Blow Hard

Week of March 5, 2003

Picking on Peter Pan
Childish, yes; child molester, no: Is it shock value the Riverfront Times strives for at times instead of professional journalism? There wasn't a shred of decency in condemning Michael Jackson through innuendo as a pedophile without solid proof [Daniel Durchholz, "Man in the Mirror," February 19]. The law provides for innocence until proven guilty. Mr. Durchholz shatters this fairness allotted to every citizen. Michael Jackson may come across as childish and the epitome of Hollywood's insecurity with looks. Perhaps Michael is no more superficial and juvenile than American society. If the accusations of pedophilia are true, then Michael should be held fully accountable for his actions. Until then, hold the public lynching until all the facts are in.
Lynetta D. Curtis

Evil Doings
Can you spell "pre-emption"? There is no moral justification for the United States' going to war with Iraq [Jeannette Batz, "A Matter of Honor," February 26]. You cannot punish someone (or some country) for a crime that they may, at some point, commit. That said, U.S. foreign policy has never been particularly concerned with morality. Speak democratically, but carry a big stick. As I understand it, President George W. Bush justifies this war using Iraq's supposed possession of weapons of mass destruction. This justifies war, regardless of the civilian casualties that might be incurred, because the hypothetical murder of an American is worth more than the actual murder of an Iraqi. And of course only America, and her equally infallible allies, should possess weapons of mass destruction. The U.S. government (and the United Kingdom) supported Saddam Hussein during his most evil acts, including the gassing of the Kurds and the Anfal massacres. They gave him the tools and the knowledge to make his weapons of mass destruction. What has he done recently that is so much more evil than killing innocent people?
David Royal

Missing Ray
And Speedy, too: As a faithful reader of the Riverfront Times, I regret to say that I have pretty much had it. As disappointed as I was when Ray Hartmann sold the paper, I was able to suck it up and accept the fact that the publication I had grown to admire wouldn't ever be quite the same. But the recent loss of Speedloader and a number of other hard-hitting fixtures that made the RFT worth reading to me has squandered my faith in your publication. St. Louis is a city with very serious problems and the only publication in town that would cover the down and dirty issues has abandoned them in favor of pop-culture fluff. The RFT has let St. Louis down by straying from its original alternative agenda by becoming a hokey print version of Elimidate. I hope something better comes along soon. St. Louis deserves it.
Randy Vines
St. Louis

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