Letters

Are media elite out of touch with the heartland of America?

I am unable to discern quite what point Matthew Towery was trying to make in his Nov. 7 Opinion piece, "Move the media elite outside its bubble." The article was full of sweeping and faulty generalizations regarding the supposed arrogant attitudes of people in the media, politics, and Hollywood.

It appears that Mr. Towery believes everyone lives in a selfish, out-of-touch bubble except him. But Towery himself is fully ensconced in the lucrative world of the "media elite" (as a TV commentator on election nights, and as a writer on politics) and reflects the very worlds that he criticizes. In addition, he plays the tired old tune that truth exists only in America's (mythical) "heartland." There is no such place, except strictly geographically. The heartland is no better or worse than our major cities and our coasts. There are good people and not-so-good people in all parts of this wonderful country.

Towery's suggestion that media elites do their work outside of the "bubbles" of large coastal cities suggests that they don't do that already. They do. I was part of that world for 18 years as a correspondent for ABC News. Most of my colleagues came from the heartland. They still do.
Al Dale
Atlanta

Allow me to add an idea to Matthew Towery's Opinion piece. Media organizations should do an in-house survey that asks: How many media people have served in the military, played high school or college team sports, or owned a small business? I believe most media people have no experience in these areas that are so typical of American life and inform so much of our culture.
Richard A. Long
New York

Injustice fuels unrest in France

Regarding the Nov. 4 article, "Deep roots of Paris riots": I wanted to remind readers of two important facts. First, France has a long history of religious suppression by the state and new laws that are anti-Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, etc. Second, people's allegiance to the state is always second to their spiritual allegiance, and no state can legislate or forbid religious expression without consequences. The sole cause of riots is always injustice, and the French have demonstrated unjust policies.
Saleem Al Hussain
Clearwater, Fla.

The Nov. 7 article, "Unrest brings French leaders under fire," states: "The violence has drawn fresh attention to the frustration and despair simmering in heavily ethnic neighborhoods plagued by unemployment, poverty, and crime."

Perhaps this is true - though it sounds at best like improper editorializing in a news article to me. Moreover, as editorializing, the comment is pure pablum. Why not say, for instance, "The violence has drawn fresh attention to the failures of the social welfare state to substitute for a normal, functioning, capitalist society"?

Or, "The violence has drawn fresh attention to the racism of French society, where dark-skinned immigrants are given just enough welfare to be warehoused in undesirable neighborhoods away from others"?

Or, "The violence has drawn fresh attention to a US-like immigration policy where vast numbers of illegal immigrants get no welfare and legal ones get little"?

All over Europe, immigrants are being isolated in ghettos instead of being allowed to work and integrate into society. The Europeans can't admit this, but what's stopping us Americans from facing their truth?
Mark Nicholas
Mölndal, Sweden

The Monitor welcomes your letters and opinion articles. Because of the volume of mail we receive, 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. Any letter accepted will appear in print and on our website, www.csmonitor.com.

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 Letters.

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