Richard Cohen, you have aired your professional jealousy {"Confession as Entertainment," op-ed, May 25 }. If, as you say, Ted Koppel uses "media torture to arrive at the truth," then I shudder to think what your opinion must be of your own colleagues at The Post. I am thinking of those print reporters who pursued Dr. Berendzen's plight with relentless tenacity.

A human being wished to keep a private matter private, but, alas, the press and the community would not hear of it. A public individual must accept public scrutiny. That understood, Dr. Berendzen chose a vehicle in which he would not be edited, misquoted or taken out of context. These are reasonable requirements for accepting the responsibility of baring one's soul.

Mr. Cohen is right: Ted Koppel knows exactly what he is doing by getting "at the truth." How dare television have better access to new, newsworthy information. "Kitsch," as Mr. Cohen calls it? Hardly.


Shame on Richard Cohen's review of Ted Koppel's "Nightline" interview with Richard Berendzen. Did Mr. Cohen get "a cheap thrill" from watching the interview? If he did, I believe he was in the minority of viewers.

My feelings were of sadness both for Mr. Berendzen and the woman he called. Both were abused as children. The woman apparently worked through her experience; Mr. Berendzen has not. Both have lived successful and productive lives.

Mr. Cohen tries to be compassionate and cute. He says that "he feels sorry for Berendzen." His words belie him. Berendzen tried to explain why he was willing to be interviewed; he used the medium of the day, which is TV. Mr. Berendzen said that he was willing to go on the show because he hoped that some good would come out of his unhappy experience. He didn't make excuses, but encouraged others to seek help if they have been abused. That is a message that needs to be reinforced, and he tried.

"A cheap thrill"? No way.