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Petraeus coverage draws criticism

Are Post journalists not required to be objective in their reports of current events?

In the Nov. 12 front-page article “Petraeus probe draws scrutiny,” Karen DeYoung and Sari Horwitz described CIA Director David H. Petraeus as departing the administration “in disgrace.”

In the Nov. 11 front-page article “With Broadwell, general let his guard down,” Joby Warrick, Ernesto Londoño and Kimberly Kindy referred to Petraeus’s “public humiliation.”

These are judgmental terms. Just the facts, please.

Jan Anderson, Washington

In her Nov. 14 letter, Marina Ein contrasted the early Pilgrim settlers in America with today’s more easygoing population and declared that, “in matters private and sexual, we might as well be under the direction of Capt. John Smith.”

She mistakes her man. It is true that the Pilgrim fathers originally wished to hire Smith in a military capacity but decided that he was too much inclined to bossiness (they were not concerned with his entirely hypothetical canoodling with the young princess Pocahontas, so inflated by Disney) and settled on Miles Standish. 

Although Standish signed the Mayflower Compact, served the colony faithfully for all of his professional life and was a close friend and associate of Plymouth Colony Gov. William Bradford, there is no evidence that he ever formally joined the Pilgrims’ Separatist Church, which, by the way, should not be confused with the Puritan Church.

Judith Judson, Arlington

In her Nov. 13 op-ed column, “Hubris meets high tech,” Ruth Marcus wrote, “Beware the woman who goes on ‘The Daily Show’ wearing a black silk halter top and flaunting her toned triceps.”

Why, exactly, should we “beware” such women? Are black silk halter tops the mark of some sort of vindictive, national security-threatening evildoer? Or was Marcus resorting to stereotypes?

The public knows very few details about the affair between Paula Broadwell and David Petraeus, and we will likely never know the full story (nor is it any of our business, really). But dumping on Broadwell because of how she dresses does a disservice to all women.

Helen Luryi, Washington

The Post has always been famous for its photos, but occasionally a little more explanation is due. How hard would it have been to explain that the lady identified as Natalie Khawam in the picture on Page A5 Nov. 12 (a picture that ran again in the Style section Nov. 14) is the twin sister of Jill Kelley, the socialite involved in the Petraeus scandal? The picture was so striking that it cried out for this identification.

Richard L. Lobb, Fairfax

Regarding the Nov. 14 photo of Paula Broadwell, shown inside her brother’s house:

Shame on Cliff Owen for taking and shame on you for publishing the peeping-Tom photo of Broadwell, taken from outside the house and through a window. If you need a picture, non-intrusive photos are available. All this picture adds to the story is the revelation of how intrusive media can be.

I make no excuses for Broadwell and David Petraeus, but the story is sad enough for their families without her brother and his family having to keep their blinds drawn day and night to avoid strangers taking pictures.

R.A. Morse, Washington

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