Dog Fight Foolishness

The story concerning two narcissistic, egocentric individuals who wasted the time and money of the Montgomery County judicial system arguing over visitation rights to a dog in the aftermath of a lengthy divorce battle revolts me ["Whose Best Friend Is She Anyway?" front page, Dec. 4].

That your reporter pursued this story shows profound ignorance of what constitutes news. This failure is compounded by the poor judgment shown by your editors for allowing this piece of inanity to appear in print.

Jennifer Kidwell proudly boasts that her fight for the dog is not over. Nevertheless, I hope your paper's coverage of these ridiculous events is.

--Gordon Berg

Here We Go Again

Doesn't it feel good to return to responsible journalism once again with the publication of three--yes, three--photos of Monica Lewinsky in one day [Dec. 17], with one of them in the middle of the front page.


--Constance Hammond

Time Warp

I found it astounding that in "A Brief Exploration of Time, Clocks & the Millennium [Style Plus, Dec. 17] Stephen Hunter should incorrectly state twice that the numbering of years in our A.D. era is based upon the death of Christ, not His birth! Don't your editors check the work of your columnists before it goes to press?

--Bruce A. Flatin

Clued In

In his Dec. 11 Quote-Acrostic puzzle [Style], Frank Stewart thinks that the William Henley poem is "Evictus" (Clue D). But the poem Stewart means is "Invictus," arguably Henley's best-known verse. "Evictus" is what Henley told his wife the landlord threatened to do if they didn't pay the rent.

--Jerome S. Shipman

Offhand and Uncalled for

In his op-ed "Bugged at the State Department" [Dec. 22] David Ignatius makes a wholly unnecessary and disparaging reference to Indian diplomats. He writes: "But in practice . . . a visiting Russian, Indian or Egyptian diplomat could stop off at the cafeteria for a cup of coffee, say, or drop by the office of another U.S. official. Or perhap she could duck into an empty seventh-floor conference room, install a specially constructed piece of wood molding and dart out, with no one the wiser."

This offhand and uncalled-for reference to a country with which the United States has excellent bilateral diplomatic relations is unwarranted and is not in keeping with the norms of enlightened and responsible journalism.

--Navtej Sarna

The writer is counsellor for press and information at the Embassy of India.

Flip to Channel One

In her Dec. 12 Outlook article, "A School by Any Other Name Would Be . . . Richer," Elizabeth Chang dismisses Channel One as a marketer that provides TV monitors in exchange for showing advertisements in classrooms. This description insults the journalists at Channel One and the educators who support us.

Ninety-eight percent of educators who have Channel One in their schools recommend the program to their colleagues. Channel One provides 12,000 schools around the country with a daily 12-minute news broadcast that is produced specifically for middle and high school students. Ten times as many teens receive their news from Channel One as from all other news sources in the nation.

Our broadcast has won nearly 200 awards for journalistic excellence. How disappointing that your publication would focus only on the delivery mechanism and dismiss Channel One as a marketing scheme.

--Jeff Ballabon

The writer is executive vice president for network affairs at Channel One Network.