Reviews | Readers slam The Post: There’s no need to belittle Biden

Properly portraying Biden

The March 12 editorial “Protecting Big Tech’s Little Kids” featured a photograph of President Biden’s State of the Union address. Because the speech was over an hour long, there must have been plenty of opportunities to introduce the president as, well, presidential. Instead, he was presented as a screaming toddler, waving his fist in rage.

In our divided country, mocking the president — the president of all Americans — is red meat for Republicans and sour apples for Democrats. A little dignity would go a long way.

We don’t mind expanding our vocabularies

I hope the Post’s reporters and editors will ignore the kvetching of readers who find words such as “revanchist” and “irredentist” too mysterious or researched for their liking, as noted in the March 12 Free for All letter. “We should not use language that alienates our audience. If a word is relevant, use it. Even the most erudite among us have gaps in our vocabulary; given the chance to fill them, we should welcome the occasion.

Journal writing is not meant to be limited to what is appropriate for casual conversation. On the contrary! This is how people learn to read a language.

Jack Aubert, Church of the Falls

I was first amused and then annoyed by a reader’s complaint that the words “irredentist” and “revanchist” at the beginning of an article on Ukraine were “so obtuse” that she had to to look for. Her outrage at “two words that, in my decades of writing, reading and trying to live up to my English training, I have never seen”, suggests she should perhaps -be try a little non-fiction, starting with almost any book or article describing the origins and aftermath of World War II.

The Post could certainly do a much better job explaining the context of the situation in Ukraine. A series of detailed articles on Ukrainian history up to 1989, the breakup of the Soviet Union and the expansion of NATO, and the events of 2014 and after would be particularly useful (and provide an opportunity to explain the terminology). But please, in reporting current events, authors need not assume that the general readership of the paper is completely unfamiliar with European history or its vocabulary.

Deaf Comics Aren’t Funny

The February 28 comic “WuMo” was deaf and ruthless. His timing demonstrated a lack of attention and insensitivity to current world events. It was silly rather than funny.

Full screen horrors of war

Why The Post decided to relegate a photo of a dying mother transported through the wreckage of Ukraine to the Style section [“Motherhood, in the devastation of war”] rather than putting it on the front page? What better way to viscerally convey to Americans the utter human devastation that Russia is causing?

Is it because it’s too much for Americans to see the true humanity of this invasion and our inability to really act? Understand that a woman’s dreams for her own future and that of her unborn child are irretrievably extinguished? Is it because it causes us to look in the mirror and realize that we’re watching this happen and we’re flying Ukrainian flags and not drinking Russian vodka while paying a lot less at the pump than we do could?

The United States has spent decades working in partnership with Ukraine in the aftermath of the fall of the Soviet Union to secure weapons of mass destruction and offer Ukraine an extended helping hand in the defense partnership. And here we sit. Watching. Seeking consensus with an obviously neutralized NATO while Russia invades and assassinates these people. The front page featured the rubble of a building that we can all (wrongly) convince ourselves can be easily rebuilt [“U.S. warns China not to assist Russia”]. And the mother dying on a stretcher, knowing that all her hopes were extinguished within weeks, was in the Style section. I am a veteran who worked for the Department of Defense for 21 years before deciding to become a stay-at-home mom. If I didn’t write this, how could I justify holding my son with a heart full of gratitude?

Joelle Shoemaker, Alexandria

I don’t think I’ve ever seen more joy in a sports photo than the one captured by Post photographer Jonathan Newton of the Westlake High School bench (and coach) reaction to Aaron Herron’s winning score [“Wolverines stun Eagles at the buzzer,” Sports, March 13]. The Wolverines victory in the Maryland 2A Men’s Basketball Final included two great shots: the one described in Tramel Raggs’ article and the one recorded by Newton.

An invaluable learning tool

I read Ann Hornaday’s March 16 column, “A Big Loss If Movies Are Stripped From Classrooms, with great interest. I am a retired special education teacher who taught social studies. I have worked with students who had behavioral and emotional issues, and have used many films to help my students understand the context of a historical period. For example, I used “Patton” (1970) and “Memphis Belle” (1990) to show how Americans were involved in World War II. I used “The Search” (1948) to show how World War II affected ordinary citizens. Students adored Rasputin in ‘Nicholas and Alexandra’ (1971) and thought Paul Newman ‘wasn’t bad’ in ‘Exodus’ (1960). Parents signed release forms for ‘Glory’ (1989) and ‘The Killing Fields’ (1984) because they were R-rated. One student even wrote a letter to Dith Pran, who worked at the New York Times , to tell him how brave he was. it was.

These movies weren’t on an approved list, and I’m sure I wouldn’t be allowed to use them today. Maybe some kids slept through the movies or had no idea what was going on. But I know that many of them were able to use the films to deepen their understanding of history and the people who lived during that time.

What a shame that the use of film is disappearing in education.

Jane Taylor, Church of the Falls

The pandemic is not over yet

The first sentence of the March 14 editorial “Millions More Lost” reads: “The pandemic was worse than official figures show, and how much worse is now becoming more evident after two years. This use of the past simple “was” implied that the pandemic is now over, which is clearly incorrect. To be more specific, the sentence should have said “The pandemic has been” or added a modifier that spoke specifically to the past being discussed, “The first two years of the pandemic were worse than official numbers show, and how now becomes more obvious.

Publish local case numbers

Every day for the past two years I’ve checked the Metro section for the number of coronavirus cases and deaths in Maryland (where I live and work) and the number of cases in DC (where my son lives and works , and my husband works ). This data helped us make decisions about safe activities. Now I see that The Post only publishes the number of new coronavirus cases nationwide in the first section. This change was made without any explanation to readers.

While I think the number of cases in Maryland and DC are going down, I also think the numbers are still high and worth noting. I depend on The Post for local and regional news, as well as national and international news; I think it’s the newspaper’s obligation to cover the former as well as the latter.

Margaret W. Blair, Rockville

Marie Yovanovitch did not fall or fail

As a retired senior foreign service officer, I must say that the title “The Rise and Fall of an American Ambassador to Ukraine” for David Ignatius’ March 13 outlook review of the memoir of the ex-ambassador Marie Yovanovitch was ill-conceived. Yovanovitch did not fall or fail. She performed with the utmost dignity, honesty and professionalism under extremely difficult circumstances.

Far from falling, it succeeds in the finest tradition of foreign service.

A Reflection on Feast and Famine

Was it by design or coincidence that two articles about the wheat harvest appeared in the March 13 Post, one showing a promise of abundance, the other predicting a difficult time?

In the Arts and Style section, Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s painting “The Reapers” was beautifully described by Sebastian Smee in his Great Works: In Focus column, “As they reap there is so much to see “. All is well in this world of fruitful work, of shared achievements, of the warmth of community.

By contrast, “Flour Rationing, Grain Hoarding as World Heads for New Food Crisis,” an excerpt from Today’s WorldView newsletter by Anthony Faiola, describes how the current unrest in Ukraine threatens wheat production. Given that Russia and Ukraine together account for almost 30% of world wheat exports, the situation looks dire for the available food supply in the world, particularly in the Middle East. This article sent a message of pessimism and was accompanied by a photo of wheat being harvested in 2021, not a single human being in sight. All is not well in this world.

What a difference with the representation of the community in the 16th century and its vision of hope and optimism.

Jennifer Santley, Church of the Falls

I love Kathleen Parker and agree with her more often than not. I enjoyed his March 13 op-ed, “Putin Has Overthrown His Country,” about his talks with Nina Khrushcheva, the great-granddaughter of Nikita Khrushchev, the former first secretary of the Soviet Communist Party. She concluded her article by referring to Khrushchev as a Soviet strongman.

Despite Khrushchev’s likely involvement in some of Joseph Stalin’s misdeeds and even his crushing of the Hungarian uprising in 1956, he is and must be remembered primarily as the organizer of the 20th Congress of the Soviet Communist Party, who made the light on Stalin’s secrets and crimes and ushered in a pivot from the past and an immense improvement in the lives of all citizens throughout the Soviet bloc.

In the “Why don’t you cover x sport?” category, the major professional cycling race Paris-Nice took place this month. The eight-day race is the first major stage race in Europe. On March 10, American riders Brandon McNulty and Matteo Jorgensen finished first and third in Stage 5, the first time an American rider has won a stage since 2013, when Andrew Talansky finished first in Stage 3.

It’s unfortunate that The Post could dedicate inches of space to a list of golfers who didn’t complete a round in a rain-interrupted tournament, but there was no mention of Paris-Nice. Given the recent popularity of cycling, there are probably many more people who cycle than golf, and the level of fitness required to compete at the professional cycling level is far higher than that required in professional golf. Imagine Paris-Nice as a mini-Tour de France. Daily coverage would have been appreciated.

About Julius Southworth

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