We get letters. . . .
Today's mail focuses on the response to columns about Geraldo Rivera and "The Mystery of Al Capone's Vaults," "CBS News Sunday Morning" and President Reagan's televised speech about the United States air strike on Libya.
Some of the letters about "Sunday Morning" had a dual purpose: to praise the program and to note my confusion over the famed painter Winslow Homer, whom I identified as Homer Winslow. June Seery of Ventura made sure I got the message: "It's Winslow Homer. Winslow Homer. Winslow Homer."
I know. I know. I know.
All right, on to the first fan letter:
You should be ashamed of yourself and your cruel and really stupid review of Geraldo Rivera and "The Mystery of Al Capone's Secret Vaults." Mr. Rivera did very well indeed with a cream puff of a story. He kept it going, one way or another.
And you missed the point! You were looking for the pot of gold as does a child. You missed all of the story of Al Capone's Prohibition-era murders, prison, his life, his death.
You gave no credit to the really remarkable work of the men who were clearing away so much dirt and debris so rapidly. To me, it seemed a herculean task--all done in minutes. You missed a good piece of history, while you were sucking your thumb waiting for the gold to be revealed. Do grow up. There is never a pot of gold.
MRS. M. M. COSTLEY
The program certainly confirmed the good sense and justification for the ABC News establishment keeping Geraldo Rivera out of "Credibility Hall." I'm sure you have reduced rage and restored calm and peace of mind for thousands of viewers who were seriously imposed upon by the entire program.
The only thing that came through loud and clear in your review was, unfortunately, not what the show was about, but your obvious utter contempt for Geraldo Rivera. I thought a reviewer's job was to be as objective as possible, or at least to be able to hide his obvious prejudices. Shame on you!
Bravo for your perfect review of Geraldo Rivera's Capone Carnival. The puffed-up extravaganza was oddly symbolic of Rivera's self-aggrandized career all these years. Since he first exploded on the tube with his purple exploitation of the Willowbrook school story in New York, all the hyperbole, the tears, the ranting and raving, the oohing and ahing and all the posturing have led to the opening of Geraldo's door. And what do we find? What we expected all along. Nothing.
RICHARD A. STEEL
We never miss "CBS News Sunday Morning." Several times I've written to Charles Kuralt to compliment him on his diction, choice of words, format of the program, etc. Your word "slowly" describes it perfectly.
Miracles really do happen and wonders never cease--I agree with a Rosenberg column. Those two hours with Horowitz were splendid and "Sunday Morning" is leisurely with wonderful Charles Kuralt. But Howard, do you really walk in the forest alone and hear wondrous sounds? Do you, Howard? It's mind boggling.
Your left-handed compliment of President Reagan's outstanding ability to communicate is nothing more than Reagan bashing, a favorite pastime of the liberal news media of which the Los Angeles Times is a leading member. You demonstrate what Chuck Yeager has referred to as technological illiteracy when you scoff at "surgical" bombing, calling this "a contradiction in terms." You also indulge in what President Reagan calls "blame America first" when you accept the Libyan explanation that U.S. bombs struck "innocent civilians, including children."
EDWIN O. LEARNARD
Once again, while America soars, you just can't control your pathological hatred of President Reagan. So what do you do? You call in some flake no one's heard of, who's written some book no one's heard of. Can't you simply grasp the fact that Reagan, unlike any recent President besides Kennedy, has intelligence, elegance, sophistication, humility, grace and style?