It appears that your paper's institutional bias has crept into even the Arts section.

The preview by Tom Shales of "Desperate Housewives" [" 'Housewives': Worth Staying at Home For," Sunday Arts, Oct. 3] contained completely unnecessary and gratuitous cheap shots aimed at Federal Communications Commission Chairman Michael Powell and first lady Laura Bush. These comments added nothing to the review and, instead of making me curious to check out a new show, left me with a bad taste in my mouth. Would it be so hard to just tell me about the show? Why is Shales referring to Laura Bush as "blank-eyed" with a "ghastly" grin? Funny, I don't think she was among the cast of "Desperate Housewives."

-- Clay H. Hartness

Easton, Md.

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One thing The Post will never be accused of is failing to report on political events. The front section is filled with articles, analyses and opinions. So do we really need another overtly political column, meaning the Tom Shales reviews of the presidential and vice presidential debates [Style, Oct. 1, 6, 9 and 14]?

I used to look forward to reading Shales's reviews of television events, including State of the Union addresses and political debates. He focused on the nuances, insights and perceptions that came through when politicians appeared on television. Apparently, someone at your paper decided that Mr. Shales should discard his extensive experience analyzing programming and focus instead on cheering for the Democratic candidates. His columns have focused much more on his own political leanings than on analyzing and evaluating each politician through the medium of television. I find it hard to believe that your paper really needed one more political columnist, especially one hiding under the guise of a television critic.

-- Terry Golden

Vienna