Modern Media Mogul
I very much enjoyed and learned from your cover story on News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch [July 9]. He has transcended the temptation to use his acquisitions to promote his personal ideology. Instead, he appears to have sought a balance by creating a powerful and profitable media dialogue that feeds on its own contrary products.
Art Drexler, SAN DIEGO
During my college days in India, one of my professors recognized my talent in journalism and encouraged me to work someday for the Wall Street Journal. Whenever I read about Murdoch's ambitious efforts to possess the most respected financial journal in the world, I see a sharp media baron. Murdoch's previous takeovers--of the New York Post and MySpace--have been very successful. A man who started with just one newspaper is now a media tycoon with a $68 billion company. He is an inspiration to mass-communication students like me.
Raghvendra Singh, WARRENSBURG, MO.
I did not need to read the cover story on Murdoch. All I needed to see was the boldface quote "On Fox News, do we put on things that favor the right? ... I don't know. I don't think we do. Aw, it's subjective." These are the words of a media titan? It seems to me that he struggled with a question that would have been a great gag line on late-night talk shows.
Rob Kinnaird RIDGEFIELD, CONN.
Made in China
RE Jyoti Thottam's the growing dangers of the China Trade" [July 9]: Have we selectively forgotten that mad-cow-diseased beef and other tainted food products like bagged spinach and peanut butter originated on U.S. soil within the past few years? To pathologize China's industries as corrupt not only reeks of centuries-old Yellow Peril rhetoric but also fails to acknowledge the shortcomings of transnational regulations. We must take responsibility for cleaning up our own backyard when demanding that others take care of theirs.
Rachel Endo, OMAHA, NEB.
Thottam's report on the dangers of Chinese imports, from toys to seafood, takes me back to the 1940s, when Japan had a struggling economy. "Made in Japan" was a byword for inferior products. If economists' predictions prove correct and China progresses similarly, both economically and politically, the entire world will be a safer place, and the U.S. will be fighting for economic survival.
Wayne E. Smith, SICKLERVILLE, N.J.
Everything China produces, with the possible exception of textiles, is pure junk. All those "goodwill gifts" offered by U.S. credit-card companies are completely worthless. TIME sent me a made-in-China radio set as an award for being on time with my subscription renewal. The radio lasted all of one hour--a screeching box that ended up on the junk pile. Americans are buying substandard products and sustaining China's economy. Future generations will condemn us for this.
Paul Borstnik, CLEVELAND
The government is not responsible for imported products; the companies that import them are. If a company sells a questionable product, it should be held responsible in court, and any potential risk to the public should be prosecuted quickly. Our safety is in our court system, not in a governmental agency.
George Tyler, DELTON, MICH.
It's scary that the U.S. is importing dangerous Chinese products for use by unknowing American consumers. It's even scarier that Georgetown professor Pietra Rivoli thinks that the importing companies should be responsible. That would be the same as putting Congress in charge of your bank account. It is the business of the Federal Government to protect its citizens from dangerous imports. Unfortunately, the current Federal Government will look the other way as citizens die from dangerous products if the Chinese government buys more American stuff. Does that sound like a good trade-off to you? Not to me.
WEST YARMOUTH, MASS.
The photographs of Chinese factory workers were devastating. I immediately thought of Fritz Lang's 1927 masterpiece, Metropolis, in which industry dehumanizes people, turning them into factory robots.
Louis C. Kleber, LAS VEGAS
A Superhero for Sudan
It's been said that man's inhumanity to man is not hatred but indifference [July 9]. Thank God for people like France's Foreign Minister, Bernard Kouchner, who bring the genocide and horrors of Darfur to the forefront. Men and women like him are the true superheroes of our universe.
Ray Westbrook, PITTSBURGH, PA.
A Voice of Moderation
I found Juan Williams' "The Politics of Race" enlightening, informative and balanced [July 2]. Astute journalists who can cut through stereotypes and media slogans are both necessary and positive. They continue to represent the finest in the journalism that keeps our democracy alive. Thank you for this wonderful article.
Kathleen C. Arceneaux Multicultural and International Programming
Virginia Tech University
The only time Fox News is fair and balanced is when Williams is in the mix. Both on the airways and in many excellent books, he always demonstrates fairness and courage. These traits were evident in his timely and provocative essay. Williams reminds us that racism is still part of American politics and convincingly demonstrates the bankruptcy of the Republican campaign rhetoric that promotes its institution. It is good to see that he is a TIME contributor, and I look forward to many more of his insights.
Tim Donnellan, DAYTON, OHIO
Thanks for Williams' essay. It is indeed time that Silvestre Reyes, Charles Rangel, John Conyers and other minority chairs in Congress get respect. They deserve it even if they choose to diverge from the centrist, play-the-game strategy that seems to be the very basis of Williams' defense of them.
Jane Bennett, Department of Political Science Johns Hopkins University, BALTIMORE
Kudos for Michael Kinsley's commentary exposing the fallacy of carbon offsets [July 2]. By analogy, he has shown this idea to be another example of spin designed to avoid responsibility for the garbage that is spewed into our environment.
Stephen H. Wentland, HOUSTON
In his sly and brilliant essay on exchanging credits for carbon use and child abuse, Kinsley has approached the paradoxical level of irony that Jonathan Swift achieved with A Modest Proposal. The logic is flawless, the intent is benign, yet the solution proposed is so repugnant. Perhaps that is the true nature of capitalism.
Robert L. Petrillo, SOUTH PORTLAND, MAINE
Close-Up of a Star
Thank you for an insightful yet brief glimpse into the stunning and accomplished life of Glenn Close [July 9]. She is an exemplar of what the industry of Hollywood is sadly allowing to fade away--its regal, mystical stars.