The Press and the President

The Monitor has done a good job giving a balanced treatment of the ongoing Clinton scandals. I appreciate the good taste the editors have exercised.

The mainstream press constantly reminds us that President Clinton's popularity remains high, and the congressional Republicans seem willing to give Mr. Clinton the benefit of the doubt if the current crisis is merely a continuation of the womanizing he did in Arkansas as governor.

What disappoints me is that the congressional Democrats and members of the mainstream press have painted themselves into a corner by repeatedly misleading the public as they try to spin away the presidential shenanigans.

Although they never say so, Democrat Party members should know that the president and first lady have been more responsible than anyone else for the party's loss of 40 years of hegemony in the US House of Representatives. Newt Gingrich wouldn't be Speaker of the House if the Clintons had not mishandled health-care reform.

Leading Democrats should do the honorable thing now and ask Clinton to resign before he does still more damage to the party (and nation).

John O'Brien

Rochester, N.Y.

Regarding "Americans: Adultery Still Wrong" (Aug. 5), I agree that adultery is wrong, but what is even more wrong is to assume someone is guilty before there is any solid proof. And to drag someone's name through the mud is even worse, even if the accused is the president of the United States.

To carry on any moral discussion under these assumptions, and to arouse sentiment against someone being charged, is using dirty tactics to attack the accused and is trying to effect a guilty outcome. It is unethical.

George Liou

Via e-mail

Unlike columnist Daniel Schorr in "Ten Days and Counting" (Aug. 7), I don't believe that the president's travail will amount to anything historically. Now the Republicans are short of issues, and newspapers are short of news. Once the fall elections are over, this issue will die.

Arthur Stier

Glastonbury, Conn.

You should publish a book of Monitor cartoonist Clay Bennett's drawings on the Clinton Affair. It would be a bestseller.

Richard C. Hill

Old Town, Maine

Bare facts, bear market

As a partner of a New York Stock Exchange firm during the depth of the Great Depression of the 1930s, I must heartily disagree with the gist of your editorial "Living with Econo-Worry" (Aug 4).

Most of the article is devoted to "the facts," by which you no doubt mean the facts of today. Such facts can in no way be relevant to (or affect) the level of stock prices at any given time. Such prices are usually an indication of where the economy will be six months (or more) in the future.

Actually, the bear market in stocks began two months ago. Forget the significance of the Dow Jones averages, which are merely an index of a very tiny few of the stocks listed on the market. The vast majority of stocks have lost from 50 to 60 percent of their share prices in recent weeks as they spiral downward to reflect a shrinking financial future.

The ridiculous - I would say "obscene" - prices we witnessed early in the current year were the result of the unbelievable greed of traders and of the lack of sophistication on the part of first-time investors, who, never having lived through a depression, were guided by the self-styled market "experts." Most of these people will be wiped out in this and the next year as their equities continue to fade away.

David Feldman

DeBary, Fla.

The Monitor welcomes your letters. 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,' One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115, or fax to 617-450-2317, or e-mail to oped@csps.com

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