lack of demand in the marketplace for progressive black thought that's critical of this American utopia. Without question, America's establishment has no critic more dogged than black folks, yet by eyeing the media landscape, who would know? Evidently, white America knows, and it enjoys the marginalization of constructive commentary in this arena while still demanding a pat on the back for tolerating moderates masquerading as liberals.

Afro-Americans reading the news is one thing, while Afro-Americans offering an opinion is...bitching.

Please, ol' great any white editor, permit me to tell it the way it really is; this conflict is greater than being unable to play together. Andrews applied Preparation H to his pain-ridden Republican ass. So, like a child exiting the principal's office or a maid leaving the presence of her boss, Dani was rudely reminded of her place -- and what money can buy.

Lesson learned: same crap, different decade. Black folks should be seldom seen and hardly heard.

Desi Cortez
Former KOA talk-show host

Are we having funds yet?John Andrews must be laughing up his sleeve at this one. As chief spokesman for the Libertarian wing of his party, there's all of the negative publicity Andrews could hope to gain, plus it involves publicly funded broadcasting, a favorite whipping boy of Libertarians. If Channel 12 becomes bold enough to cancel the contract with Andrews, imagine the fun he will have creating a firestorm, leading to the next hapless attempt to end federal support for public broadcasting.

The larger issue of an underfunded public broadcasting system is out in the open once again. A stronger and more independent public TV and radio system comes with a high price tag. Those of us inclined to cease supporting Channel 12 over this mess would be wise to remember that such inaction plays into the hands of those who despise public broadcasting. Though its detractors cannot zero out federal funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), the Andrews folly illustrates the "de-volution" of the system. Its decline started in 1981, when David Stockman, President Reagan's budget director, proposed to end all funding for CPB. That chilling threat resulted in federal cutbacks, forcing many in public broadcasting to take a more cautious approach to programming. The irony lies today in the fact that quite often the larger the budget of a public broadcasting station, the less likely it is able to take programming risks.

An examination of how CPB distributes its limited funding to qualified stations is long overdue. Under a convoluted formula, each CPB-qualified station receives a varying amount of money. The sum is partly based on how much non-federal money each station raises, the amount of which is then matched by CPB (one dollar for every five raised, or whatever percentage is used from year to year). Do the math, and you'll see that stations covering the most potential viewers and listeners (and subsequently, more local businesses to potentially underwrite programming) usually wind up with the largest chunk of change from Washington, with no questions asked about programming content. By examining Channel 12's need to rely on Andrews for some of its operating revenue, perhaps the tainted method of public funding for public broadcasting will be rectified and move the system closer to the original intent of the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967.

Pete Simon, jazz announcer/producer
KUVO/89.3-FM

Nights of the roundtable:In the interest of full disclosure, Michael Roberts should have identified Westwordeditor Patricia Calhoun as a member of Channel 12's Colorado Inside Out panel.

The so-called liberal press has played right into Karl Rove's hands, again. The Republican propaganda machine asserts that all liberals are interchangeable. The Republican strategy to weaken the Democratic Party through congressional redistricting worked in Colorado, with the help of John Andrews. Now Republicans need to control public opinion as the court challenge to this redistricting begins.

Who really makes a better "foil" for Andrews: Newsum or Susan Barnes-Gelt? Newsum is an attorney; Barnes-Gelt is not. Newsum, a former Democratic spokeswoman, worked with the Colorado Legislature and knows the redistricting issues. Susan Barnes-Gelt holds a non-partisan city position and has been not been involved with redistricting. Duh.

Joanne Marie Roll
Denver

Patricia Calhoun responds: Also in the interest of full disclosure, Michael Roberts's media column is under the supervision of anotherWestword editor -- which means that I have the pleasure of reading The Message for the first time after the paper comes off the press each week, and Roberts has the distinct pleasure of feeling free to ignore me. But Ms. Roll is right that the "Public Row" column should have noted my role as a panelist onColorado Inside Out -- the weekly Channel 12 show that, public row aside, continues to feature Dani Newsum as a panelist. And for the record, this week's cover boy, Congressman Tom Tancredo, was also a regular onCIO at one time.


Upbeats and Beatdowns

Vocal locals: Dave Herrera's The Beatdown, in the June 19 issue, was a nice article that made me wispy for the days of lore.

I was part of the local scene in Denver from 1989 until around 1996, when I moved to San Francisco. I was in the Nixons and then Grimace. Those were the days! I moved to SF for school and ended up starting a band with a bunch of Denver folks who live out here, and we sound just like the Fluid. Even have a tune named "Kulwikki," after Rikki! We are the subtractions (www.thesubtractions.com), and as a point of note, there is hardly a scene out here at all. A magic show would draw more people in this town than a good ol'-fashioned rock band!

Thanks for the memories, bro! Keep on fighting the good fight! We are listening!

Andy Menconi
San Francisco

Rock of ages:Oh, boy. Westword's hired yet another young, angry music crit who's going to set the city on fire with his opinion and stick it to the mainstream. Been there. Read that. Wrote that, even, many years ago.

"Ah, you know, some babies never learn." -- Dylan/Shepard, "Brownsville Girl"

Justin Mitchell
Louisville

Thumbs up: Just a note to tell you how impressed I am with Herrera's fabu column and writing style, his careful navigation through the loyal reader land mines to provide insightful prose, and a few teasing unanswered questions (like the band name that makes his mother flinch). He's all out there and up close.

Catherine Cross
via the Internet


Statue of Limitations

Dumb luck:Regarding Michael Paglia's "Dumb and Dumber," in the June 26 issue:

Thanks so much for the article on that awful Borofsky statue outside the Denver Center. It's just embarrassing. My son, who is nine, comments on how bad it is. Doesn't that say something?

We laugh when I do my impression of the (shockingly similar) Star Wars: The Phantom Menace characters: WELCOME TO CAMINO. But the difference is that those characters were better designed. Yeesh. Thanks to Michael Paglia for expressing clearly how bad this piece is. I hate it, too. And it just makes me sad when I think of the wonderful works that money could have purchased to truly make that area an enjoyable sculpture park.

Sigh.

Teresa Roberts Logan
Denver

Don't forget Art Garfunkel:God bless Tiny Tim and Michael Paglia.

Paglia should be knighted for his candor and honesty about the Denver art scene. His "Dumb and Dumber" was brilliant. We need the incoming mayor to make certain that people in charge of major art projects know the difference between Art Deco and Art Carney.

Thomas G. Turnquist
Lakewood


The Dark Side of the Moon

Soul on nice: John La Briola's review of Matthew Moon's XOM (Playlist, June 19) exposes him as one who is missing his soul.

He obviously is out of touch with the little details that mean so much to so many people. Maybe he should listen to the music without a callous disdain, which is no doubt a result of some deficiency in his past.

Hopefully, he can get over himself and learn to see the good things in life.

Peter Sidles
Greenwood Village

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