Wednesday, June 20, 2007

An Open Thread...

...for

other

topics...

that

don't

quite

belong

anywhere

else.

Thanks to the commenter (?) at GG's blog who posted the link to this image.


Valerie's turn... The following has been pasted in from the comments for suggestions on how best to respond to a news story; feel free to add comments, suggestions, etc., directly to this post, if you are able, or else in the comments...

and now a rewrite from Valerie (see both her note and mine in the comment box) which I have also moved up the page a bit:

Valerie said...

Good morning, good folks!

I have decided to focus my ire directly on CNN for several reasons. One, they did it! Two, it's already old news :( I'm just not quick enough to be on-spot with commentary like Glenn or others. So, I narrowed my "audience" which helped me structure my rant. Here is my rewrite, which obviously still needs work. I'll do more fact checking later this morning to substantiate my argument. Here goes:

Dear CNN American Morning,

On Wednesday, June 20, 2007, I viewed your show during the period that Christianne Amanpour reported on Iraqi refugees which was followed by the interview with Mrs. Laura Bush. I believe the stated facts in these two segments conflicted, which disturbs me for two reasons, which are of great import to your viewers whether they realize it or not. The importance to me has prompted this correspondence.

The first reason is the apparent conflict in the facts. Amanpour's discussion regarding Iraqi refugees in various countries was informative and presented factually. She stated that the USA had the fewest refugees from Iraq and only in the 10s this year -- not tens of hundreds or tens of thousands, but 10s.

Then Mrs. Bush's interview followed Amanpour immediately, with Mrs. Bush quoting entirely different Iraqi refugee statistics, saying that (paraphrase): "the USA was helping out with the refugee crisis in a big way, and was leading the world in refugee assistance."

To alleviate my disturbance, I did some research and found that an article in the Boston Sun (http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bal-op.refugee20jun20,0,946531.story) supports Amanpour. QUOTE SOME FACTS.

Another article, from CNN (http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/06/19/refugees.resettle/index.html), could support Mrs. Bush in a flawed sort of way. Your article states "The U.S. State Department says it expects at least 70 Iraqi refugees to come to the United States in the next 10 days, part of the 7,000 who will be allowed to resettle in America under an emergency measure approved in February." Thus it appears that your article supports Amanpour, but Mrs. Bush used the 7,000 number as if it had already happened. FIND SWEDEN NUMBERS (12,000, I believe)

PROBABLY NEED A STATEMENT HERE THAT MY RESEARCH DID *NOT* ALLEVIATE MY DISTURBANCE AS TO THE FACTS.

My second reason for disturbance concerns CNN's decision to air these two segments back-to-back as coverage of World Refugee Day. Did not anyone at CNN notice the conflict in facts? Did not anyone at CNN expect their viewers to notice the conflict in facts? Or was this segment placement intentional in an effort to be "balanced"? And if it was meant to show viewers "both sides of the story," then where is your analysis of the factual conflict?

NEED HELP IN CLOSING.

June 22, 2007 4:30 AM


46 comments:

Karen M said...

moved to this open thread from another post...

Gordon said...

Hi. Pardon me, please, for barging in like this. Ms. KarenM offered to critique a letter I wrote over at the Salon.com, and absent an open thread, I thought I'd drop it into this one. I invite any and all to get out the red pencils and have away. I am thick-skinned (goes along with my thick skull!) and I really would like to improve, well,... everything: grammar, usage, analytical skills, content, argumentation/logic, style, and whatever else you identify as needing attention. (One thing I noticed stylistically - among other things - was an over-reliance on passive voice.)
Is this what you had in mind, Ms. KarenM? If not, I regret the intrusion.
Yours faithfuly,
Gordon Ginsberg

Dear Mr. Cohen:

There are a few factual inaccuracies in your column requiring correction:

"At the urging of the liberal press (especially the New York Times), (Mr. Fitzgerald) was appointed to look into a run-of-the-mill leak and wound up prosecuting not the leaker -- Richard Armitage of the State Department"

Actually, it was the Central Intelligence Agency who urged investigation of the leaking of Ms. Plame's identity. If the CIA had not demanded that investigation, it most certainly would never have been ordered.

Further, Richard Armitage is not the leaker; he merely relayed the classified information from the leaker (who has yet to be identified and held to account - contrary to President Bush's promise) to someone else. This is an important distinction that, it is hoped, you will clarify to your readers.

"...government officials should not lie to grand juries, but neither should they be called to account for practicing the dark art of politics. As with sex or real estate, it is often best to keep the lights off."

Mr. Cohen, this is astounding. You are saying that the mission of the Fourth Estate is comparable to sexual pleasure and base real estate transactions? Where is the logic in that? Perhaps you do not respect your profession, or - more likely - this is rhetorical excess. The job of the press is to Keep The Lights On, sir. Concerning governmental affairs, only in the matter of gravest national security (D-day landing intelligence, for example) should the press censor itself. Perhaps it's okay to lie while "practicing the dark art of politics," but lying to a grand jury is a crime. This was entirely preventable by Mr. Libby.

"The upshot was a train wreck -- mile after mile of shame, infamy, embarrassment and occasional farce,..."

Mr. Libby brought the "shame, infamy, and embarrassment" on himself by lying (repeatedly) to officers of the court. The farce is that confidential cover of a CIA operative was used by the White House in a petty, petulant act of revenge against a whistle-blower's wife. This fact is not in dispute.

"As Fitzgerald worked his wonders, threatening jail and going after government gossips with splendid pluck, many opponents of the Iraq war cheered...."

Many? How many? By extension, we can infer that 'many' also did not cheer. Whatever you judge to be (arguably) bad behavior on the part of 'many' does not condemn everyone else, does it? Again, there is a failure of logic here.

"They thought -- if "thought" can be used in this context -- that if the thread was pulled on who had leaked the identity of Valerie Plame to Robert D. Novak, the effort to snooker an entire nation into war would unravel..."

How do you know this. Are you a mind reader? Absent sourcing, this is opinion stated as fact. Perhaps you have sources for this conclusion of yours. It would be appropriate for you to cite them.

It is apparent that for some reason you disparage Mr. Fitzgerald for doing his job, in service of the concept that we are a nation of laws, not men. What should he have done? The CIA prodded the Department of Justice into doing its job of enforcing the law, in order to protect covert agents. Mr. Fitzgerald uncovered wrong-doing during the course of his investigation, which he was required - by law and by his oath to preserve the Constitution of the United States - to pursue. This was not an oversight issue; it was a law-enforcement issue.

Dear Mr. Cohen, I apologize for my meager writing abilities. I hope that my points are clear. I am disappointed that you seem to be of the opinion that employees of the White House should not be held to account for breaking the law in pursuit of political agendas, but of course, you are entitled to your feelings. I hope you will correct the factual inaccuracies enumerated above.

Sincerely,

Gordon Ginsberg

June 19, 2007 3:49 PM

Valerie said...

Gordon,
I too popped over here to get some pointers from these well-"spoken" folks. I'm pretty good at grammar but not at sentence structure, which is why I'm slightly intimidated to post at Glenn's sight. I just don't feel knowledgeable enough to contribute anything other than my support.

The one thing I found was a question mark needed at the end of this sentence:
"How do you know this. " I'll let Karen and the others help you with anything else they find and from which I will learn.

Take care,
Valerie

Valerie said...

oops.... I mean "site" NOT "sight" ~~ shoot! I need to improve my proofreading skills too!

Karen M said...

Valerie, if we had a nickel for everytime someone spelled a world like its "homophone" we could earn a very tidy sum. And from some of the "well-spoken" folks, too.

If you have something that needs to be said, and are worried about how to phrase it, even at Glenn's blog, you could start off with bullet points, more than one level, if necessary. Then just ask for help on how to join them together into sentences and paragraphs.

Gordon said...

Ms. Karen M: Nice job with the Open Thread link and the Yummy(!) accompanying graphic.
Ms. Valerie: Thanks for the note regarding the missing question mark. Looks like you & I are the charter members of Open Thread here.
Thank you, Ms. Karen M for making it happen. (Great idea about the bullet points!)
Oh reservoir,
Gordon

Karen M said...

I'll be back later on, Gordon.

I'm going to need to paste your letter into something larger. I wasn't thinking about how small these comment boxes are.

Karen M said...

Gordon, Do you mind if I post the letter with my multi-colored "edits" down here on the front page, where it's easier for others to see?

I've made some suggestions beyond punctuation, etc., but others might have other & better ideas that would benefit you.

Gordon said...

Dear Ms. Karen M,
Don't mind a bit. I will be away until Thursday. See ya then!

Jeff W said...

Gordon:

I looked at your letter and I agree with Karen's edits, although I think you can get away with both petty and petulant. I think it's great that you're open to suggestion—it's late, though, so I'll give it another look in the morning.

You might be interested in taking a look at this column at the Huffington Post as it highlights the factual basis of the case.

Just so you know, I had noticed your comments over at Glenn's blog and it had not occurred to me that your writing abilities were in any way meager. I always like them—they strike me as straightforward, easy to read, and thoughtful.

Valerie said...

Hello all,
okay, I'm not sure even where to post this right now, and I don't think I want to start my own blog, but I got damned mad this morning watching CNN and this is what I want to say but I know I need some help with it. And any suggestions on where to post it is welcome.

There was a clip of Christianne Amanpour discussing Iraqi refugees in various countries and the burden on them and the fact that the USA had the fewest refugees from Iraq and only in the 10s this year -- not tens of hundreds or tens of thousands, but 10s.

The next CNN clip was a discussion of Laura Bush (nice lady, I think) who, by the way, pronounced "terror" as "terra" -- shocking to me since she was a school teacher. However, my beef is that she said (paraphrasing) that the USA was helping out with the refugee crisis in a big way, and was leading the world in refugee assistance. (This is where I need help, so I will have to look it up to see if there is a clip online because that really is a paraphrase, but this is what I took away from her statement. What I have found online: "The U.S. State Department says it expects at least 70 Iraqi refugees to come to the United States in the next 10 days, part of the 7,000 who will be allowed to resettle in America under an emergency measure approved in February." http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/06/19/refugees.resettle/index.html

I found the Amanpour video on CNN "Iran refugees in Jordan" but it doesn't have the "discourse" between her and the anchor.)

I believe this goes along with the media stuff that Glenn has talked about, and I was quite dismayed to hear Laura Bush say this, *especially* immediately following Amanpour's report. I think I'll send it to Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert, but your help in all this is appreciated. Thanks.

Karen M said...

Valerie:

After Gordon returns tomorrow, I'll take down his letter and post your comment. In the meantime, you can keep working on it.

As for starting your own blog, you would not believe how easy it is to set one up. And then you could post your letter or draft or questions or bullet points and ask for feedback from friends, family, or whoever else happens by. Lots of people use blogs as a kind of notebook or worksheet for writing projects. You could do the same for writing to the Media.

(The hardest part can be coming up with a name... ;~) but Valerie's Notebook would work to begin with and you could always change it. Note: we started here with: language-grammar... just to get started.)

If you decide you want to do it, I'll help you get started...

Valerie said...

Thanks, Karen. I'll think about my own blog -- have stayed out of that so far, but maybe it's time.

I look forward to more comments and suggestions.

Frankly, my dear, ... said...

Karen: The html tag for strikethrough is <s> and end strikethrough is </s>.

Karen M said...

Thanks, Frankly'....

I had tried spelling it out, since that has worked elsewhere, and didn't know that the simple "s" would be enough.

Something has gone awry with the color tags, though, and I don't have time to fix it now. Later...

Karen M said...

Thanks, Both! ...for your efforts.

I don't know about the rest of you, but I think it's interesting to see something "in process" actually posted.

After Gordon returns tomorrow and has a chance to see it, I'll take it down and put up Valerie's comment; she'd like some suggestions, too. (But you don't have to wait until then.)

Valerie said...

I noticed a few things that I need to clarify:

*whether Mrs. Bush said "refugee assistance" or "Iraqi refugee assistance" ~~ that could make a difference, perhaps (guess I need to research the numbers, a la Sysprog)
* Amanpour was definitely talking only about 10s of Iraqi refugees.

I think I will check on sites like MediaMatters, or whatever other sites are suggested to back up my take on the issue. I'm certainly not in the habit of taping the news!
I will work on a rewrite after receiving some suggestions. Thanks to all of you in advance.

William Timberman said...

Wow! Is there anything which gives more pleasure than watching experts at work?

Two anecdotes:

I once had the good fortune to watch Elizabeth Schwarzkopf giving a master class to a young soprano. The young woman was having the devil of a time hitting a particularly high note while maintaining the covered tone that the piece -- a Schubert Lied, as I remember -- required.

On the verge of tears, she said, "I just can't do it. Can you show me?"

Madam Schwarzkopf shook her head. "My dear, I can no longer reach that note...but YOU can." Amazing grace, indeed....

Another time, I watched a journeyman carpenter hang a door. Every move he made was made with an easy skill -- measuring, chiseling, lifting the door into place and setting the hinges -- even driving the pins into the hinges required only a single, precisely measured tap of the hammer for each.

At the last, doorknob in hand, he stepped back and gently gave the the door a push. It swung slowly in its arc and latched with a chunk like the door to a Mercedes Benz. He stood for a moment, eyeing the evenness of the gap around the frame, then picked up his tools and left.

These two memories were what came to me as I looked at the edits to Gordon's letter this evening. Simply put, it's wonderful to be in such company. Thanks, all.

Karen M said...

Wonderful anecdotes, William! I love watching those kinds of skills, too.

...and high praise coming from you. Actually, Gordon won't return until tomorrow, so feel free (away on the left coast) to have at it yourself. I suspect you might have some thoughts yourself. And this is really more of a post-mortem, since he's already sent the letter. Who knows, though, he may decide to send his own "correction" just to be an example. ;~)

Gordon said...

Dear Ms. Karen M,
Thank you for the masterful editing work. I have pasted it into MS Word in order to get rid of the strike-through marks and to integrate the other changes, and I will resubmit to R. Cohen as a kind of experiment. (Do I understand correctly that this is what you were contemplating?)

Thanks to all for your indulgence... and Mr. Jeff W for your kind words.

I am thrilled at what you have done, Ms. Karen. The changes have rendered the letter much more dynamic and elegant. I will have to practice a lot to ever even hope to achieve that kind of clarity, style, and artistry in just one or two drafts. Again, my thanks to you.

And, finally (for now), this new blog is simply lovely.

Karen M said...

You are too kind, Gordon, but we were happy to oblige.

Now that you have returned and copied and pasted this, I'm going to remove it from here (and save it behind the scenes in case we or you need it again) and make some space for Valerie.

I don't know what Richard Cohen's reaction will be, but what could be the harm in sending it to him again?

You might want to check out the comments he received online yesterday first, though, just to gauge his temperament. ;~)

Gordon said...

Dear Ms. Karen M,
Here is how two sections look after reformatting. I changed 'preventable' in one sentence for contrast with the use of 'prevented' in the next. Does that make sense? Then, in a a later paragraph, I inserted your additional query.

"This outcome was entirely avoidable by Mr. Libby. He prevented Mr. Fitzgerald from being able to complete his assignment, by muddying the waters with his lies."

and...

"How do you know this. Are you a mind reader? Absent sourcing, this is opinion stated as fact. Perhaps you have sources for this conclusion of yours. It would be appropriate for you to cite them. [And anyway, what exactly is wrong with them thinking that? After all, you used the word "snooker," implying something guilty.]"

Will mail to R Cohen after your comment.
Thanks,
G

Gordon said...

PS to Ms. Karen M -
I did see the comments and R. Cohen's pathetic attempt to justify himself. His temperament is well-suited for my minor harassment, I think. ;~

Gordon said...

Yikes - The inserted query should be in ( ) instead of [ ]??? The brackets signify the editors comments?
Sorry to be hogging comment space here! Learning curve!

Valerie said...

Gordon, I think you are doing terrific and I'm glad you're going to send the letter to Cohen again. Is there such a thing as hogging up comment space? LOL I would think Karen M and the contributors want to hear whatever you have to say, as do I.

Regarding my piece of rant, I was listening to Lionel on AirAmerica this morning and he replayed Laura Bush's comment, so I got to hear it again and she didn't explicitly say Iraqi refugees, but she surely was implying it. Lionel caught her in several lies and cited a Baltimore Sun article (http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bal-op.refugee20jun20,0,946531.story) that gives some solid numbers, so that helps me too.

I logged on at Air America and mentioned the Amanpour piece, and I called them too, and the nice fellow said he would get that information to the program manager. See, to me its not just her lies, although that is shameful, its that they followed Amanpour's factual statements that really goaded me.

Anyway, as far as sentence structure, I noticed once my "rant" was posted by Karen (thanks, mightily), that the discussion was not "of" Laura Bush but "with" her. Tonight I will work on make this some kind of comprehensive blog entry. Eagerly awaiting comments!

Valerie said...

Since this is something I've seen several times, and it's not found in the dictionary, and I don't want to ask foolish questions on Glenn's board, can someone here clue me in on:
PWN3D

what does it mean? thanks. yes? (a la bebop-o)

Gordon said...

Hi Ms. Valerie.
I recently started listening to Air America. It helps... a little bit... sometimes... to feel less isolated in this Strange New Country of ours.

From urbandictionary.com:
pwn3d -
means "owned" (mis-spelled). I guess it's because of the proximity of [3] and [e] and of [p] and [o] on the QWERTY keyboard.

certifiedprepwn3d = certified pre-owned

I can easily see why the owner of that handle would choose that name. ;) A lot of fun wrapped up in that small line of text.

Good luck with your project!
G

Valerie said...

Thanks, Gordon... that makes it an extension of teh, then. I just couldn't figure it out and now I understand certifiedprepwn3d's nom better. I was trying all kinds of word plays to figure it out. Now I will be more observant of the qwerty-isms!

Karen M said...

Yikes! I'm behind, and have to catch a train home. I'll catch up when I get there.

In the meantime, feel free to mingle!

- K

Karen M said...

This is what I love most about blogging... everyone gets to learn and everyone gets to teach.

Thanks, Gordon, for explaining about "owned," because I had been wondering about that, too.

Your paragraphs look fine to me, although the comment in the square brackets [ ] were to mark "my" comment to "you." You're right, they're used for the writer's or editor's notes, which made it confusing this time. I was just asking you that question. Whether or not you want to pass it on to Cohen, I don't know.

Let us know what happens...

- K

Karen M said...

Valerie... I wasn't sure, but were you waiting to add something or make a change first, or waiting for comments before doing either?

Valerie said...

Karen, I was waiting for comments and I haven't had a chance to work on it tonight and its almost bedtime. I will get up early tomorrow to post a rewrite here. Now I'm not sure if I want to send it to CNN or someone else, or just blog it although I'm not sure just blogging it myself is helpful. I'll also look around in the morning to see if someone already has a topic posted that this would fit with.
Thanks.

Valerie said...

Good morning, good folks!

I have decided to focus my ire directly on CNN for several reasons. One, they did it! Two, it's already old news :( I'm just not quick enough to be on-spot with commentary like Glenn or others. So, I narrowed my "audience" which helped me structure my rant. Here is my rewrite, which obviously still needs work. I'll do more fact checking later this morning to substantiate my argument. Here goes:

Dear CNN American Morning,

On Wednesday, June 20, 2007, I viewed your show during the period that Christianne Amanpour reported on Iraqi refugees which was followed by the interview with Mrs. Laura Bush. I believe the stated facts in these two segments conflicted, which disturbs me for two reasons, which are of great import to your viewers whether they realize it or not. The importance to me has prompted this correspondence.

The first reason is the apparent conflict in the facts. Amanpour's discussion regarding Iraqi refugees in various countries was informative and presented factually. She stated that the USA had the fewest refugees from Iraq and only in the 10s this year -- not tens of hundreds or tens of thousands, but 10s.

Then Mrs. Bush's interview followed Amanpour immediately, with Mrs. Bush quoting entirely different Iraqi refugee statistics, saying that (paraphrase): "the USA was helping out with the refugee crisis in a big way, and was leading the world in refugee assistance."

To alleviate my disturbance, I did some research and found that an article in the Boston Sun (http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bal-op.refugee20jun20,0,946531.story) supports Amanpour. QUOTE SOME FACTS.

Another article, from CNN (http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/06/19/refugees.resettle/index.html), could support Mrs. Bush in a flawed sort of way. Your article states "The U.S. State Department says it expects at least 70 Iraqi refugees to come to the United States in the next 10 days, part of the 7,000 who will be allowed to resettle in America under an emergency measure approved in February." Thus it appears that your article supports Amanpour, but Mrs. Bush used the 7,000 number as if it had already happened. FIND SWEDEN NUMBERS (12,000, I believe)

PROBABLY NEED A STATEMENT HERE THAT MY RESEARCH DID *NOT* ALLEVIATE MY DISTURBANCE AS TO THE FACTS.

My second reason for disturbance concerns CNN's decision to air these two segments back-to-back as coverage of World Refugee Day. Did not anyone at CNN notice the conflict in facts? Did not anyone at CNN expect their viewers to notice the conflict in facts? Or was this segment placement intentional in an effort to be "balanced"? And if it was meant to show viewers "both sides of the story," then where is your analysis of the factual conflict?

NEED HELP IN CLOSING.

Karen M said...

Valerie,

I'm going to substitute this re-write for the previous post, just to make it easier for everyone to read, and especially if anyone wants to making any editing notes.

certifiedprepwn3d said...

hi valerie!

The letter looks great - I have not been functioning in an entirely linear manner this week, and missed getting in on this discussion. The handle is a play on "certified pre-owned"
The main usage of pwn3d that I was thinking of was the online gaming taunt - someone gets tricked/blow'd up/ otherwise spectacularly showed up for a chump, then a bystander can sneer "PWN3D!!!1!". In a sense the handle says "pre-defeated", "pre-chumped" -- and in an online world of trolls and taunters, that can also mean "eff-you" to persons of ill-will.

Jeff W said...

Hi, Valerie:

Your post looks great! I'm glad you're writing to CNN.

Offhand comment: "My second reason for disturbance concerns CNN's decision to air these two segments back-to-back as coverage of World Refugee Day."

That reads a little like you're concerned about the segments as coverage of World Refugee Day.

Maybe better recast as: "My second reason for disturbance concerns CNN's decision to air, as coverage of World Refugee Day, these two segments back-to-back." (Or leave out the reference to World Refugee Day altogether.)

ondelette said...

... I believe the stated facts in these two segments conflicted, which disturbs me for two reasons, which are of great import to your viewers whether they realize it or not. The importance to me has prompted this correspondence.

I would change around the end of this semi-paragraph for two reasons: the importance is spread over the end of the paragraph, and the two reasons should occur right before you enumerate them (if someone reads too slowly they may have forgotten what they were ;-)).

...I believe the facts stated in these two segments are in conflict, which is disturbing, and should be of importance to your viewers for two reasons:

Valerie said...

Thanks, ondelette! And Jeff, and certifiedprepwn3d, and of course, Karen.

Think Progress has the clip of Laura up, so I've had a chance to listen several times. The nuance between the US assistance for refugees and the Iraqi refugees is still blurred in her statement, I believe. Would someone listen to it there and see if you agree? I don't want to go off (already have, eh?)on CNN if I'm wrong. At any rate, this has been a good exercise for me to "put myself out there" to get some feedback. Thanks again.

Jeff W said...

I happened to hear Laura Bush say on NPR this evening "we also know that abstinence is the 100-percent safe way to know you won't acquire HIV"—an obviously false statement, given other, non-sex-related forms of transmission (e.g., prerinatal HIV transmission, transmission via syringes, etc.). I understand she was speaking in the context of AIDS relief in Africa but, still, it was, to put it generously, an overly broad statement.

It made think immediately of this post.

Karen M said...

Valerie: I just listened to the clip, and I think you're right.

She first says that the US welcomes more refugees than all of the countries combined, but what she didn't say, was where those refugees come from. They're not necessarily all from Iraq.

Then she expresses special concern for Iraqi refugees, and that we'll be helping refugees from both Iraq and Afghanistan.

Sounds like some form of conflation to me.

First, she's talking about the entire set of refugees, and then a subset of them, but she doesn't make that clear. And, of course, no one is going to call her on it, because they don't want to embarrass her because she's a nice lady.

Unfortunately, that's how we ended up with her husband as president, and he world in a turmoil. Everyone thought he was a nice guy, and no one wanted to embarrass him.

Karen M said...

Valerie... my bias slip may have been showing in that previous comment, but I trust you can pull that thread out.

I have another thought. While you're writing your next version, instead of writing as if you're writing to some head honchos at CNN, talk it out loud first (maybe someone will take notes for you?) and just as if you are telling a good friend, a woman, who also happens to be very concerned about political affairs. (Or, if you prefer, to one of your teenage children who is taking an AP social studies course, and is really interested.)

I think your tone is more formal than it needs to be, because you give your addressees more credit (or rank) than they deserve. If they really deserved it, you probably wouldn't be having to confront them on this issue.

Can't wait to see what you come up with next. You're a good sport to put it all on the front page like this.

Valerie said...

Thanks, Karen for your helpful comments. I will work on another rewrite and I WILL send it to CNN. Your observation about the formal tone is well-taken.

I really appreciate that you listened to the clip of Mrs. Bush also and agree with me that the implication is there as I originally thought. I am going to point this out in the letter, not that it's CNN's fault that she did this. Maybe I'll write a letter to her too! I'm tired of worrying about embarassing these people or anyone who supports them.

I went to the opening of Sicko last night which was fantastic and should be watched by every American concerned about our health care system. I reached out to the couple sitting next to us by asking them to have coffee after the meeting. We had an excellent conversation and plan to keep in touch in efforts to make the next election undisputable in any court, poll, or other method "they" think they can use to get their way. I also told this couple about Glenn's blog. It was an uplifting evening and considering I'm in a red state, I was glad to see the theater completely full. In fact, this couple had travelled about 50 miles to see the movie in my town.

Jeff, I wonder if this woman realizes her inaccuracies ~~ and I wonder if she was teaching such inaccuracies in school. Yikes!

Jeff W said...

Valerie, Just two brief comments: I doubt she does. I've always seen her, as this person does, as "a vapid Stepford First Lady."

And I have to differ somewhat about one of your comments on Sicko: it should be really watched by every American who isn't concerned about our health care system. It might turn out to be a fairly influential film—let's hope so.

Great "networking" in that red state, Val—every little bit helps.

Gordon said...

Quick Richard Cohen update:
I re-sent our letter with revisions, and copied in WaPo's Ombudsman last Friday (22 June). No response.
Cheers! (w/aplologies to AL).
-G

Valerie said...

Folks, I have been very busy these last few days and haven't had a chance to work on my letter. For one thing, I'm hosting a John Edwards party on Wed and going to see him in Tampa on Friday. I don't know if I'll vote for him, but this gives me a chance to meet more blues in this red state and to get to listen to him more up close and personal to help me when it's time to decide.

Regardless, I still plan to send the letter to CNN as soon as I rewrite (maybe tomorrow ~~ I don't want more than a week to go by from the episode!).

Thanks again to all.

Karen M said...

That's great, Valerie! I'd love to hear about your John Edwards party later on, either here in this thread, or via email. (Most of my family-- 4 siblings plus a few misc.-- live in FL, too. One sister is a Democrat...)

I'm in a purple state...

And please let us know if anything comes of the letter.

ScubaVal said...

nothing to report on the letter, but I will post in on my NEW blog! Yes, I did it today because of voter fraud news that I want to support. Thanks, Karen, for the suggestion -- I got a bit braver with your support :)

So, I'm going to post my final letter to CNN there, and keep it there. I'll add more to the site as I figure out how to do it. Please visit me at: http://curtainsusa.blogspot.com.

Thanks everybody for your help with my CNN letter. And please let me know your thoughts about my blog on my blog :) Karen, you can take the letter down if you want, or you can leave it until someone else wants to post something.