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Dear FRONTLINE,
Your piece on why America hates the press missed the point entirely. When the press analyzes itself, it usually misses the point. This is the same for when it analyzes the "NEWS". Not once did you go outside the Beltway for the opinions of mainstream Americans. Virtually everyone interviewed is a member of the Washington Press and had appeared on many of the same shows they decried. People such as: James Fallows, David Broder, Jim Warren, etc.

Had you talked with mainstream Americans you might have found we are wise enough to know the difference between opinion shows, like the McLaughlin report and "real news" shows. We are also smart enough to know when networks and reporters let their opinions intrude on their reporting of the "real news". This can be blatantly seen in all 3 network evening news programs, as well as, Nightline, and Prime-Time which purport to be news programs rather than opinion programs. In short, what ever happened to the journalistic ideal of objectivity? Many Americans feel we are not being told the truth by the Press, and this is why we hate the Press! Objectivity does still exist but not in the opinionated person of James Fallows and the rest of the pack he is currently turning on.

If you would like to see what unfiltered, unopinionated reporting of Washington looks like, turn on C-SPAN and watch Brian Lamb; you will get a lesson on what objectivity truly means.

Thanks for your time,
F.D.B.
Nevada, MO


Dear FRONTLINE,
Regarding your program of 10/22/96, you've done an excellent job of answering your own question: Do they eat their own young? A major problem with the 4th Estate these days is the often total disregard and lack of what used to be known as "responsible journalism." This sensationalist, and as you pointed out, often staged approach to what used to be essentially "reporting the facts" is made all the worse as your show further amplified the media's willingness to have the lion lay with the lamb. Only in this case, it's really a couple of old lions getting together to see how they can divvy up the lamb; in reality, the unsuspecting public. Where did our watchdogs go?
D.K.
Hampton, VA


Dear FRONTLINE,
I was surprised that your piece on the Washington press corps did not do the obvious: Talk to the little people about what they perceive to be the strengths and weaknesses of big-time journalism. Nope, it was up to other journalists-- most of whom I've seen appear on the "news" shows you attacked--to give us the straight dope on their colleagues. Weird methodolgy for something that was billed as a no-holds-barred critique of an incestuous club. Believe it or not, there are more than a few articulate plumbers scattered among the groundlings.
T.L.
pipsqueak journalist


Dear FRONTLINE,
Your illuminating report gave words to what I have felt about the national press establishment for several years. Being the over-60 crowd, I remember the days when I felt the press identified with my concerns and was more interested in reporting than pontificating or influencing the public attitude with their own bias and opinions. I used to respect the reporters and had faith in their reports.

Now I feel as if they insult my intelligence by trying to presenting their own points of view as "analysis", and imply that the public will not be able to analyze the substance of the reports without them being "spuned" by the Washington"reporters" first. Frankly, my guess is that the press's reaction to your report will be their usual "critical attack" rather than the much needed introspection. They are more out of touch with the public than they ever imagined!
A.L.


Dear FRONTLINE,
I must confess that your program "Why people hate the press" gave voice to the contempt and despair that "the silent majority" has for the prostitution of the press in our country. The reasons for this contempt are not invidious, meretricious and or platitudinous, rather, they are based-in my view- in the press's immoral belief that you can "fool most of the people most of the time!"...and get away with it! Sorry Sam Donaldson, Kokie Roberts, David Gergen and sundry and similarly situated double talker!, it doesn't work anymore. If greed is your primary focus, go to it-more power to you-, this is a free country, no apologies needed; but, if on the other hand, your primary focus if to seek and report the truth, then, get on with that!, and please spares us your pompous, pious, selfserving and sorry excuses! All that you do by doing so if to increase our distrust and contempt. Good riddance!
A.L.


Dear FRONTLINE,
I would like to commend you on your frank interpretation and clarified representation of the current news media's propensity to lie down with some not so noble bedfellows.

Your story echoes my sentiments, precipitated mainly by the networks disturbing "spin" on the recent presidential debates. Am I alone in thinking that their agenda (i.e. Donaldson et al.) was scripted at another place and another time?

Your honest approach to media "hero" Bob Woodward provided an adequate yardstick against which all of the other media "celebrities" could be measured.

Alternatively, David Broder's sober commentary on "the way things ought to be" was refreshing (if not antiquated). I can't wait to hear him perform at the convention. Maybe I'll even get his autograph!
Sincerely,
J.D.
Worcester, MA


Dear FRONTLINE,
The producers of Frontline are as "out of touch" with mainstream America as the personalities they were profiling in their story. America DOES NOT HATE the press because of their personal appearances and speaking fees. America HATES the press because they have a liberal bias and will not even admit to it. They claim objectivity, when in reality they are the biggest supporters of Clinton and this administration (If you don't believe that, just ask your Frontline staff how many of them will be voting for Bill Clinton this Nov.?) Also, because the press usually doesn't get their facts straight, and they usually don't tell us the whole story--just what they selectively want us to know. If the producers of Frontline would just spend a bit more time listening to Washington Journal on C-SPAN every morning at 7am, they'd hear WHY the American people HATE and distrust the press. It NEVER has anything to do with honorariums or speaking fees. It HAS EVERYTHING to do with their liberal bias and truthtelling.
D.R.Y.
Merrimack, NH


Dear FRONTLINE,
I was very encouraged last night as I watched this program. At last, someone has gotten it right! I personally have given up on watching any of the Washington News commentaries as well as the major network news boardcasts because of the blatent bias that comes across in their reporting. My local news gives me enough information on most subjects and is able to relate it in a manner that is relevant to my community and state, as well as, national concerns. Continue this type of reporting and I may even consider watching PBS more often!
B.L.
Hudsonville, MI


Dear FRONTLINE,
Why does America hate the press? Because under the bright lights and in the hot air of Washington DC the press has mutated into some sort of 'Little Shop of Horrors' hothouse plant that couldn't possibly survive living in the 'real world'. Since the majority of correspondents, et, al., don't and can't live among the masses, they have, in effect, forgotten we are here, and instead pander to the private issues and personalities that make up their fraternity. They don't know us, don't care, and don't know anybody who does. They need to remember, in the long run,. incest usually destroys the entire organism.
B.M.
Waynesburg, PA


Dear FRONTLINE,
As a journalism student preparing to leap into the field, I was ó to be dramatic ó horrified by FRONTLINE's look at "celebrity" journalists. I could not believe that respected reporters such as Jack Germond and Cokie Roberts think it's "OK" to pocket hefty speaker fees. Germond said he only takes on engagements for groups he does not come in contact with in the political arena. I envy his psychic ability: It must be very profitable to be able to recognize future conflicts like that. I suppose it all comes down to personal ethics, but if news organizations truly cared about the public they are supposedly serving, they would outlaw this form of prostitution.
C.M.G.
East Lansing, MI


Dear FRONTLINE,
It is crystal clear why America hates the Press because like every greedy and self centered politicians inside and outsided the beltway, they are corrupted and are not real journalists. They never representd the public and I don't think they will ever be... they are one of those people who advance their own interest in the name of the public and they should be ashamed of themselves. Each journalist must ask his/her self before reporting any corruption stories if they are one of them.....
A.A.
Arlington, MA


Dear FRONTLINE,
Thank you for your show on "Why America Hates the Media". I think you did a fair job illuminating why many journalists cannot be trusted or taken seriously in their reporting because of their financial motives or other conflicts of interest. However, I think you ignored an even more significant problem in the news today and that is the pervasive replacement of news reporting with "news analysis". Why I hate the media is because instead of providing me with researched stories and allowing me to form my own conclusions, journalists provide speculation and opinion on why who did what. How much focus in the Republican Contract on America was paid to the details and consequences of the actual laws passed versus how much was placed on Republicans versus Democrats? Another disturbing trend in the media is the increasing corporate conglomeration of the media. No longer is the primary focus of most print and broadcast journalism the reporting of news, but the generation of profit for the parent company.
Thanks,
J.C.A.
Birmingham, AL


Dear FRONTLINE,
When I sat down to watch this program, I expected to see a show dealing with why America(the US citizens) hate the press. Instead, I get a show in which the Washington press corps again says that they are objective, & the only problem is that they make too much money.

Nowhere in this show was there any mention of why the man in the street outside the Beltway distrusts the press.

I can tell you that I prefer to watch the Fox News Channel basically because I don't get slanted news. I like their slogan-WE REPORT-YOU DECIDE. This is one thing the press doesn't do-they report & then tell us what to think about it-in the same article. I hate this disguised editorializing.

When you do a show which interviews the man on the street- & shows why he(or she) distrusts & hates the press, I will then know that you did a show that delivered what the title promised.

Better luck next time.
E.S.
Dear FRONTLINE,
Your report on journalists' increasing tendency to seek celebrity status was downright hilarious - - much like the Capital Gang and the McLaughlin Group shows themselves, which I watch at every opportunity.

What was hilarious was the soul-searching disillusionment of the liberal celebrity journalists who proclaim dismay at the cheapening of their profession in pursuit of money - - followed by open admissions of hypocrisy, and explanations that seemed almost like pleas for help so that they can stop! The conservative journalists, who understand that it money is not the root of all evil, at least can take comfort that they do not betray their ideals by seeking fame and the fortune that follows.

Long live John McLaughlin and Bob Novak!

And may Eleanor Clift and Sam Donaldson both succumb to nervous breakdowns in their first-ever struggles with conscience!
C.O.S.


Dear FRONTLINE,
Frontline is guilty of the same narrow view as the Washington reporters - you looked only at the group inside the beltway - but what about all the "local" reporters who distrort their articles to conform with their own political, religious, or moral values rather than just writing the facts about an event.
A.M.
Dayton, OH


Dear FRONTLINE,
I wish to congratulate you on a program which profoundly changed the way I look at the Washington news media. While I pride myself on keeping extremely well-informed I now realize how little one can grasp through print and television news. I will never again assume that celebrity newspeople speak from elightened objectivity. More disturbing to me than this, however, is that most of these celebrity reporters will fail to understand why.
Sincerely,
D.M.J.
Tucson, AZ


Dear FRONTLINE,
Your show on this topic was a form of masterbation! From "flyover country" we will begin to have respect for the press when we see the media play "hardball" on an even playing field. Without question any public display on the part of the media clearly demonstrates the touted 80% liberal bias.

I have cancelled all of my news magazines. I get my news other ways. I read newspapers only when I can see one for free! I hardly believe anything the national press has to say. Even talk radio is no longer reliable.

You people have a long way to go to convince me (and many others) that the press is worthy of its name and desired reputation.

Cynical? Yes!
Yours truly,
A.C.B.
Thiensville, WI


Dear FRONTLINE,
Your title was a little over-reaching and promised more that it delivered. A more appropriate title would have been: "Why the Washington Press Corps is a Bunch of Rich Inside-The-Beltway Political Groupies."

It's beyond me how any documentary titled "Why America Hates The Press" could have omitted Dan Rather entirely. I think there's potential for a multi-part series here. Why not get out and talk to the viewing public? Where was "America" in your report? Surely not Jim Fallows or Howard Kurtz. They're too close to it to be objective on the subject.
J.L.
Winchester, MA


Dear FRONTLINE,
Reporters deliver the news, they should not be the news. Let them turn in their press passes if they want VIP passes. Thank you for the informative report. I hope that the journalists were not too busy this evening attending parties and giving speeches to watch your report.
K.G.
Naples, FL


Dear FRONTLINE,
Having watched this evening's "Frontline' (10-22-96) regarding the Wsahington media double and triple dipping, I was suprised by the negative presentation of many "liberal" REPORTERS while the only big conservative target was Gearge Will, a political COMMENTATOR. I think you would have done well to draw a distinction between those who claim objectivity and those who are declared advocates of one view or another.

Still, this report was far more neutral than many of its predecessors (the Gingrich assassination comes to mind). If you continue to present reasonably balanced reports, "Talk of the Nation" keeps Ray at the helm, and Nina Totenburg gets laryngitis, maybe many of the folks out here in taxpayerland would be less determined to end public funding of "news" programs that so often seem to be scripted by The DNC.
J.O.
St. Louis, MO


Dear FRONTLINE,
Bravo! I've known for some time that the press is not made up of nobel paragons; but the case is worse than I thought. That Cookie Roberts and Sam Donaldson refused to comment for this broadcast speaks loudly of their hypocrisy. I thought it was only corrupt congressmen who refused to talk about their possible inproper acts. Or so have the journalists told us. I don't hate the press - I just don't trust it.
E.P.
New York, NY


Dear FRONTLINE,
I eagerly anticipated your broadcast of this program. After viewing it, though, I was left with the sense of emptiness. Aside from a few tidbits of interesting information not readily known, nothing was really exposed that wasn't already apparent to "America" -- that the Washington press corp are overpaid, self-rightious, self- serving entreprenures who make a living by telling us what we should believe about what they call news and by attacking others (most often conservative or christian) as being overpaid,self-rightious, self-serving.

I was most disturbed by these purveyors of truth who confess being only "a little concerned" by other journalists -- not themselves, of course -- who compromise alleged objectivity by accepting thousands from interest groups while being paid millions to report news. How dare these multi-millionares "expose" the salaries paid to athletes or executives in an effort to report how "out of touch" they may be to real Americans.

As hard hitting as this show portrayed itself, the softballs still prevailed. An expose` of other professions would have had on-the-street confrontations with the offender who refused to agree to talk on camera. Stalk down Cokie or Sam or any of the others and challenge them to defend their objectivity or their millions.

In the end, its all to easy to understand why character, virtue and morals -- traits that still mean something to middle-America -- are so easily shunned by the Administration with impunity. The elite press that covers it is of the same ilk -- do as I say, not as I do.
J.D.
Neosho, MO


Dear FRONTLINE,
Excellent, eye-opening job, though not surprising. The world's oldest profession is not limited to ladies at street corners. It includes far too many persons and organizations -whether in business, politics, the media, education, etc. And it is the same the world over, including our potentially wonderful land where disparities in income are scandalous.
E.J.
Urbana, IL


Dear FRONTLINE,
I have just watched your Frontline program tonight regarding the Washbington press corps. Among other things, the program highlighted the apparent conflicts of interest encountered by Washington reporters because of the opportunities they have to capitalize on their fame (or notoriety?). The logical conclusion (reductii ad absurdum) is that Washington reporters will tend to be soft on the subjects they cover.

It has been my experience in the last few years that the opposite is true. The press corps, especially the broadcast journalists, have been irresponsibly critical, with an especially cynical type of ctiticism, at times when more balanced and factual reporting would much better serve the public (their market). How can these two perceptions be reconciled?
Sincerely,
J.W.H.
Winter Springs, FL


Dear FRONTLINE,
I enjoyed your program of 10/22 on journalist's role in our society, and the potential conflicts of interest inherent in the blurring of roles.

But, I do think one vital distinction was not made, namely the distinction between reporters and editorialists. The reason that public confidence in major media figures is so low is that we don't trust that those who report our news are leaving their biases at the door. But, in the case of editorialists, George Will, for example, we don't rely on Mr. Will for news. We KNOW he's editorializing on This Week and in his newspaper column. We KNOW he's a conservative and expect that bias to show through.

Similarly, I have no problem with Crossfire and The McLaughlin Group so long as the participants are restricted to those that express opinions for a living. If Sam Donaldson expresses a political viewpoint on This Week, and then attempts to deliver the news I have to wonder how much the news is distorted by his view. But, if a newspaper or magazine editorialist does the same thing, that person is only working in a different venue, not compromising himself.
G.A.
North Las Vegas, NV


Dear FRONTLINE,
After watching the second Presidential debate with friends who agreed with my assessment that Bob Dole's performance was almost embarrassingly poor, we watched a few of the media pundits (including those on PBS) and were astounded at their perceptions of the event. We could scarcely believe that they had been watching the same debate. It is clear from viewing "Why America Hates the Press" that the media folks who covered the debate were viewing it from the perspective of the "insider's club." They evaluated the candidates' performance not objectively but from a skewed and rarified position where pointless and repetitive attacks are "forceful challenges" and a doddering lack of focus and inability to give straightforward answers to simple questions becomes "staying on message."
J.S.
Batesville, AR


Dear FRONTLINE,
I appreciated your presentation on the press. Shows such as Frontline are far to rare. As you so clearly pointed out, we live in a time when honesty and integrity are rare commodities. It is small wonder so many people are cynical about both politicians and the press. Fame, power and money are powerful forces which have created a bubble in which the incestuous elite of the political and "news" worlds put spin on information the distorted information that passes for jounalism. Your show was both honest and thought provoking. Thank You!
G.R.
Port Townsend, WA


Dear FRONTLINE,
It's too bad you didn't get opinions from citizens who live and work outside the beltway and the larger news organizations. I think you'd find that most of us don't hate the press, but rather get a bit sick and tired of the opinionating. After all, why do I need an analysis from a journalist after say, a presidential debate when I'm quite capable of forming my own judgement based on what I just heard and saw? In that case they'd serve the public better by having facts and figures ready to dispute or confirm points made by the candidates.

Then again, maybe they do that, I don't know. I quit watching the analyses a long time ago.
K.R.
Leavenworth, KS


Congratulations FRONTLINE!
You really hit the proverbial nail on the head with your program last night.! On occasion I have been able to locate some good television journalistic coverage, but rarely would I call it great. All of you presented a clear, fair, and honest portrayal of what is happening inside your profession and in large measure why so many Americans feel they can not trust the ìnewsî provided by a few self righteous pontificators that emanate from our airways and some case try to dispose in the press.

FRONTLINE, has exposed the illness, that permeates American journalism and the devastating effects that it causes.

So many of our countrymen want good honest information, not the ìSunday junk mailî TV hype, or the tainted and one sided views of a few ìcriminally obviousî lecture circle junkies. If the few peers which you exposed within your ranks continue that practice at the expense of unbiased journalism, we as Americans are all in trouble.

All of you at FRONTLINE must be commended for your efforts. You have exposed a great illness and at the same time you have provided the best solution for a cure.

RUN IT AGAIN!!!!!
G.C.F.
Costa Mesa, CA


Dear FRONTLINE,
I read the comments of the various media people criticizing the Program which was aired: "Why Americans Hate the Media".I would like to tell you that the response of the press illustrates how out of touch they are. I can only speak for myself but at each news report I am struck by the seeming ignorance of the questions by reporters who either don't listen to the answers , or choose to ask the question again when they don't get the answer they want. I marvel at why they would ask the questions they do and wonder if there are people who can not see their feeble attempt to dig out any dirt, ignoring issues. The new breed of news coverage, all day shows like CNN, show the worst intelligence. I realize that their job is to fill up a whole day with news which may or may not be there. I therefore ignore 3/4 of their reporting, figuring it was probably manufactured to fill time.

Talk shows? I refuse to watch them, they are for entertainment only and have no news value. My rule is to turn them off, or walk out of the room if someone else is watching them. An example of how I handle the twisted news reports lies in how I watched the debates. I watched the CSPAN presentation and turned off the pundits who were interpreting what had been said. I choose to listen to the facts. I find this most often in Public Radio, especially the BBC news reports which seem more objective about what is going on in America. The best news I've found comes out of Canada. Finally, as a consumer of news the off button on my T.V. is a valuable asset. I hope we all start using it.
K.T.S.
Stevensville, MI


Dear FRONTLINE,
I thought the report was very accurate. However, the reason Americans hate the press is not only are they insulated like the politicians they report on (which is an issue), its that the Washington press are a bunch of hypocrites. The issue is one of crediblity and honesty.

Almost every "journalist" mentioned makes over a million dollars. Not only do they pretend to be from "working class" families, they also pretend they are "objective." Too often are stories which go against their personal philosophy downplayed, ignored, buried, etc. and those which fit their personal view of the world played up (i.e., Quayle and his potatoe error vs. Al Gore messing up E pluribus unum and saying out of one, many). The numerous scandals of the Clinton administraton are virtually ignored or worse, reported but seriously downplayed. Many journalists even APPOLOGIZE for such actions. If this were a Republican administration, the press would have crucified the incumbent. This is shear hypocracy.

If most journalist would admit they have a liberal bias or tell the public that they DO have opinions and these opinions DO show up in their reports, this would then begin the process of regaining their credibility.
K.C.
Rancho Cordova, CA


Dear FRONTLINE,
"All the worlds a stage." The only remaining question is: How do I become a star? Just as "sensationalism" dominates the "news", the motivation they call "ratings" is truly, money, power and ego. To change journalism today - is to change human nature. Bring humilty, honesty and integrity to any of the elite fields, from actor to rock-star, athlete, politician, journalist, chief, etc., is akin to mythological miracles of idealistic dreamers. Humans are mythological beasts, and most will always pay the freight for idolatry and hero-worship, whatever form it takes. Liberalism is dead! Long live this semi-benevolent OLIGARCHY!

Excuse me while I return to trying to figure out how to make $30,000. an hour.
J.C.
McDonald, PA

P.S. You are in for the wrath of demons for producing such a fine show. The Hydra monster of your peers will be relentless in their pursuit of your demise. I truly hope you can cut off enough heads.


Dear FRONTLINE,
Your program on the media didn't really look closely enough at the hard fact that a lot of "ordinary" people totally mistrust you for the very elitism you showed you love! We feel like we are completely left out. You, because I include Frontline, in the media have too long decided for us who were are to like, what we are to think, and how we are to feel about an issue. If we happen to disagree, we are branded as "fanatics" or "odd." However, to think as your media dictates is to be "enlightened" and "progressive." The distrust of the public runs deeper than you could ever imagine!

It is evident that "editorialists" like Roberts or Donaldson are puppets to their own egos. As some once coined,, "Talking heads." They have forgotten who they serve and sold their souls for "thirty pieces of silver" and the chance to rub elbows with Pilate and the Roman cohort! They think they are the news. And what is worse, that only what they deem as news is news. Too bad Donaldson didn't jump.

So now immoral behavior, lying, greed, corruption in government are excused if it is the "good old boy" who the media likes. Why? These things should be exposed no matter who the person is and no matter the political party. It is the media's job and duty (if they want to continue to keep their free speech rights) to inform the public. Instead, the media has taken on the role of molding the public debate according to their ideals of how the world should run. REPORTING THE NEWS is the job of a reporter. Period. It was laughable to hear Woodward talk about not appearing on The McLoughlin Group (as if he was above the fray) and then hear his evident biases!

Your show didn't go far enough. Next time come out here in the "real" world (you know -- fly over country) and ask us what we think and why.
Sincerely,
L.H.
Vancouver, WA


Dear FRONTLINE,
Your Frontline on the Press was terrific. Hopefully, it will help curb a growing and onerous practice. As a retired labor and city hall reporter (Chicago Tribune) it is disturbing to see this trend and the knee jerk protest to the thrust of Jim Fallows'book and Jim Warren's persistent coverage of these abuses.However, I think this practice is endemic to Washington and only involves a small but greedy group.Why solely blame the reporters. It can be easily corrected by editors or publishers, news directors or presidents of TV news divisions. Just say "no."
J.S.
Arlington Heights, Il.


Dear FRONTLINE,
Perhaps your thoughtful piece tonight did shed light on some of the reasons why some of the American press have fallen into unprofessional practices. The fact still remains, however, that the trivialization of news presented, the sensational slant, the skewing of actual events to suit the journalist's angle has become so common that indeed yes, the American Public "hates" what the press is leaning towards.
M.S.
Marshall, AR


Dear FRONTLINE,
Congratulations, you have taken a timid step in the right direction. We realize that the Washington press is a propaganda machine and not the honest information source that is necessary for good representative government. Please continue to shine the light of truth on this assault on our intelligence.

Thank You.
K.H.D.
Colorado Springs, CO


Dear FRONTLINE,
As always, Frontline is entertaining, informative television. This program opened my eyes regarding the extracurricular activities of members of the press. In particular, I have held Cokie Roberts in very high esteem. Discovering that she is so aggressively pursuing the big bucks of the lecture circuit gives me pause, to say the least. I still respect her journalistic abilities, but she's definitely off the pedestal!

Another comment: Have just read some of the press reviews and they make a good point: there were virtually no "Americans" interviewed on the program... perhaps this report was mistitled.

Still, keep up the good work.
A.C.


Dear FRONTLINE,
Great program tonight. You have captured a number of the reasons why I hold the news media in such disdain. The level of arrogance and hypocrisy that the likes of Cokie Roberts exhibits is incredible. From watch dog to lap dog...I'm delighted that Steve Roberts was fired at US NEWS. I chuckled at the crowd in San Diego chanting for Sam Donaldson to jump! I may have to go out and subscribe to the new US NEWS!
K.G.C.
Upland, IN


Dear FRONTLINE,
Generally, I thought Frontline (Why America Hates the Press) was interesting. I do think, however, that Frontline's emphasis was off. Sure we see the press as "elite Washington insiders" but so what, everone lives somewhere. What you didn't cover is how personal bias (personal philosophy) becomes engrained in a reporter's work. It is reasonable to expect a conservative reporter will believe certain explanations given by politicans over explanations that just don't make sense to him or her. Also, Frontline didn't mention the stake each news organization has in each story. The story has to attract viewers, readers, or listeners in order to survive. This is true for non-profit organizations too. You made no mention of the fact that a story that has "juicy" aspects will attract more viewers than a story full of sterile facts. That's just the way it is (usually) and we ought not ignore it.

I didn't find Frontline particularly exempt from any of the biases I mentioned above. It didn't seem to say much for the PBS public funding status. I'm not convinced that I couldn't have gotten the same value reporting from any of the other reputable media sources available.
K.H.
Lancaster, CA


Dear FRONTLINE,
Just saw your exellent show on the news media. This only confirmed for me what I have thought for the last fifteen years, all of television and the media is to be viewed as "entertainment". I have always wondered how some of these reporters could keep a straight face during the news. At least Rush Limbaugh and a few others who lean far in either direction make no bones about who they support and which side their bread is buttered on.
K.W. Chicago, IL


Dear FRONTLINE,
Thank you for your show, "Why America Hates the Press". Your show made me realize that news has, for the most part, transformed itself into what should now be called "political and current affairs entertainment". As your show demonstrated, much of what the top journalists cover and talk about now is not news, but entertainment -- mostly it seems for themselves.

What's more, your show has convinced me that while the news media has been zealously focussed on Government Waste, that it has almost completely ignored the subject of corporate excess and waste. The money that corporations and convention organizers pay to the "political entertainers" profiled in your program comes out of the pockets of the customers of these corporations, and is kept from the pockets of employees and shareholders, where that money rightfully should go. Customers appear to be getting gouged, while employees and shareholders are being defrauded by such wasteful corporate expenditures.

Just as you proposed, perhaps mostly by inference in your program, that journalists should be perhaps held up to the same degree of personal scrutiny and standards of integrity as the politicians they cover, I think it is time that all of us held corporate America to the same standards of spending accountability as we hold our government. Just as government officials can no longer lavish their lifestyles at public expense the way they used to, I don't think we should permit corporate executives to do the same anymore at the expense of their firm's customers, employees and shareholders.

Perhaps you could do a future program comparing corporate and government waste. It think such an analysis could prove to be very interesting!

Thank you for keeping your work, objectivity and integrity to such high standards.
Sincerely,
L.H.
Littlerock, WA


Dear FRONTLINE,
Thank you for a very disturbing and thought provoking look at the very people I have looked to for information about what is happening thousands of miles away in Washington.

But the question remains, how can the press get back in touch with the us, the common people?

Yet again, this may be the wrong question. Rather, why do we look to the pundits for ideas. We are the people. We are not conservative nor liberal. We are real people with real ideas about real problems. I am tired of seeing and hearing cartoon representations of ideas that are dear to me on the networks, even NPR and PBS.

I am no media hating reactionary, but I am disturbed by your show.

I wonder if it not all an illusion. Perhaps the real news happens right here, not thousands of miles away.

Thank you,
M.J.
Sitka, ALASKA


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