Tasini Waits for No Man

To the Editor:

Ben Smith does a great disservice to New Yorkers by completely ignoring the primary challenge to Hillary Clinton from Jonathan Tasini in his article, “In ’06 Election, Clinton Needs to Beat Chuck’s ’04” [April 3]. There’s a lot of time between now and September, and Mrs. Clinton is not very popular with the Democratic base.

I worked on Bill Clinton’s campaign and although I still enjoy listening to him (it provides great relief from the incoherent drivel we hear from the current inhabitant of the White House), I would not vote for his wife for anything. I heard a speech last week delivered by Mr. Tasini at Riverside Church. It was an absolute thrill to hear real ideals and actual ideas coming from a Democrat.

The calculating cowardice of Hillary is what many of us have come to hate about the Democratic Party. You can say that Mr. Tasini doesn’t have a chance against Hillary; that is fine. Ignoring him completely is not fine.

Tom Wallace

Roslindale, Mass.

Make Couric Anchor Already

To the Editor:

Re “Connie on Katie and ‘Gravitas’: ‘It’s a Chauvinistic Word’” [Rebecca Dana, NYTV, April 3]: Concern about the decline of the network evening news seems to have become something of a cottage industry these past few years. The questions of whether the evening newscast is going to last, what form it will take and who will anchor it seem to be more important than the actual content. This is unfortunate. Women, of course, would like to see a woman as an evening-news anchor. As Ms. Dana’s article points out, that has already happened.

The latest debate seems to be whether women have enough seriousness of mind and purpose to anchor an evening newscast successfully. Let’s get on with it: give Ms. Couric the reins at the CBS News anchor desk and we’ll soon find out whether or not she has the “gravitas” to do the job.

Paul Kellogg


Prince of Persia

To the Editor:

As an Iranian, I was saddened to read Ron Rosenbaum’s diatribe against Iran [“Intelligent People Need Some Pessimism About Iran and Bomb,” Edgy Enthusiast, March 27]. What kind of a mad world are we living in that Persians, the only people among the ancient peoples about whom the Old Testament has anything praiseworthy to say (according to Harold Bloom in his Omens of Millennium), are portrayed as anti-Semitic and genocidal—Persians, the same people who helped Jews rebuild their temple; the same people who sheltered Armenians fleeing the genocide perpetrated by the Ottomans; the same people whose country until recently sheltered 2.6 million refugees, the highest number of any country, according to the UNHCR. Meanwhile, the Europeans—the people who would allow Moses Mendelssohn to enter Berlin only at the Rosenthaler Tor, “the only gate in the city wall through which Jews (and cattle) were allowed to pass” (according to Amos Elon in The Pity of It All); the people who humiliated and ultimately massacred the Jews—are now considered the allies of the Jews. Are Jews suffering from the Stockholm Syndrome or what?

Neil Fazel


Ron Rosenbaum replies:

The letter writer misrepresents the subject of my column, which was not a diatribe against the Iranian people; it was about the specific genocidal threat from the current President of Iran to perpetrate the mass murder of the Jews of Israel, a genocidal threat condemned by every civilized nation. The letter writer’s failure to address this in his little history lecture is curious, to say the least.

Wailing Wallace

To the Editor:

Your March 27 editorial, “Mike Wallace: A Class Act,” magnificently describes the reasons that Americans have sustained and intensified a decades-long love affair with this outstanding gentleman: one of the brightest, most distinguished, talented and charming individuals ever to enter the news/journalism business.

Mr. Wallace’s accomplishments are all the more impressive and notable when one observes the sad state of television today. News has blurred the line with entertainment, and coverage of stories is increasingly based upon how to garner the greatest ratings through appealing to the lowest common denominator. The fact that Katie Couric can even be considered for a network anchor position denotes how far we have fallen from the glory days of journalistic giants.

We still have a few such giants, though, and Mike Wallace is at the top of the list. May he still be threatening to retire at the age of 100, and continue to bring us great television until then and beyond.

Oren M. Spiegler

Upper Saint Clair,