Free for All roundup of short critiques of The Post

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Fomenting a racial divide

The Post has focused on race in an uninformative and unhelpful way throughout its coverage of the D.C. mayoral primary. For example, you published voter surveys by race instead of reporting on issues such as wealth that influenced voter choice. Post-election coverage has been racially tinged as well, and the focus on "how" Mayor Adrian M. Fenty lost has painted supporters of D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray as "black," swayed by personality and self-interested.

The last straw was the Sept. 19 front-page story "Fenty lost black vote, then his job," which suggested that "blacks" -- as if that were a sensible demographic and political category -- voted against Fenty for self-interested reasons, such as wanting jobs in the D.C. Public Schools. Apparently "whites" -- as if that were a sensible category -- have no such self-interest.

There are certainly things to be said about race and how it interacts with views of community and school, but The Post has not done that. Instead, it is divisive. It could destroy the presumptive mayor's chance to help us move toward the desperately needed concept of "one city." I sincerely beg your enterprise to consider the consequences for our city of this irresponsible path.

Virginia Spatz, Washington

You don't have to break the law

The Sept. 13 front-page article "Gay couples seeking immigration rights" included the statement that once Erwin de Leon's student visa runs out next year, "he will likely be forced to join the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States."

Nothing could be further from the truth. De Leon will in no way be "forced" to violate U.S. immigration laws. He will be free to (and legally required to) return to the Philippines.

John Stewart, Manassas

The steady eye of C-SPAN

In her coverage of the impeachment trial of Judge G. Thomas Porteous Jr. of Louisiana [news story, Sept. 17], Ann Gerhart wrote:

"But while this is the first Senate impeachment trial since President Bill Clinton's in 1999, and the first for a member of the judiciary since 1989, the historic procedure is underway largely outside the zone of the public's attention. Amid the tumult of the midterm campaigns, Washington's attention has been occupied elsewhere.

"The same room, No. 216 in the Hart Senate Office Building, was packed two months ago for the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court justice Elena Kagan. Now it sits mostly empty of press and spectators."

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