March 8, 2013

Every time a Post reporter tries to drum up sympathy for a group of people by highlighting representative individuals, it seems, he or she picks examples more likely to have the opposite effect.

For example, the March 1 front-page article “Hostility toward federal workers adds to anxiety” cited a National Defense University professor who wouldn’t give his name “because of his high-level security clearance” (as if that had anything to do with complaining about sequestration). After talking about the “threat of denial of livelihood,” he gave as examples of his potentially dire straits the possibility that he would have to delay spending $5,000 to have a carpenter build bookshelves in his home, and if he gets furloughed, he would have to do without his “doggie day-care provider.”

Oh, the humanity!

I expect there are tens of thousands of Americans who don’t even dream of being able to afford “day care” for their pets. I’m a federal employee who doesn’t mind being named, despite my “high-level security clearance,” and I can see why the rest of America thinks it’s about time this area got a dose of reality.

Richard Williams, Woodbridge

So, my husband goes out for the paper. The coffee and croissants are hot. The bran cereal is covered in fresh strawberries. And I’m waiting to see the Big Headline about the “sequester.” You know, New York Post-style: “WALL ST. SET TO TUMBLE! N. KOREA POISED TO ATTACK WEAK U.S.! 25 PLANE CRASHES — NO CONTROLLERS ON DUTY! DANGER FOOD — WORLD BANS U.S. FOOD EXPORTS — NO INSPECTORS!”

Okay, so this isn’t New York. But what was on The Post’s front page? A great photo of a dad and boy practicing shooting, a lukewarm “Efforts to avert cuts are dropped” headline and something about Obama and Proposition 8, whatever that is, the ex-pope and Bradley Manning.

Where was the special section? The great tables of facts and figures, and reaction from the whole of the country? This is The Big Story, for heaven’s sake!

Rebecca F. Samawicz, Vienna

I hope The Post will publish the pictures of all the people who lose their jobs due to the sequester, just as you did with the soldiers who died in Iraq. Martyrs should be held up for public approval of their honor.

Jack Crawford, Silver Spring