Networks should air presidential address

I agree with Godfrey Sperling's Nov. 20 column, "Bush deserves access to TV airtime," that says network decisions to carry regular programming rather than President Bush's speech to the nation were wrong. Many outlying areas receive only network broadcasts unless expensive cable systems are in place. The morning network news has returned to content devoid of substance. The visit of President Putin and his appearance with Mr. Bush at Crawford High School wasn't even mentioned. Media bias is flagrant, and this article correctly foresees the discussion about election-year coverage.

Antoinette W. Vawter

Pismo Beach, Calif.

With CNN, CNBC, ABC, and probably many other cable outlets carrying the president's report on the war, it doesn't seem either necessary or "disloyal or disrespectful" for other networks not to carry his speech. Does more make better? Surely, in almost any community in this nation one can find a station carrying his speeches - even if it's only ABC. Let the public decide what they want. If we clamor for eight stations to carry the president - in mirror image - then perhaps the networks might do so. I can choose to watch and listen, or I can read or hear about it the next morning in a much shorter, less-political form, like the newspaper or network news.

We should not be locked into watching the president's speech due to shaming networks into carrying the same program - regardless of what officials may say about its significance. Give us the choice.

Richard Godfrey

Chester, N.H.

What about Afghan men?

It's good you call attention to the plight of Afghan women in "Afghan women as co-leaders," (Nov. 23, editorial). But what about Afghan men? Amnesty International has documented that since 1991, Afghan men have been detained, subjected to forced labor, tortured, and killed. As recently as October, every Afghan family was required to give up one male to bolster the Taliban Army. One woman lamented, "The Taliban has taken most of the males in my village." The horrors visited upon the Afghan male civilians began long before the Taliban, and are likely to continue unless we realize that men, too, are worthy of life and freedom.

Carey Roberts

Derwood, Md.

Soccer needs coverage, too

I liked "High cost of pro-sports fandom may ease" (Nov. 19, Work & Money). But I wish some coverage had been given to soccer. As my interest in soccer has grown over the past decade, my interest in other sports has declined, and thus I'm no longer interested in paying ridiculous amounts of money for a baseball or basketball ticket when I can see a far more entertaining sport, like soccer. I hope that a decade from now, if the Monitor chooses to review the respective sports' audience turnouts, it will include soccer.

David Purdy

Somerville, Mass.

Some moms want to work

Your article "Mothers who choose to stay home" (Nov. 14, Homefront) was interesting and useful. One thing that I would have appreciated reading was, statistically, why it's better for a mom to stay home. I paid 50 percent of my salary to get great child care, just to continue working 30 hours a week. We found someone who rounded out my efforts and really affected our son in a positive way. I would have paid 100 percent of my salary to continue working. Being a stay-at-home mother can be an extremely isolating and painful experience, and people shouldn't be pressured into accepting it "carte blanche."

Nicolette Angel

Dardilly, France

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