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Lamenting Dean's demise and blaming the media, too

Your Feb. 20 article "Where the 'Deaniacs' go now" failed to acknowledge the power of the news media to shape the public's perception of a candidate.

Dean was set up and knocked down by the media. When he spoke passionately, they called it "anger." When he broke a political taboo, they called it a "gaffe." When he remained optimistic, they called him "defiant."

Most primary voters never got past the headlines and sound bites to discover the real Howard Dean. The media have tremendous power in our political system. They have chosen the Democratic nominee, and I fear they will choose our next president as well.
John Johnson
Ventura, Calif.

Although the media have chosen to report that Dr. Dean is out of the presidential race, it should be noted that he has suspended actively campaigning only and is still on the remaining primary ballots. He will get my vote at the Idaho caucus. This Deaniac is not going anywhere.
Mary Henry
Boise, Idaho

Rather than voting for ex-candidate Dean, his supporters should join forces with the most progressive candidate still in the race, Dennis Kucinich. Kucinich, largely ignored by mainstream media, would benefit greatly from an infusion of Deaniac energy.
Mary Forthofer
Longmont, Colo.

'Appearance of impropriety'

Regarding your Feb. 13 article "Was the Duck Hunt a Conflict of Interest": While the question of whether Justice Antonin Scalia should recuse himself is an important one, it is not the only question raised by the hunting trip.

By spending private time with one of the justices who is going to decide his case - access that the other party in the case did not have - Vice President Dick Cheney reprises the conduct that landed him in court to begin with: giving those with a stake in the outcome of a decision preferential access to government decisionmakers. This time, however, he arranged the private access for himself with one of the decisionmakers in his case.

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