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December 1, 2010

Inbox — Dec. 1, 2010

Letters to the Editor

Palace Acoustics
In your lengthy article about the Louisville Palace (LEO Weekly, Nov. 17), you left out something important — a glaring omission. While it is no doubt historic, ornate and beautiful, the place has horrible acoustics! Louisville has several excellent theater format concert halls: the three theaters at the Kentucky Center, the Brown Theatre, Memorial Auditorium and others. All of our theater format venues except one were designed with live music performances in mind. The one exception is the Louisville Palace. It’s a movie theater. If you are in the front half of the floor or the front third of the balcony, you’re OK. But on the floor under the balcony and in the back part of the balcony, you’ve wasted your money: You’ve been ripped off.

Sadly, the way the place is constructed, there is nothing that can be done about this acoustic nightmare.
Robert Bottom, Louisville

Raise the Bar
In Joe Manning’s column “Posse Comitatus” (LEO Weekly, Nov. 3) about the rap group Insane Clown Posse, Joe says he “recently wrote about the need for a greater degree of respect in our public discourse.” Amazingly, this came at the end of a column where Joe calls ICP “the most breathtakingly ignorant crackers,” and their followers “dumbass fans.” He goes on to describe ICP as a polyp, accuses them of bastardizing the process of recording, and producing “shitty” music and violently overt stupidity. Wow! Maybe ICP really is that bad, but come on, Joe, try toning down the hypocrisy and raise your level of public discourse.
Frank Alverson, Louisville

Tell It Like It Is
Editorializing should not be permitted in news stories, as Jonathan Meador did with the comment “... life has thrown Chapook one shit-covered curveball after another” (LEO Weekly, “Soldier’s pay?” Nov. 10).

As a former editor and reporter, I have had my share of good and bad editing as well as committed my own errors in editing, but have never had an editor who would let this kind of editorializing pass. Some measure of journalistic impartiality should and must be observed, regardless of the political and/or personal feelings of the writer.

Although Chapook Dizayee’s circumstances are heartbreaking and evoke much sympathy and empathy, Meador’s scatological metaphor is not needed, especially in a news story. If the comment had been made by Chapook, a member of his family, an associate of his, or was part of an editorial, then my feelings about this would be much different. But, in order to jazz up a story that evoked enough emotion on its own merit, Meador and his editors let the comment pass.

Reporters (or staff writers, as Meador’s title appears in LEO’s masthead) must not inject their own feelings into stories. If reporters cannot do this, then it is up to the editors to stop and instruct them. In this regard, both Meador and his editors failed.
Marvin Lazaro, Auburndale

Snipe Hunt
Bob Hogan of New Albany, in his efforts in a Nov. 3 letter to point out “misleading concepts in the current political lexicon,” promotes the biggest one of all when he casually uses the term “liberal media.”

Allow me to introduce myself. I am the Kentucky-Southern Indiana field representative of the Committee for Countering the Liberal Media Myth (which actually consists of just me — that makes figuring payroll so much easier).

Why, when 75 percent of the nation’s newspapers in 1972 endorsed Richard Nixon for re-election over George McGovern (compared to 61 percent of the voters), when The New York Times, without any factual foundation, published a story assuring the nation that President Bush’s Iraq WMD claims were absolutely verified, does the myth of a liberal media bias persist?

The roots of this popular fallacy are in the 1950s in places like Little Rock, Ark., and Montgomery, Ala., when media actually did have a liberal bias — by the standards of that time, when favoring civil rights was counter to conservatism (which it isn’t today, except for a Bowling Green eye doctor with severe moral vision problems).

Still not convinced? Consider this quote from William Kristol, the leading conservative strategist today: “I admit it: The liberal media were never that powerful, and the whole thing was often used as an excuse by conservatives for conservative failures.”

Sorry, Bob, but the crusade against the “liberal media” is nothing but an ideological snipe hunt.
George Morrison, Original Highlands

How Many Times?
I read this week a quote from The New York Times in 2006 that said, “An unexpected steep rise in tax revenues from corporations and the wealthy is driving down the projected budget deficit this year.” The tax rates then were the same tax rates Pelosi and the Democrats want to raise now. Isn’t our problem a sagging economy, an outrageous deficit and declining tax revenues? How many times do we have to learn that the people and the companies with the money to invest and create jobs behave differently when tax rates are high? How many times do we have to see that lowering tax rates creates increasing tax revenues? How many companies do we have to see move facilities and jobs elsewhere because of excessive regulation and punitive taxation?
Douglas B. Abrams, Middletown

Peace Corps Rescue
In his effort to ennoble public service, President John Kennedy created the Peace Corps. Half a century later, Senator-elect Rand Paul proposes a wacky trickle-down theory that will fast-track us into a Third World U.S.A. Paul carps that “punishing the rich” is bad for the economy — a sly version of Ronald Reagan’s totally discredited trickle-down. Even more outlandish, Paul proclaims there are no rich, no middle-class, no poor. Perhaps Paul needs to spend time in bankruptcy courts, homeless shelters — or the Peace Corps.

Meanwhile, a crowded Carnival cruise ship got stranded at sea, and the passengers playing rich got an unsettling wake-up call — the stench of rotting food and overflowing toilets. Back home, the National Debt Commission released stark recommendations met by stunning-silent Republican reaction that sharply contrasts their nonstop campaign ranting about the terrible national debt. Much of that debt created by Reagan-esque trickle-down.

The Carnival-fantasy caravan cheered reaching shore — but, actually, we are all stuck out there on that metaphorical ship without a tug-boat rescue. Within five years — when the world’s oil surplus becomes a shortage — the economy may tailspin into a 1929 crash and downswing into a 1930s Depression — and send billionaires into poverty. An ironic twist on Paul’s no-poor pronouncement. Republicans’ disdain for green and global-warming regulations also assures an additional irony — high waves hitting Manhattan will literally flood the trading floor of Wall Street.

Fifty years after the Peace Corps enriched Americans’ concept of public service, does today’s greedy ship-of-fools — hankering to get rich and emulating billionaires — merit a Peace Corps rescue?

True sanity, charity and public service be damned!
Michael Gregoire, St. Matthews