I "took exception" to something concerning Jimmy the Greek in your Personalities column Jan. 22. You said he made "comments about alleged racial traits to which many blacks took exception."

Surely you realize that blacks are not the only ones who took exception. I took exception to Jimmy the Greek's remarks and I'm not black. Wouldn't it have been better to say "to which many people took exception"? It's just this kind of thing that perpetuates the myths and separatism, albeit subliminally.

-- Patricia Scott 'Pretense of Fairness'

Congratulations, Washington Post! A little spark, a last vestige of honesty finally prompted you to throw down the mask. You came out loud (but fuzzily, as always) in favor of the contras, and all your pretense of fairness and democracy came crashing down. You came out, loud (but fuzzily and unclearly), in favor of breaking all laws, those of this country as well as the international ones to which the United States has subscribed. By so doing, you have confirmed to the eyes of the world that yours is an international terrorist country. By golly, long live the face of honesty! At last, no doubts are left.

You are honest, but stupid, I am afraid. To oppose the tide of history, the will of the Central American people is sheer stupidity. It is always an unsuccessful endeavor. It leads nowhere -- or rather, it will lead your nation to fall once again! Flat on your face. Has Vietnam taught you nothing? -- Gabi Christov

'Daily, Front-Page Attack'

Joseph Laitin's Jan. 31 ombudsman article, "Coverage of the West Bank," about the Washington Post's reporting of recent events in Israel, continually negative about Israel, justifies the newspaper's policy. In answer to a criticism that The Post headlined (Jan. 4) on page one the killing by an Israeli soldier of an Arab woman while placing on page 27 the story of a massacre of 100 gold miners by the Brazilian government, Laitin argues that the Brazilian story, deserving of back-page treatment, was of less interest because the Brazilian government was only killing its own people. By this tortuous logic, if the U.S. government massacred 100 West Virginia coal miners the story would merit burying on page 27, but the news that Canada had shot one such American would belong on page one.

The possibility of igniting larger passions in the Middle East by current happenings in Israel, another Laitin justification of The Post's overprominent Israel coverage, is kindled all the more by such sensationalist coverage as The Post affords. The Post described the current media hype, anti-Israeli, and the difficulties it posed (about 600 to 700 foreign reporters are now in Israel) in a Jan. 30 article on page 14, which should have been on page one. Instead, on Jan. 31 The Post was at it again. Front-page headlines were about violent Israeli soldiers, while on page 23 was a story about South Korea's reopening a torture case.

The Post's daily, front-page attack on Israel is as outrageous as the lack of perspective of the newspaper's ombudsman on the same subject.

-- Martha Grosse

In the Wrong Section

How angry I was to see The Post Jan. 20. Your placement of the article on rape {"Gynecologist Arrested in Rape Case: Ex-Pennsylvania Doctor Being Held in Iran"} on the front page of the Style section was in extremely poor taste and terribly inappropriate. Since when does our society place rape on par with fashion and movie stars? Actions such as yours degrade women and belittle the tragedy of violent crimes in this country. -- Larry Mathews


I begin by stating that I am not related to Andrew Lloyd Webber and have no money invested in any production of "The Phantom of the Opera." This said, I ask when the critical bashing of this musical and its composer will ever end. My patience really wore thin last Sunday as The Post saw fit to publish the negative critical views of a saloon pianist, who has understandably tired over the years of honoring patrons' requests to hear "Memory" from "Cats" (not "Memories," by the way!).

I am a classical music enthusiast, with great interest in film and Broadway scores as well, and have known and loved the music to "Phantom" for over a year. I was lucky enough to see the Broadway production last Saturday evening, having ordered tickets last August, and came away fully satisfied with a wonderful cast, astounding effects and an excellent overall performance of music I consider the best of its kind in many years of Broadway listening.

Let the experts complain all they want of repeated musical themes, fully aware that Puccini's "La Boheme" and Wagner's "Ring" have more. They may even recall the weak story lines of Verdi's "Il Trovatore" and Mozart's "Magic Flute." The rest of us lesser mortals will continue to enjoy the pleasant memory of wonderfully old-fashioned romantic music, state-of-the-art special effects and the once-in-a-lifetime performance by Michael Crawford of "The Phantom of the Opera." -- Edward J. Hinker