Readers weigh in on the cowardice of CBS, new TV ads featuring the mothers of slain U.S. soldiers, a Marine taking the battle to Bush, and more.

By Salon Staff
Published October 1, 2004 8:51AM (EDT)

[Read "The Cowardly Broadcasting System," by Mary Jacoby.]

I was profoundly disappointed in CBS's decision not to air Ed Bradley's piece on the forged yellowcake documents. While I understand that, in view of the recent mistakes admitted by Dan Rather, CBS would think twice before running another story damning for the Bush administration, it is precisely because of its previous misstep that CBS must now reaffirm its journalistic integrity.

From what I have been able to read, Bradley's story was extremely thorough and well-documented, and running it would have served as an example to the rest of the press by focusing on an issue of true import -- our current foreign policy -- rather than events from 35 years ago that never affected anyone beyond the president himself.

It is up to the mainstream press, with excellent reporters such as the ones found on "60 Minutes," to inform Americans at large of these matters. When news broadcasters choose not to air such important stories, it raises the following question: What is the purpose of the press if it chooses to turn a deaf ear to issues of credibility in our government?

For over a year the mainstream press has reported on the yellowcake matter but has never followed through with any kind of in-depth reporting and analysis. We the people have been asked by both the Bush administration and the press to just accept these gross errors as a fact of life. I find this even more demoralizing coming from a president who preached accountability again and again during his 2000 campaign. I was counting on CBS to help assuage my frustration. Instead, it has shown disrespect for the public and its own highly regarded employee, Ed Bradley.

-- Angela Espinosa

Your report on the killed CBS report reminded me very much of the events described in the movie "The Insider." However, instead of Big Tobacco, it's the Bush administration killing the story. The now-discredited memos Dan Rather reported are a convenient excuse for not airing a much more important report in time for it to have any impact on the election. Once again, the CBS execs cave in to pressure from above.

So much for the quaint notion of a free press.

-- Patrick Campbell

[Read "'Bush Lied, My Son Died,'" by Michelle Goldberg.]

I'm against this war, and it hurts me every time I see pictures of the dead, but anyone who blames Bush for the death of their mercenary children might want to consider the profession they chose. No one told these kids to join the military -- and while I grieve their deaths, it isn't news that soldiers die in battle -- or that soldiers' parents don't get to choose the wars their kids go fight.

-- Jeffrey Abelson

I applaud the courage of the brave and patriotic mothers Cindy Sheehan, Lila Lipscomb, Fernando Suarez del Solar and Sue Niederer. These brave women have stood up in memory of their precious children to expose Bush's lies and focus attention on the suffering those lies have resulted in for real people right here at home.

Let's hope their courageous actions save at least a few other mothers from the anguish and heartbreak these amazing women are living with every day.

-- Jenny Saboley

[Read "Marine Declares War on Bush," by Michelle Goldberg.]

Michelle Goldberg's story puts the lie to the neocon chickenhawks currently running the executive branch. Col. Brozak falls into a great tradition of former Marines -- people who have seen war up close -- having their say, figures like Gen. David Shoup in the early days of Vietnam and Tony Zinni today.

-- David Morris

Good for Brozak -- he's going for the organ grinder instead of the monkey.

-- Howard Meyer

[Read "Joe McCarthy Lives," by Eric Boehlert.]

President Bush continues to maintain his strategy in Iraq is succeeding and that he has saved Americans and Iraqis from a "grave and gathering danger."

However, with all the bombs and bullets being lobbed about in Iraq, the Iraqis can't feel much safer than our soldiers do.

Are we any safer at home? To pay for Bush's budget-breaking invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, funding has been cut from everything from the Coast Guard to police. In Boston, the police budget has decreased by more than 40 percent. With our National Guard in Iraq, Bush can't afford to protect the easy terrorist targets of our water supplies, chemical factories and nuclear plants.

Bush has not stopped a "grave and gathering danger." Instead, by getting rid of Saddam in a violent and clumsy manner, Bush has become the greatest enlistment poster for al-Qaida in the world.

-- Audrey Schulman

In response to Republican scare tactics about Kerry putting America at risk, I wonder why no one is citing Lawrence Wright's New Yorker article about the Madrid bombings. In "The Terror Web," Wright quotes jihadists wanting Bush to win the election:

"Four days later, the Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades, a group claiming affiliation with Al Qaeda, sent a bombastic message to the London newspaper Al-Quds al-Arabi, avowing responsibility for the train bombings. 'Whose turn will it be next?' the authors taunt. 'Is it Japan, America, Italy, Britain, Saudi Arabia, or Australia?' The message also addressed the speculation that the terrorists would try to replicate their political success in Spain by disrupting the November U.S. elections. 'We are very keen that Bush does not lose the upcoming elections,' the authors write. Bush's 'idiocy and religious fanaticism' are useful, the authors contend, for they stir the Islamic world to action."

-- Janis Benincasa

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