Update the First Amendment

I agree with your editorial "Reporters acting otherwise" (Oct. 27). The First Amendment does not protect journalists who use deceit to get a story. But more important than the case cited is the need to deal with the Constitution's First Amendment, ratified in 1791. Simply said, the First Amendment, as it applies to our multifaceted news media, is inadequate. Today's conglomerate media embody a plethora of media besides print. Radio, TV, and cable are making way for a cornucopia of innovations, as computer technology gallops ahead.

In light of the foregoing, let's go back to the First Amendment, which is merely one sentence long. It's no secret that today's press has the power to influence public opinion - sometimes adversely when it is predisposed with bias and/or prejudice towards issues both political and ideological. The First Amendment can not shield the news for ulterior purposes. More definitive language would safeguard everyone's freedom, the press included.

Gene Valentino Montgomery Village, Md.

Moroccan's populist touch?

Your article "Just crowned and shaking up the Mideast" (Oct. 28) seems to put a very glossy touch on the actions of the new Moroccan King. Or maybe it's just a case of "populist touch" being such a subjective term. The people killed in the southern town of Laayoune recently wouldn't see him in such a light. Or even the residents of the Rif region who had to put up with what seemed like half the Moroccan Army guaranteeing his security on a recent visit.

As for a "rapturous welcome" in the Rif, well, I think you are being a little economical with the truth. Mohammed hasn't changed anything for the better, yet. His move away from civilian to more militarized power in the southern provinces illustrate that. Moving Basri is one thing, but instituting real change is another.

Mike Barton Croydon, England

Dumping the debt burden

Regarding "Get out of debt one dime at a time" (Oct.25): Thank you for encouraging readers to get out of debt. Not only is it necessary to budget your money wisely as stated in the article, but it is also necessary to differentiate between needs and wants.

As a college student, I have had to learn how to make my money go further. Through writing down everything I buy, I have been able to see what things I truly need and what things I have bought just for enjoyment. I agree with the statement, "Getting out of debt is not just about improving your finances, it's about improving your quality of life." I encourage the Monitor to publish more articles that can help readers like myself to improve our standard of living.

Amber Adair Rexburg, Idaho

Willie Brown no 'liberal'

Regarding "A last hurrah for urban liberals?" (Nov. 1): Your depiction of Willie Brown as a traditional liberal mayor is inaccurate. His administration here has been characterized by his pro-business stance and antihomeless policies. I would not call a mayor who wants to impound shopping carts from homeless people a liberal. Many of us who live in San Francisco see Willie Brown as a mayor who is selling the city to the highest bidders for political gain. His business partners and minority hiring contracts are being investigated. He would like to push out the homeless population to make the city more attractive to tourism. He may have the support of Jesse Jackson and Bill Clinton, and he may have a national reputation as a liberal, but his local reputation is very different.

Matt Edmonds San Francisco, Calif.

The Monitor welcomes your letters and opinion articles. Due to the volume of mail, only a selection can be published, and we can neither acknowledge nor return unpublished submissions. All submissions are subject to editing. Letters must be signed and include your mailing address and telephone number.

Mail letters to 'Readers Write,' and opinion articles to Opinion Page, One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115, or fax to 617-450-2317, or e-mail to oped@csps.com

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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