Objectivity, PSR, Taxes, Arnett, U.N.

Foxnews.com readers took issue to Eric Burns’ thoughts on the objectivity in which journalists must perform, especially during times of war. Steve Milloy’s column regarding the Physicians for Social Responsibility’s position on the prospect of civilian casualties and a humanitarian crisis also struck readers.

A plethora of mail was received in reference to Radley Balko’s ideas on the upcoming tax deadline, as well as to a student from Mississippi State University’s criticism of Peter Arnett after his objectionable on-air commentary during the war.

A new column from the Heritage Foundation debuted this week, also sparking interest in readers.

Here is a small sample of this week’s mail:

In response to Fox News Watch:

C.V. Bainbridge writes:

Although I agree that journalists need to report the news -- Americans should still support the US in any kind of reporting. There are too many foreign national reporters (and some so called Americans like Peter Arnett) that report the "news" as they see it ( anything to make the U.S. "look bad" in the eyes of the world is important - anything that makes the U.S. "look good" is downplayed if reported at all!). Furthermore, as the battles are now moving into the towns and cities the foreign journalists (especially the ARAB press) will slant the news for their own benefit. We need our journalists to be as supportive of the U.S. and coalition as possible but still report the facts. I also believe that the so called "anti-war" demonstrators should be downplayed - overreporting of these groups just give them "free advertising."

Thomas Schultze-Drescher writes:

The conclusion of this kind of arguing you’re doing is leading towards the statement "American journalists should be rooting for an American victory in Iraq." This simple -- and in the hot headed war times very understandable patriotic comment -- includes something very dangerous. Assuming for a second that there is an American journalist, who -- in the opposite of your position -- is convinced by the deepest of his heart that the American cause is not justified at all, that it’s a crime against humanity and international laws. Are you are really saying that he should shut up, don’t say what he is thinking? This would be the only logical conclusion, when you state what a journalist should be rooting for -- or to be more exact, if you quote and support this statement. And this is something I can and will not accept.

In response to Junk Science:

Bob writes:

Looking at the situation solely from a healthcare perspective, there has been a serious problem in Iraq for many years. Despite all the rhetoric and writing "please be nice" letters to Saddam, it just wasn't doing the job. At the same time we have to be careful. While our current actions in the Middle East are both a defensive move against further acts of terrorism and a genuine desire to help the citizens of those countries, there's got to be a definite limit where, once we reach it, we can reevaluate our goals and think about how much further we want to go -- if at all. We can easily be a bully. We don't have to be one.

Bill McDaniel writes:

I agree with you that one of our most basic and cherished freedoms is freedom of speech. However, that freedom seems trampled on repeatedly by actors too enamored with the sounds of their own voices to pay attention to the actual content of what they say, and by people like physicians who are very smart in one area and thinks that automatically makes them experts in areas out of their domain as well. Perhaps the constitution should have a clause about 'freedom from the stupidity of others' to protect us from these well-meaning, but stupid, people.

In response to Straight Talk:

Kim Deberge writes:

Educated people, and poor know the inequality of taxes and naturally most (I say most, because I fall into the 30M/yr group) of the "poor" are in favor of the way things are now. A consumption tax would be ideal, but you just couldn't get it off the runway. Better to go to a flat tax for many reasons, but the most important reason of all is it is understandable. Consumption taxes, would always be subject to exceptions. In Minnesota, for example, we pay no tax on Wonderbread, but do on grocery store bakery bread. The answer is to keep it simple. Wealthier taxpayers would have a greater incentive to invest, and the "poor" would be forced to understand no free ride.

Skip Havens writes:

I’m not in favor of pushing the poor over the edge by adding to their financial woes. However, I see the problems the Democrats are causing the country by ginning up class warfare. Also, isn't this disproportionate taxation of the wealthiest few in our country essentially taxation without representation since they are so greatly out numbered by the poorer Democrats?

In response to Off Campus:

Daniel Wilmer writes:

It seems to me that the reason to fire Arnett is that his job is to provide objective news of what is actually happening and that giving interviews where he takes positions on what is happening beyond his observations inhibits his objectivity. If he is out there saying how the war plan has failed he is hardly in a position to provide objective data on how the war is progressing.

In response to The Heritage Foundation:

James Hopkins writes:

If the U.N. wants a major role, then let them provide humanitarian aid to Iraq to supply all the doctors, medicines needed, food, and water for as long as it takes to get the people on thier feet. Next time, they should stand behind the United States and those who want to liberate a country and stand behind the resolutions that they vote for in the first place. Next time, if they don't stand with America, then it's well time America pulled out of the U.N. completely. End of story.

Gerard Cuomo writes:

They stood to be counted with the enemy and against everything we stand for. Not only do they not deserve a role in Iraq, but they should be punished for their actions. I would go a step further, and pull the U.S. out of the U.N. They need us more than they'd like to admit. I'd like to see what would happen if we pulled our resources out of their organization, and apply them to our own foreign aid packages. When I look at the U.N., all I see is an anti-American forum. How can we be expected to respect an organization that places Syria on a security council, and Iraq on a weapons inspection committee.

Ross A. Dietrich writes:

I believe that the acronym U.N. should now mean, "ugh, NO."