Readers write: Examining populism, family entertainment, lack of trust

Letters to the editor for the March 20, 2017 weekly magazine.

Courtesy of PBS 'Pioneers of Television'
'The Mary Tyler Moore Show' stars (from l. to r.) Gavin MacLeod, Cloris Leachman, Mary Tyler Moore, Ed Asner, Valerie Harper, and Ted Knight.

Examining populism

I really value all the careful thought the Monitor puts into handling the challenges of these times. I wonder whether a deeper look at populism might be useful, challenging and exposing the means and methods of the influence itself. I think this could benefit the world a great deal.

Peter Jackson

Bournemouth, England

Family entertainment

Regarding the Jan. 26 article “Mary Tyler Moore expanded America’s view of what a woman can be” ( Mary Tyler Moore was not only a TV trailblazer who embodied the modern woman, but her show’s genre provided entertainment well suited for family viewing. Television today is quite the contrary. The vulgarity and exhibitionism currently popular with viewers leaves little to the imagination. And the prevalent foul language is constantly being bleeped out, thankfully. Shows like that of the unforgettable Ms. Moore are sadly a dying breed. But we can all agree that Moore herself was indeed a class act.

JoAnn Lee Frank

Clearwater, Fla.

Lack of trust

Regarding the Jan. 30 editorial “Breaking the fall of trust in institutions”: It is puzzling to me why the public’s trust in government, business, media, and nongovernmental organizations is falling. Although anyone’s life can certainly have its ups and downs, now is the best time to be alive; yet many people don’t feel happy. But self-awareness requires us to understand that the darker side of human nature can induce unjustified pessimism unless that side is persuaded with facts. And it is up to us to actively seek those facts, not just throw up our hands and say “no one can be trusted.” Unbiased, impartial presentation and analysis always defeat fear and ignorance. At the risk of being a cheerleader, if more people read the Monitor, maybe their trust in institutions and humanity itself would begin to be restored.

Rick Soule

South Lake Tahoe, Calif.

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