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Views in brief

June 24, 2005 | Page 12

OTHER VIEWS BELOW:
Visteon deal is positive
Are Americans conservative?
Family Guy isn't funny

U.S. media ignores truth

CAUGHT WITH their pants down by the international press, the corporate-controlled U.S. media is unifying around a common defense of their refusal to report on the Downing Street Memo.

The party line was first voiced by CNN, which argued a week ago that the memo simply says war is inevitable--something the domestic press had repeatedly talked about at the time. On June 14, Todd Purdam of the New York Times took the same tack, as did David Sanger (also of the New York Times) and Michael Kinsley (editorial and opinions editor of the Los Angeles Times) the following day. Kinsley's op-ed is titled, "Downing Street Memo is a Big Fat Dud."

The point of the memo, of course, is quite different. It documents a deliberate effort to fix "the intelligence and the facts" in order to manipulate the public into accepting large-scale, unjustified murder.

Having once told the American public that the Bush administration would like to invade Iraq does not absolve our supposedly independent media from their duty to report that the president was dissembling in order to make it happen.
Abbott Ikeler, Cumberland, R.I.

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Visteon deal is positive

I HAVE never read a story so poorly researched in my life ("Ford-Visteon deal marks new defeat for UAW," June 10). There is very little truth in it at all.

Not only will we remain Ford employees (the majority of us are not Visteon employees) but the lower-paid Visteon workers will become Ford employees and double their wages and benefits when this deal passes. We will remain on the Ford payroll with full benefits when a plant is sold. We have the option to transfer to Ford facilities as positions become available if we so desire.

The United Auto Workers did not suffer a defeat, nor did they give any concessions. The contract was not renegotiated. Contracts are negotiated yearly with health care providers. When they raise their prices some of the cost is reflected in co-pays. We can stay with that company or move on to another.

We have many choices. Get your story straight before publishing an article.
Kathy Freeman, UAW/VOS Coordinator, from the Internet

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Are Americans conservative?

CARL DAVIDSON justifies shifting to the right by saying "most of the folks we have to win to oppose the war...are to the center and right of where the antiwar movement is" ("Are the Democrats our allies?" May 13). His attitude reveals one of the ugly truths of U.S. political culture: While conservative complaints about liberal "elitism" are hypocritical, they are also substantially correct.

Conservatives have never wavered in their belief that they can win "ordinary Americans" (whoever they are) to their point of view. For decades, conservatives have organized in churches and through mass mailings; they have held rallies and even engaged in direct action (e.g., Operation Rescue's blockading of abortion clinics). Their tireless dedication to grassroots organizing has paid off handsomely; the spectrum of "mainstream" opinion in the U.S. today is narrower and more skewed to the right than at any other time since the 1950s.

While conservatives have been fortifying their base, liberals have all but abandoned their commitment to building resistance from below. Apparently, liberals have decided that most "folks" are just too stupid, lazy and/or reactionary ever to be won over to radical politics.

As a result of this elitist attitude, liberals have increasing relied on backing "friendly" Democrats, while trying to sideline issues like gay marriage, which they feel red-state "rubes" are too dumb and hated-filled to support.

I am sorry to see that liberals, not radicals, presently dominate the antiwar movement. Were that not the case, the antiwar movement would be much stronger.
Dennis Fritz, Laredo, Texas

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Family Guy isn't funny

I WAS appalled to read that Sharon Smith had a favorable review of Fox's The Family Guy ("Just your ordinary all-American family," June 10). This has been a longstanding disagreement with my spouse, who also thinks the show is a slice of satirical heaven.

One episode they couldn't air before the show was canceled the first time (but can now be seen regularly on cable), "When You Wish Upon a Weinstein," is racist, pure and simple. It is a prism though which every single episode can be seen. You cannot tell if we're supposed to be skewering racism against Jews or laughing and agreeing they sure are a peculiar, money-grubbing bunch.

Despite the opening number on the show, which Smith describes, it's unclear what The Family Guy is saying or why. No line is consciously drawn for the audience as to whether this humor should be taken as left or right wing, which if there was, I would see and agree with everything that Smith says.

It "pokes fun at everyone" as if we're all on the same playing field--when all of us don't deserve to be poked fun at, and I feel it uses the working class to mock the working class. Praise of The Family Guy has no business in our paper.
Amanda Maystead, San Francisco

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