Letters to the Editor

From the week of October 2, 2003

More telling, Bullard and Eicher failed to get their facts straight on several occasions. They lambasted the Post for misguided "parachute journalism" in regard to a story about Mississippi's reaction to Senator Trent Lott's foolish comments -- a story written by a native Southerner who had previously covered politics and civil rights in Mississippi. The duo questioned the Post's choices for staff-written obituaries without bothering to investigate whether those choices were truly as myopic as they alleged. They were not.

I, too, had dealings with Bullard. He e-mailed me in December regarding a three-day series that Miles Moffeit and I wrote about Qwest. I suspect he did so because months earlier, I had left him a message offering to answer any questions he had about my Qwest coverage, past and future. After Miles and I meticulously answered Bullard's many queries, disproving his assumptions, it became apparent that he was determined to find something, no matter how small, to criticize as inadequate in this series. He seized upon a single quote we had confirmed with numerous unnamed sources -- a single quote in a 300-inch series.

Funny that, if we journalists have such thin skin, we don't complain much, if at all, about the Rocky's other current and former media critics, Dave Kopel and Greg Dobbs. Could it be that they get their facts right and make an effort at balance?

Good luck in your day jobs, Joe and Diane. We'll miss your diatribes about the shocking placement of lingerie ads in the stock tables.

Kris Hudson

All the World's a Stage

Cheese whiz: Even though I agreed with Juliet Wittman about the Miners Alley one-acts being overly predictable melodrama with cheesy accents and lullaby-like songs ("Mixed Bag," September 4), I think there was an audience for it. Many people I talked to said they enjoyed the evening. I think that were it not for the acting, the play could have been much worse off. I think the duke, the sheriff, "Pyrite Pete" and the schoolteacher all did a very good job (as good as the script allowed) and certainly did not deserve the bad rap Wittman gave them. I just think those comments were misguided and vicious.

R.D. Zielinski

Conflict of interests: After reading the review of Suddenly Hope at the New Denver Civic Theatre ("Kvetch-22," September 11), I agree with reviewer Juliet Wittman that the play is an "oversimplification of both the Jewish and Palestinian realities." It is in the second half of the review that Ms. Wittman reveals her lack of knowledge (and possibly her personal prejudice) regarding the Israeli-Palestinian situation.

Her very casual references to 1) "the early Zionists ignoring the Arab presence altogether," 2) "thousands of displaced Palestinians" and 3) "uprooted olive trees" are dangerous assertions that have been irresponsibly taken out of context. With an understanding of neither the facts on the ground in the current conflict nor the history of the Israeli-Palestinian situation, Ms. Wittman's unfounded and incomplete insinuations will only serve to misguide your readers. (For an excellent account, may I recommend From Time Immemorial, by Joan Peters.)

In her careless reference to "Israeli rockets fired into densely populated areas," Ms. Wittman clearly demonstrates the extent of her confusion as to who is on the offensive and who the defensive in this conflict. It is the Palestinian terrorists who are deliberately seeking out "densely populated areas" and deliberately targeting Israeli civilians in detonating their "human bombs," not the other way around.

In concluding her review, Ms. Wittman has the audacity to describe what "shapes Israeli politics today" as "bullying self-righteous rage." Rage? Maybe...after all, more than 800 young Israeli soldiers and innocent civilians have tragically and senselessly lost their lives to the current terrorist war, while the injuries, leaving many innocent civilians crippled and maimed, now number over 5,000. As for "self-righteous bullying," although it is known that Israel has great military capacity, she has shown tremendous restraint in light of the dangerous, horrific situation that has been imposed upon her.

Addressing the topic of the Middle East is a challenge even for those who are most informed. I commend Ms. Wittman for making the attempt in her review of Suddenly Hope, but I do wish that she had taken the time to educate herself before voicing her ideas in such a public way.

Judy S. Kava

Juliet Wittman replies: Interesting that Judy S. Kava should talk about taking facts out of context, because that's precisely what she does in her letter. My review actually says: "The early Zionists either ignored the Arab presence altogether, terming the territory Œa land without people for the people without a land,' or, like Vladimir Jabotinsky, advocated an Iron Wall of repression. The noblest of the Zionists believed that Palestinians would welcome the civilizing Jewish presence." Every word of this -- in particular the quotation -- can be confirmed through historical record. During the years leading up to the creation of Israel, the Zionists at no time negotiated directly with the Arabs, but with the Ottoman Empire, the English, the French and the United Nations. Such negotiations may well have been futile, but they were not undertaken.

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