Free for All roundup of short critiques of The Post

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Bayou corruption? It's relative.

In his June 15 Style article "Scrutinizing an election surprise," Manuel Roig-Franzia wrote: "Louisiana, after all, does political shenanigans more colorfully and brazenly than most." That statement celebrated a pernicious stereotype of Louisiana as a banana republic peopled by corrupt politicians and citizens indifferent to the transgressions of their elected officials.

That stereotype is untrue. Many states can go toe-to-toe with Louisiana on "shenanigans": Illinois (Rod Blagojevich); Florida (Mark Foley); South Carolina (Mark Sanford), to name a few.

In The Post's home town, are Marion Barry and "the D.C. madam" not quite flamboyant enough to give Louisiana a run for its money?

Generally Louisianans shrug off such remarks, but the image damages the state's chances of getting relief when misfortune (Hurricane Katrina and the gulf oil spill) strikes.

Jeanne Chutuape, Fairfax Station

Contraception and abortion

I was deeply disappointed by the June 12 front-page article "Fueling a new birth control debate."

In its second paragraph, the article asserted that the drug ella could "induce abortion by making the womb inhospitable for an embryo." Not until the story's continuation was it noted that "some" people "consider" the prevention of a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus "equivalent to an abortion." That clarification should have appeared on the front page.

This story's misleading front-page suggestion that the difference between contraception and abortion is subjective will surely help spark the "controversy" the article repeatedly promises.

Alexandra Calvin, Columbia

Many ways to show gay pride

I was delighted to read the June 14 front-page article "Stalwart of the right presses the case for gay marriage." But I was dismayed to see yet another drag queen photo illustrating coverage of the Capital Pride Festival. Why must you feature the most outlandish portions of gay-pride events?

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