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Censoring or influencing the news?

I was dismayed to read the Monitor's stand expressed in its editorial ``On bossing Dan Rather'' [Jan. 15]. My dismay stemmed from the observation that the Monitor appears not to have recognized the strong antidefense bias of CBS of more than 20 years; that many believe that (to use your words) ``the United States [has] been substantially harmed by the existence of a . . . medium that significantly distorted [defense] news in content and tone,'' namely, CBS. The objective of the Helms initiative is fairness in media. I support that. M. Morgan Albuquerque, N.M.

I found the editorial ``On bossing Dan Rather'' very ill considered.

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For well over a decade the American people have been subjected to news that has been ``censored'' by a very elite minority. A survey published by the Monitor recently bore out the facts that a very unrepresentative group heads the various news media. I heartily support Sen. Jesse Helms's effort to wrest control of CBS, or at least gain representation through stock purchases that will get attention from the directors. Morton E. Nager Spanish Fort, Ala.

Thank you for the recent page on one of the Monitor's greatest assets of long ago, the incomparable Dwight Sturges [Jan. 11]. I was privileged to know Dwight and grew richer through that association. He was, truly, one of a kind. I doubt very much if anyone could put the true greatness of Mr. Sturges in mere words, but Guernsey Le Pelley came very close.

I was disappointed, however, in not seeing one of the artist's sketches of Lincoln, which was a specialty of his. Yet even without it, the feature on one of the Monitor's giants was beautifully done and much appreciated. Ed Rumill Sun Lakes, Ariz.

The President's proposed budget can act as a starting point. But look what we could do if we adjusted the approach to include the following: (1) Reduce the amount of each domestic cut. (2) Raise defense cuts to keep them to a 3 percent rate of growth. (3) Cut or at least postpone COLAs, since inflation is down. (4) Put small taxes on tobacco, liquor, oil, and gas. (5) Require a moderate tax from every corporation, regardless of its size. These steps might result in a greater reduction of the deficit. Above all, wouldn't such an approach make people feel that the process was more just, politically and socially, and less ideological and one-sided? C. C. Lindsey Boston

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published and none individually acknowledged. All are subject to condensation. Please address letters to ``readers write.''

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