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Dear FRONTLINE,
If there has been a better two hours on television in recent memory, I can't imagine what it might be. I have lived in this country for over thirty years and for me it was a mesmerizing look at the country using the candidates as a vehicle. The insight into their personalities, personal and political, against the landscapes of Kansas and Arkansas, was amazing. I am a brand new American citizen, excited at the prospect of voting for the first time and fascinated by every aspect of the American political process. I taped the show and look forward to viewing it again. FRONTLINE, in my opinion, epitomizes television at its very best, but you have outdone yourselves. WELL DONE!
S.P.K.
Sarasota, FL


Dear FRONTLINE,
The personal histories of the candidates were excellent, but drugstore psychology from a photographer is absurd. An actor telling us what Clinton is thinking when he narrows his eyes made me wonder if this guy also, ìreadsî tea leaves?

The time would have been used better by trying to inform the American voter that politicians say what they feel they must to get elected and shouldn't be faulted for it. It comes with the territory.

What counts, is not what politicians say, but what they do, stupid.
Sincerely,
V.T.U.
Culver City, CA


Dear FRONTLINE,
I am writing to express my complete satisfaction with your program of October 8: The Choice. As a conservative (and I might add a black American), I typically view such programs with a critical-eye; however, in this case I was pleasantly surprised with the even-handedness and depth of analysis.

I have enjoyed your programming in the past and look forward to upcoming programs. Keep up the good work!
M.M.
Sacramento, CA


Dear FRONTLINE,
I was very disappointed with last night's program on the two candidates. I have always regarded Frontline as the best investigative series in television, but the one last night sounded like it had been scripted by the same group that put on the Republican convention. It also exuded postmodern poop in place of real reporting. The metaphorical contrast between Russell and Hot Springs, Maybury vs. Gomorrah, was not only not informative, but was outrageously simplistic and distorted. I grew up in Kansas, a place with no shortage of bigotry, hypocrisy, meanness, and vice. Bob Dole's mother was a saintly woman who waxed her waste baskets; Bill Clinton's mother was a floozy who wore tube tops and frequented the racetrack. Give me a break. Perhaps the worst part had to do with war records. Bob Dole has wrung far more out of his than the facts deserve, something I thought you at least would point out. He was nearly 22 years old in 1945, when he joined the war in the waning weeks. I have read in obscure places that he had a student deferment he fought to preserve, and only went when he ran out of ways to avoid it. Not unlike Bill Clinton, who at least opposed the war he sought to avoid, and managed to do so by the luck of the draw. If this is what the new season of Frontline portends, I might as well watch PrimeTime Live.
S.G.
Tampa, FL


Dear FRONTLINE,,br> Bravo for you, PBS, for having an informative, interesting and down-to-earth look at the candidates and their personal lives, beliefs, backgrounds, gifts, both good and bad. It was refreshing, especially, with the debates seemingly empty except for the personal "attacks". I found myself looking for you to show a bias toward one candidate or the other, but did not feel you were trying to persuade be one way or the other. You allowed me to like something special about them both and respect them, even with their faults. Thank you.
J.Y.
Asheville, N.C.


Dear FRONTLINE,
The Frontline show I saw last night purporting to explore the character of Bob Dole and Bill Clinton represented all the worst aspects of political reporting. It made use of a maddening Rosebud/ Citzen Kane style of reporting grasping on to facile, empty psychological insights. "It's their eyebrows! No wait, its the land they came from! No wait, its Rosebud!" This show was about as empty as you imply that Dole and Clinton are. How about doing some serious reporting again?
B.W.
St. Paul, MN


Dear FRONTLINE,
The Frontline program of October 8 was on of the best I have seen to date. It offered much insight to the character and core of both Bill Clinton and Bob Dole. As a male I don't like to admit it but I was moved to tears several times by the stories of Bob Dole. The information about Bill Clinton reinforced my suspicions of him.

I am now stornger in my support for Bob Dole and understand what a great American he is.
C.M.
Greenville, S.C.


Dear FRONTLINE,
While I've always been impressed with the quality of Frontline's journalism, the recent biographes on Clinton and Dole were truly exceptional in their objectivity, insights and courageousness in revealing the truth. Your ability to see past the superficialities sets an example which the conventional news media should follow.

You performed a valuable public service with this program. I hope you air it again.
Sincerely,
J.S.


Dear FRONTLINE,
Thanks for the great documentary on Clinton and Dole. I was especially impressed with the lack of bias. The show was a real help for the voters. GREAT WORK!!!
D.T.
Saugus, CA


Dear FRONTLINE,
My wife & I had been so disappointed in the superficiality of the debates that we did not have much hope for your program. We were very pleasantly surprised at the depth of Frontline. But it is frightening to see how far both cantidates have strayed from their essential selves and become simply vision-less vote-getting machines. But it is our level of consciousness as a people that attracts theirs. God help us!
J.E.
Larkspur, CA


Dear FRONTLINE,
Thanks so much for the informative, insightful analysis of the two major presidential candidates presented in "The Choice '96" on Frontline. Where the commercial television networks offer only scraps of soundbites and shallow commentaries, PBS serves up a rich feast of balanced facts and reasoned opinions. You are a godsend to an information-starved public.
S.R.
Boise, Idaho


Read more viewer responses to The Choice '96

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