Count the Iraqi Casualties

Adding to the frustration about the Iraq war is the near-absence of information in the U.S. media about Iraqi casualties. I would expect such treatment from Fox News but not from quality and (mostly) balanced media organizations such as your paper.

Please tell us how many Iraqis are dying.

-- Michael Vaa

Little Silver, N.J.

Sickening Source

I was dismayed by the Sunday Source's May 30 article on custom-fit condoms. I would have thought that simple good taste would have prevented the article in the first place. Yet your editors not only chose to run it, they also chose to highlight it by listing it in the table of contents.

I have more respect for sexual relations than to think of a custom-fit condom company as just another funny product release. And by the way, I fit the Sunday Source's intended audience: young, urban and single.

-- Becky Kesner


Conventional Wisdom

The May 31 editorial "U.S.-Funded Infomercials" complained about tax money going to the national conventions. But where are your editors' complaints about the millions of tax dollars that have subsidized George W. Bush's fundraising trips, preceded by supposedly "official" business, which have given a him a huge financial advantage over John Kerry?

Your dismissal of the value of conventions, lamenting their cost, is shortsighted. Our national conventions, rooted in American history, are the one time every four years when we have truly national parties, with party activists hammering out regional and philosophical differences and finding common ground in their quest for support from the American people.

-- Vivian M. Kallen


Inaccuracies on 'Ike'

I wonder whether Tom Shales watched "Ike: Countdown to D-Day" [Style, May 31]? He bashed it pretty well but seemed to get specifics of the movie wrong. First he stated that Dwight D. Eisenhower talked to a colonel in his office and sent him home. Presumably the colonel had been drunk and talking about the invasion in a public grille. Actually, in the movie it was a major general (a roommate of Eisenhower's at West Point) who was the culprit -- and Ike spoke to him in a jail cell, not in Ike's office.

Also, Shales reported that in the movie Eisenhower tells Winston Churchill that "if the plan fails, we both go down together." But in the movie, Churchill says this to Eisenhower.

-- Howard Rumerman

Silver Spring

Bad News Judgment

While your reporters often blur the line between reporting and editorializing with the apparent tacit approval of your editors, the May 31 article by Dana Milbank and Jim VandeHei, "From Bush, Unprecedented Negativity," is a deplorable example thereof.

After relating charges made by or on behalf of the Bush campaign against likely Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry, the article states: "The charges were tough, serious -- and wrong, or at least highly misleading." Asserting that something is "wrong" or "misleading" may be appropriate for an analysis piece, but this article was not labeled as such. Instead, we are presented with a news article making normative judgments -- squarely taking sides in a debate rather than simply reporting and allowing the reader to draw his or her own conclusions.

-- Peter Lee


No Cause for Celebration

The May 31 K Street Confidential column leapt into the absurd in its claim that after more than two decades, Common Cause has achieved "total victory" in its campaign to take money out of politics. More money will be spent in this election cycle than in any other in history, and in many cases, with less public disclosure. Only inside the Capital Beltway could that be termed total victory.

-- Michael Paranzino


Missing the Big Train

How in the world could Mark Plotkin [Close to Home, May 30] have overlooked Walter Johnson in his list of prominent Washington sports personalities?

-- Gregory L. Hutchison