No Christmas Conspiracy

A July 24 front-page article said: "[John] Roberts certainly looks the part of a conservative. He had a priest over to his home for Christmas Eve." Give me a break! I am a lifelong liberal Democrat who can count a dozen priests who have broken bread at my table. Of course, none came on Christmas Eve because they were all busy in their parishes conducting services. Any discussion of Roberts's credentials deserves better than this kind of illogical thinking.

-- Ann Huetter Johnson

Falls Church

Why Dis the Locals?

Does your paper go out of its way to ignore Washington area entities when reporting on national trends? Your recent story about podcasting [front page, July 18] focused on WNYC-FM, a radio station in New York City. Guess what? WMAL-AM has been podcasting since April. The response from local listeners has been tremendous, and WMAL is known in the radio industry as a leader in podcasting. Did your reporter miss this fact in her reporting, or is there just more cache in reporting what they are up to in big 'ol New York City?

-- Randall Bloomquist

Washington

The writer is operations director for WMAL-AM.

More Than One in 'Media'

Have you given in to the convention of considering the "media" a singular entity ["Mainstream Media Is Tuning In to 'Podcasting', front page, July 18]? I'm sure the various members of the media is pleased to hear it.

-- Ted Landphair

Takoma Park

You Need Some Farm Help

Your July 24 "Estate Tax Myths" editorial said that President Bush gave a speech to the Future Farmers of America, but that is no longer the correct name of the group. The National FFA Organization no longer uses Future Farmers of America because the organization is about much more than just farming. It emphasizes all phases of agriculture and youth development.

-- Ryan Mitteness

Lexington, Va.

Faux Paw (Cont'd)

Regarding Andrea Rouda's July 23 Free for All letter about calico and tabby cats: Rouda is mistaken. A calico cat whose patches of color are tabby-striped is, in fact, called a "torbie," a neat portmanteau word merging "tortoise shell" and "tabby." To further elucidate: A calico is tri-colored (black, white and ginger), whereas a "tortie" (tortoise shell) has no white at all.

-- Ann Elise Wort

Washington

It's All About the Display

Sandy Praske [Free for All, July 23] does not have it straight: "Any public display of religious belief" is not "strictly restricted." The word "public" has two distinct meanings. A personal "public display of religious belief" (in public, e.g., on T-shirts) is the right of each citizen. A "public display of religious belief" imposed on all by the coercive power of the government ("public" here meaning government-sponsored) is another matter. By confusing the two, Praske inflames the religious antagonism that the Founding Fathers wisely wished to avoid.

-- Andrew Schechter

Rockville

Baffling Use of 'Boldly'

I am puzzled by the use of the word "boldly" in the first sentence of Dan Balz's and Charles Lane's July 20 front-page article, "A Move to the Right, An Eye to Confirmation": "President Bush moved boldly to shift the Supreme Court to the right last night." What courage was required? I doubt your writers intended to be propagandists for the president; more likely they were trying to make a "dog bites man" story more exciting. But by associating "Bush" and "bold" gratuitously, The Post served the White House, not its readers.

Words matter.

-- Barbara Burke Hubbard

Ithaca, N.Y.