I expect The Post to acknowledge movers and shakers akin to Imus with the gravitas duly earned. Imus was a punk, an agitator and had great hair, and yet he also had an excellent ability to get his guests to reveal themselves in ways that sadly are missing in today’s media. Please give him his due.
Where is the next Imus?
Where is someone who can reveal real personality, emotion and authenticity in our decision-makers?
Andy Tompkins, Leesburg
I thank David Von Drehle for the wonderful memories of outlaw radio of the 1930s and 1940s that he described in his Jan. 1 op-ed, “Don Imus and the essence of outlaw radio.” However, he neglected to mention the autographed picture of Jesus that glowed in the dark. And to get it, all you had to do was send your money to “Jesus — That is J.E.S.U.S., Del Rio, Texas.” No box number. No Zip code. Just the wonderful promise of “something you will cherish forever.”
I was just a little girl who turned her radio on quietly when she was supposed to be asleep.
Gretchen Robertson, Arlington
A swing and a miss
How could Dave Barry, in his “Dave Barry’s Year in Review 2019” in the Dec. 29 Washington Post Magazine, miss the Nationals winning the World Series?
Jeanne Hamilton, Alexandria
Clueless about D.C.
Regarding the Dec. 29 crossword puzzle [Arts & Style]:
Why would any self-respecting Washingtonian know the Emmy-winning creator of the television show “Six Feet Under”? Please liberate us from the entertainment-themed crossword puzzles of the Los Angeles Times and bring back the politically oriented crossword puzzles of yore.
Bennett Caplan, Bethesda
What horse people know
The Dec. 29 Washington Post Magazine crossword by Evan Birnholz contained what, in my opinion, was a bigly serious error. The clue for 47 Across was “Potential Triple Crown winner,” and the answer was five letters, not four. The correct answer to that clue would be “colt” or potentially but rarely “filly,” but the puzzle grid answer was “horse.”
Only 3-year-olds can win the Triple Crown, and 3-year-old male and female horses are called colts and fillies. Once they turn 4 years old (on Jan. 1, by the way — all thoroughbred horses in the Northern Hemisphere share the same birthday), they are called “horse” or “mare.” At least, that’s how it goes with horse people.
Tom Rymsza, Chambersburg, Pa.
A graceless moment
Why is it okay to make jokes about certain ethnic groups but not about others?
Why isn’t the Dec. 28 “Non Sequitur” comic considered politically incorrect?
What other cultures are so repeatedly and publicly ridiculed?
Bruce Grant, Charlottesville
The abuse continues
I am continually grateful for The Post’s coverage of the horrifying conditions and treatment of detained immigrant children by the Trump administration. However, the Dec. 30 editorial “Using migrant children as bait” referred to “Last year’s episode of systematically dividing families.”
Dividing families was not an “episode” that occurred last year and is now terminated. This is ongoing. Children still are being separated from their families and detained in dehumanizing, inhumane conditions in cages. The American public needs to be held accountable for this and should not think that particular horror has been terminated and we have moved beyond this ugly episode. We have not.
History will not be kind to those who have permitted this to go unchallenged. We should not provide comfort to those who deserve none.
Kathleen O'Gorman, Normal, Ill.
Eva Kor's radical forgiveness
The traditional view of forgiveness portrayed in the Dec. 25 front-page collection, “Stories of forgiveness,” is understandably unpalatable as a path for many victims. Not included was a radically different view of forgiveness pioneered by Eva Kor.
As a 10-year-old, Kor was imprisoned in Auschwitz, and her parents and two older sisters were murdered. Decades later, Kor’s personal forgiveness of Josef Mengele and other Nazis brought healing, happiness and a means to reclaim power over her life. She did not wait for an apology, nor did she grant atonement; she declared forgiveness a personal decision, completely separate from the issue of justice.
Before and after her forgiveness, Kor was a survivor advocate, a catalyst in the search for top Nazis living freely and a plaintiff against companies that benefited from the Holocaust. When worldwide media showed her hug from SS officer Oskar Groening at his trial, people assumed she was there as an ally. The truth was she was there as a co-plaintiff in the case against him. Sadly, her forgiveness was often misunderstood, and she was criticized widely.
Forgiveness doesn’t require acceptance of the unacceptable to bring happiness. Kor brought hope to many people; it would be a service to share a more accessible healing with readers.
Peggy Porter Tierney, Indianapolis
The writer is president of Tanglewood Books, which published a memoir by Eva Kor.
They say to marry your best friend
I was fascinated to read in the Dec. 30 front-page article “And then, there were two” about the tough people in Little Bay Islands, Newfoundland, who plan to continue to live there despite the hardship. This is definitely a different breed of human, as evidenced by the photograph and caption of Mike Parsons and his wife, Georgina. His “wife” is clearly ready to meet the challenge with her extra-special fur coat.
Jeanne Kadet, Annandale
Does anybody know what time it is?
The Dec. 31 Style article “What just happened?” placed Jan. 5, 2010, “in the first week of the second decade of the third millennium”; actually, that date was in the first decade of the third millennium. We note that the year 2000 was the last year of the second millennium, not the first year of the third (despite those grand celebrations of the contrary).
G.H. Fuller, Great Falls
I must take issue with David E. Hubler’s Dec. 29 letter, “Celebrating the nine-year mark,” saying Dec. 31, 2019, was not the end of a decade.
My dictionary says a decade is “a period of 10 years” — and that’s all it says. I agree with Hubler when he says the end of the second decade of the 21st century is Dec. 31, 2020. However, it still remains that the end of the 2010s decade was Dec. 31, 2019. It all depends on how you define which 10 years are in a decade.
Terence J. Moore, Olney
A scandalous omission
I was very disappointed that “House of Cards” was left out of Hank Stuever’s list of excellent shows from the past decade [“The best TV of the decade? It’s a lot to sort out.,” Style, Dec. 30]. The show had 56 Emmy nominations and seven wins. That doesn’t even count all of the other awards — Golden Globes, BAFTA, Irish Film and Television Awards, and a lot of other less-well-known awards). Apparently the final season’s scandal wiped out all of that.
Janet D. Smith, Herndon
Helping heal the wounds of war
A major contribution by William Greider was not brought out in his Dec. 31 obituary, “Writer and editor covered political and economic policy issues.” That contribution was his helping to heal the nation after the Vietnam War. One of the veterans he wrote about in a January 1977 Post article, “The Old, Unhealed Wounds of Vietnam,” was Jan Scruggs, who in 1979 became the principal founder of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund.
It was Greider who suggested to Scruggs that, as a byproduct, the memorial might help reconcile the country’s divisions over the war. As a result, reconciliation became a major theme of the memorial effort. Whether it was achieved, however, can be debated.
Robert W. Doubek, Washington
The writer was a founder, the executive director and the project director of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund.
Two popes, one movie and a moment of grace
Chico Harlan’s Dec. 29 news analysis, “Intriguing idea, but ‘Two Popes’ is a study in unfulfilled possibilities,” identified the tension in the Vatican with two living popes but lacked soulfulness. As a struggling lifelong Catholic, I thought the scene in the movie “The Two Popes” of two powerful men of God confessing their sins to one another was humbling and redemptive. It reminded me that I am a human being, forgivable and loved. It was a universal message not just for Catholics. Truly a moment of grace.
Johnette Hartnett, Lewes, Del.
I really enjoyed the depressing and mostly excellent Dec. 29 Business article on the future of journalism in the United States, “Plotting a future for imperiled local news.” The central point about the need to protect “quality” local newspapers was undercut by the misstatement that the Philadelphia “metropolitan area” of 1.5 million people had only one daily newspaper. More than 6 million people live in this three-state metropolitan area, which is served by multiple daily papers. The city of Philadelphia has a population of about 1.5 million. Two easily discoverable errors in a single sentence in an article about the decline of local newspapers. The irony was overwhelming.
David Biderman, Vienna
Basic Agreement basics
I was very pleased to read the Dec. 29 letter from Ray Trifari, “Correcting the record on free agency,” that corrected the misstatement from Kevin B. Blackistone’s Dec. 26 Sports column, “Flood’s exclusion from the Hall of Fame is a grievous error,” in which Blackistone asserted that Major League Baseball dissolved the reserve clause after the Supreme Court ruled on Curt Flood’s challenge to it. But there was one point in Trifari’s letter that might be misinterpreted. The implication of the last part of his letter was that the decision from arbitrator Peter Seitz on a separate challenge that awarded free agency to Andy Messersmith and Dave McNally also awarded free agency to all players with at least six years of service. However, earlier in the letter, Trifari referenced the new Basic Agreement bargained between Major League Baseball and the players’ union, and it is that agreement that resulted in free agency being limited to players with six years of service.
The Seitz decision might have allowed players with fewer years of service to become free agents by playing a season under renewal of their old contracts without signing a new one. However, Marvin Miller, the head of the Major League Baseball Players Association, recognized that having too many players declaring free agency at once might lower the value of their new contracts because of the large supply of free agents. Thus, the union agreed to the limitation that six years of service were needed to be eligible for free agency, and that limitation was included in the new Basic Agreement.
Jay Cherlow, Arlington