TIME's pro-Barack Obama slant is so transparent that it makes your objectivity in reporting seriously questionable [April 21]. The picture on your March 10 cover with a halo of light around Obama's head looks like something out of a campaign flyer. Then there's the contrived photo of the Senator's well-worn soles, with a copy of his book in view, that looks like a modern-day version of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. The icing on the cake is your cover story, "A Mother's Story," which serves as a convenient valentine to the Obama campaign just weeks before the Pennsylvania primary.
Craig Garshelis, SAN FRANCISCO
Your April 21 cover story should have been titled "Raising Obama: A Grandmother's Story." It would have resonated more had there been more focus on Obama's life with the grandparents who raised him and less delicate tiptoeing around his mother's often unfortunate choices and impetuous decisions.
Linda Dahlheimer, ST. LOUIS, MO., U.S.
As a Quebecer originally from Pakistan, I was thrilled to learn that Obama's mother spoke French and beginner's Urdu. I hope her bright son wins the presidential race and enters the White House as a humble and humane President caring for the whole of humanity, irrespective of color, race or nationality.
Jalal Hussain, BROSSARD, QUEBEC, CANADA
I've been a subscriber to TIME for about 50 years, but I don't think I have ever been as disappointed in a story as I was with "A Mother's Story." It's clear whom you will endorse for the White House.
Stephen Bank, MORRISVILLE, N.C., U.S.
The article on Obama's mother one of the best I have read drags you into the complex worlds of poverty, biracial living, racism and the pursuit of knowledge. Obama knows these complexities better than many or all of the other, born-with-a-golden-spoon candidates.
Prabhduev Konana, AUSTIN, TEXAS, U.S.
I suggest TIME give up the charade and change the name of the magazine to Obama Weekly. The timing and tone of your cover story on Obama's mother made your April 21 issue look more like a campaign p.r. piece than legitimate news story. Something tells me I shouldn't hold my breath waiting for soft-focus, warm-and-fuzzy cover stories about the mothers of Hillary Clinton and John McCain.
Katherine Whan, DECATUR, GA., U.S.
I hope you will delve deeper than this glossed-over fairy tale about Barack Obama's upbringing and take up his invitation to address the substantive issues presented in his biography. The article neglects to mention that Obama's father had children by four women and that he abandoned each of them in succession. Its odd statement that S. Ann Soetoro "decided not to follow" Obama's father back to Kenya neatly overlooks the fact that he was returning to Kenya (and his Kenyan wife and children) with an American wife whom he had married in Massachusetts after he left Ann and Barack in Hawaii. Had you set out all the facts, you might have meaningfully addressed some important issues related to race and culture. But such a study would require a frank discussion. Who will take up Obama's invitation to have one?
S.J. Hangartner, PITTSFORD, N.Y., U.S.
Sure, you'll receive criticism for doing a feature article on Obama's mother. But we have all heard in detail about the lives of Clinton and McCain, including McCain's having been a POW. Thank you for giving us Obama's fascinating history.
Guy C. Taylor, WAIPAHU, HAWAII
Selling Obama to White America
I'm sure the folks at TIME understand two things about politics: timing is everything, and many people vote with their hearts, not their minds. That being said, I was not surprised to see a cover story on Obama's mother yes, the same mother we have heard so little about until now to help quell the tide of white America's concern over where his true loyalties lie, in the wake of the Jeremiah Wright controversy. The attempt to portray Obama as a man made in his mother's image was painfully obvious. How simple and foolish TIME must think its readers are to put out such a story right before a primary that could assure Obama the Democratic presidential nomination. Why has Obama's mother suddenly become important? I'm sure the voters who aren't swayed by emotion know the answer to that question. Oh, and just in case you are wondering, I am a white supporter of Obama's.
Adam Mandel, DALLAS
Bush's Crocodile Tears
Like every caring American, my heart goes out to the family of Navy SEAL Michael Monsoor [April 21]. It sickens me, however, to see a photograph of George W. Bush with a tear in his eye over an Iraq war casualty. Monsoor's death and those of tens of thousands more did not have to happen. Bush and Dick Cheney are ultimately responsible for this tragedy.
Steven T. Callan, PALO CEDRO, CALIF., U.S.
I cry every time I look at President Bush, knowing what his actions have cost this nation.
Jinny Lee, MELROSE, FL., U.S.
Farewell to a Hollywood Legend
My thanks to Richard Corliss for his essay on Charlton Heston [April 21]. If anyone under 40 wants to know why their older friends and family have such low regard for current Hollywood actors, Heston is one reason. He was a symbol of how America thought of itself: energetic, courageous, practical, resilient. No one in Hollywood can take his place.
R.W. Harrington, DE PERE, WIS., U.S.