Letters to the Editor

Readers write about North Korea, Secretary of State Clinton, and the pay journalists deserve.

North Korea wants US aid

In regard to the May 25 article, "With second test, North Korea asserts nuclear-power ambitions": North Korea's recent nuclear saber rattling reminds me of the 1950s comedy movie, "The Mouse That Roared." In it, a fictional tiny, isolated country declares war on the United States so that it may be conquered and then eligible for US foreign aid. Accidentally, this tiny country gets possession of an atomic bomb and the United States is terrified of its new enemy.

North Korea's nuclear threats are its own perverse way of asking for help without losing face. For more than half a century, North Korea has been kept in the dark ages by paranoid tyrants. Now, their longtime leader is ailing and his control over them is ebbing away. President Obama must seize this moment and aggressively push for diplomacy between his administration and the emerging new leaders of North Korea if he wants to win this nation as an ally against the war on terror.

Mark Tackett
Anaheim, Calif.

Would Hillary Clinton really differ from her boss?

Regarding the May 21 Opinion piece, "Secretary Clinton: Dutiful diplomat? Or 2012 candidate?": This commentary seems to have no point except to criticize Hillary Clinton. Author John Hughes's taking issue with her being a "dutiful diplomat," no longer questioning Mr. Obama's competence as president as she did on the campaign trail, makes no sense. What is he suggesting – that as secretary of State, Mrs. Clinton should behave in opposition to the president, rather than supporting him? That is ludicrous.

Frankly, the whole commentary seemed to be another version of the old harangue against Hillary that I thought we had gotten past. Too bad that Mr. Hughes doesn't have any actual substance with which to question her performance.

Barbara Wilson
Middleton, Wis.

Journalists do far more than mere pontificating

In regard to the May 19 Opinion piece, "Why journalists deserve low pay": Journalists deserve low pay? Author Robert G. Picard seems to forget that, despite the unprecedented amount of easily accessed information on the Internet, your average blogger doesn't have the time, training, professional ethic, or demanding editorial supervision that mark the journalist as a professional in the workforce.

Also, I'll bet it's been a long time since Mr. Picard has tried to subsist on $24,000 per annum.

George Hatt

Community editor, Llano County Journal

Cottonwood Shores, Texas

How dare a "professor of media economics" pontificate that journalists' skills have "zero" value? That the hard work, conscientious method, detailed memory, writing skills (concision, detail, knitting together of dimensions), moral drive, and life-risking bravery of the great corps of journalists should come to us as cheaply as the opinions that anybody can post from an armchair to the Internet?

When I read the Monitor in America, or when I read the Independent in Britain, I find myself not just more informed about some issue, but also wishing to contribute some action toward it. Is classic journalism less vital than it was? On the contrary, it's never been more so.

Guy Ottewell
Lyme Regis, England

The Monitor welcomes your letters. All submissions are subject to editing. Letters must include your full name; your city, state, and country; and your telephone number. Any letter accepted may appear on our website, www.CSMonitor.com. E-mail letters to oped@csps.com. Or mail letters to Readers Write, 210 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA 02115.

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