Who is the press trying to elect?

In his Sept. 20 opinion column "Ready for a candidate food fight?" Dante Chinni writes that this presidential campaign is too "nice." Mr. Chinni is wrong if he thinks this campaign needs a good "food fight" to make it interesting to reporters and the public.

The point Chinni misses is that the press is doing everything it can to elect a liberal. Al Gore doesn't have to attack Republicans because the press will do it for him.

Chinni is not alone among members of the press who throw acid on the conservatives. The negative attacks are sometimes overt and sometimes subliminal with the use of wording, headlines, and photographs.

Sunil M. Reddy La Jolla, Calif.

Your Sept. 15 editorial "Bush's ad troubles" is clearly biased. You completely dismiss George W. Bush's responsibility for whatever is advertised in his name and for his cause. Who would want a president who cannot manage his own team?

You intimate that Mr. Bush's positions are the correct ones. This should be decided by our votes. Furthermore, who says that "the ad was making a valid point"? And who says that Bush has a corner on character, as you also imply? Most disturbing to me is your obvious effort to protect Bush's candidacy.

Genevieve C. Bogert Toms River, N.J.

Youths need to vote, not just volunteer

Thank you for addressing the disconnect between social activism and voting among youths ("College students are politically active - but don't vote" Sept. 13).

Today's youths are the most active volunteers in history. But volunteer work must go hand in hand with public policy. Rather than forcing students to pick between the two, as was done in the Harvard University study your article cited, we should be working to educate them about the consequences of service in the absence of voting, which is necessary to change bad policy. Young people must continue to volunteer today and start to vote for tomorrow.

Steven A. Culbertson Washington President, Youth Service America

Defending traditional Australian dance

As an Aboriginal Australian and someone lucky to know the Burnya Warrma dancers (yes, it's Warrma not Warrior), I'd like to comment on your Sept. 22 article "Aborigines on tour celebrate their culture."

Many of the dances that Burnya Warrma do are thousands of years old. They are meant to be "slow moving" and "stomping." Your article's high-handed ideas on traditional dance are not too dissimiliar from the attitudes of early missionaries who tried to wipe out our culture.

Walbira Watts Queensland, Australia

Did I just get polled?

A political pollster called recently. She talked so fast, I did not understand which polling firm she was with. She requested I answer a few questions about the coming election, and I consented.

The first question was, "When you vote in November, are you more likely to vote for the Republican or Democratic Party?"

When I replied, "Neither," she thanked me and hung up.

Did she simply take me out of the polling population altogether?

If she did, then her data were skewed to reflect there is very little interest in third parties.

I wonder how much of this is going on and if the polls we are reading in newspapers and seeing on TV are a true reflection of what's happening in this country.

G. Browning Bordages Galveston, Texas

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