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Shabbiness in Moscow

May 09, 1988

At best Charles T. Powers' article ("Moscow--Long Lines, Shabbiness," Part I, April 29) is irresponsible journalism. At worst it is consciously malicious.

The article contains nothing new. There could not be one Times reader who is not thoroughly familiar with the hackneyed stereotypes of Soviet lines, shortages and inefficiency.

Why run the article? We decry Pravda's slanted coverage of capitalism's unemployment, crime, homelessness, but how is this any different? Like Pravda, Powers describes only part of a complex reality. Worse, he offers no explanation for what he chooses to describe. What's the point of a selective description without some explanation or insight?

Worse than useless, Powers' article is harmful--it reinforces our myopic stereotypes of Soviet society, the very stereotypes which must be overcome if our two nations are to understand each other any better. No more and no less than the future of the planet depends on that understanding.

IRIS GREENBERG

Los Angeles

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