I read with disgust the lead paragraphs of The Post's story on Effi Barry's trip to Cannes {Metro, May 15}. The first paragraph reads: "Effi ... will attend the Cannes Film Festival ... at taxpayers' expense." The second paragraph reads: "... D.C. funds would pay for some ... of the {$2,000} cost."

Wouldn't a good journalist instead lead off: "First Lady Effi Barry will represent the District of Columbia at this year's Cannes Film Festival, according to the mayor's office," and follow with the story's third paragraph, which states that the trip "will give Effi Barry an opportunity to promote Washington as a movie-making site for international film producers"?

While the story does not explicitly state that there is anything inappropriate or unusual about the city's funding Mrs. Barry's visit, one quite easily infers impropriety based on the writer's citing the source of funding in the article's first two paragraphs. Further, the implication grows stronger later in the article, where it is mentioned that the "Cannes trip is not {Mrs. Barry's} only overseas journey paid for by the D.C. government. In November of 1987, she made a ... visit to London, where she represented the city" (emphasis added).

Is The Post aware of how many mayors' and governors' wives represent their cities and states in similar ambassadorial roles -- at the expense of their respective governments? And I don't remember any news articles on Lady Di's goodwill tours emphasizing the British government's bankrolling the princess's trips.

Had I written this article, I would not have neglected to mention that the government was paying the measly $2,000 cost for the Cannes visit (taxpayers have a right to know such) at the end of a good story that The Post obviously overlooked: the District's sending a representative to the Cannes Film Festival in an attempt to improve the city's chances of getting selected as an international TV and film production site.