Emulating Past Presidents

Regarding the Opinion page article "Bush Is Just Bush - Not Harry Truman," Sept. 10: President Bush has said enough about President Truman, and his opponents resent his admiration for Truman. Recently on television, Margaret Truman Daniel, Truman's daughter, seemed offended that Mr. Bush admires her father, and her principal distaste is that Bush is a Republican. When a person is mentioned, it does not always mean that person is a role model. When Vice President Dan Quayle compared his record in the Sena te to that of John Kennedy, he did not indicate that he was like Kennedy at all in appearance, charisma, and social habits - just in his record in the Senate.

We should be free to admire and emulate presidents when we think it appropriate. They "belong to the ages," as it was said of Lincoln. No party owns them now. Virginia Yows, Borger, Texas

The author quotes Sen. Lloyd Bentsen's famous "You're no John Kennedy" quip to Vice President Dan Quayle. To that I say, "Thank heavens." If it weren't for Mr. Quayle and the excellent job he did as senator, we would not have had the Patriot missile. And further, Quayle was a working senator. Kennedy was noted for his absenteeism, and he did not sponsor a single bill during his term of office as a United States senator. Dorothy Donnelley Moller, Scottsdale, Ariz. Media responsibility

Thank you for the news article "Conservatives and Hollywood Continue `Family Values' Wrangle," Sept. 21. The media issue has troubled me for some time, and this article brought it into focus. The media do not focus on the best qualities expressed by these other lifestyles, but in many cases they focus on the worst - the insincere and the glib. Usually the characters in these situations are not allowed to mature and express genuine, honest ideas and actions. Unfortunately, children accept what they see on

TV as absolutely real, and form many wrong conclusions.

The media need to demonstrate more responsibility and accountability for the influence they wield. They need to stop hiding behind the issue of censorship and accept the wonderful role they can and at times do play in helping our world. Paulette Watkins, Boston Public television

I find it ironic that the Media page Sept. 10 contains both the article "PBS Wins the Round, but Its Future Is Hazy" and a review of upcoming Public Broadcasting Service specials. Such high-quality programming keeps us tuned into our changing world.

The current administration's refusal to fund public television demonstrates President Bush's reluctance to open up for public debate the issues affecting the United States and his reluctance to face the facts about his policies.

We should support PBS both by our contributions and by encouraging members of Congress to do likewise. Any honest, forthright politician should encourage the type of awareness public television offers. Robert Scott, Vashon, Wash.

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