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Uncharitable Remark?

October 15, 2000

In reading the article about Bette Midler and her new television show ("Hard Work If You Can Get It," by Carla Hall, Oct. 8), a comment of Midler's astounded me.

It was in this paragraph: "She doesn't need the money, although she likes having substantial funds for her philanthropic causes. She's no longer involved in AIDS fund-raising. 'All my friends died,' she says. 'I did my part and then I moved on. I wanted to get into an area where there was absolutely nobody.' Now, that's preservation in New York City."

I wasn't shocked that she'd burned out--a person can only give just so much. But the comment that "all my friends died" seemed so selfish to me. Millions of people die from diseases every day, are debilitated by them every day, yet those who support research or support services, be it AIDS, breast cancer, sickle-cell anemia or whatever, don't stop because it purportedly doesn't affect them anymore. And, if they do, the should chose their words more carefully.

I've been a fan of Bette's since I was in high school and have applauded her every step (I even saw "Jinxed"), but to me this comment (my interpretation) appears that she was only involved in this for what she (or her friends) could get out of it. I'd rather she not said anything at all, and gone on to save NYC.

DAVID W. BRUCE

Long Beach

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(1) Cell phones are not funny. At best they are merely annoying. (2) Getting kicked in the groin is not funny. Especially to men. (3) "Hamlet" is not funny. Wake up! It's a tragedy.

Bette might spend her time better taking the year off and watching old Lucy shows. Now that's funny.

P.S. That comment about AIDS charity should have been left unsaid.

DICK CHESTER

Los Angeles

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AIDS is not over! Is a New York tree more important than human lives, even though the lives lost are not her personal friends? Or is it her TVQ and public relations that are important to her?

RONALD DENNIS-WATSON

Los Angeles

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