Hanna Rosin's portrayal of Bill Clinton's July 6 book signing at Politics and Prose did little service to readers who wanted to fully appreciate the atmosphere of the event.

Rosin gushed about Clinton's admirers and dismissed the protesters as "men with crazy hair and flannel shirts smoking cigars, holding lurid signs about Monica Lewinsky."

That didn't fit with reality.

Most of the protesters were young, college-aged conservative activists. Many were women -- all of whom were disgusted by Clinton's legacy of lies. Several were leaders of campus conservative organizations, started with the assistance of the Campus Leadership Program.

Rosin glossed over the opposition to talk about swooning Clinton supporters. But if Rosin cares about accuracy, she should write about what she sees -- not what she wants to see.

-- Jim Eltringham


The writer is director of public relations for the Campus Leadership Program.


Hanna Rosin's article about Bill Clinton's book signing tried to be funny but wasn't.

Rosin resorted, among other things, to quoting a woman who spoke of Clinton in sexual overtones ("bare inner thighs"). My husband and I spent five hours at the book signing. It was a wonderful event.

I wondered whether the stereotypes about Clinton's appeal -- such as the ones Rosin advanced in her article -- were accurate, so I went through the line that day to gather some statistics. Perhaps Rosin focused on one small section of the line that fit the preconceived slant of her story. In line that day there were about four men to every six women. And the women in line were not dressed like tarts. There was diversity of age, ethnicity and gender. The woman in front of me explained, with details worthy of a thesis, where she agreed and disagreed on Clinton's policies and why. Another woman nearby explained that she was there to show support, and she mentioned diversity initiatives sponsored under President Clinton.

All around me I listened to and participated in discussions between congressional staffers, candidates running for various offices, and individuals who were sponsoring petitions for initiatives such as school reforms in the District, among others.

-- Virginia Bowen

Hagerstown, Md.


"A kitten whisper"?

"She presses her palm to her bare inner thighs"?

Not to mention "Those fingers! The ladies outside talk about them, how they held the pen, how they moved over the page, how they felt when he grabbed their hand, how they might feel if . . . well forget it, that's going too far."

When did your paper start publishing Harlequin romances?

-- Gina Dalfonzo