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LETTERS

Credentials, please

March 23, 2003

From David Shaw's "Looking to the Stars for Our Political Wisdom" (March 16): "I don't think the media have been cheerleaders for the war.... " Oh!?

Not, I suppose, if you put Harper's on equal footing with Fox News and CNN and ABC. I have come to expect such claims from articles on newspaper editorial pages written by Washington think tank hacks, but I was led to believe that Shaw was a tough, tell-it-like-it-is independent.

He rakes over celebrities for using their megaphones to voice opinions against the war, as he disparages their credentials. Well, right-wing talk radio is a 24-hour-a-day bully pulpit of regime slogans and trivia. Martin Sheen is not an authority on foreign policy? What are the credentials of Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, Pat Robertson or any other of the regular Rolodex pundits? Where are the doctoral degrees in political science or history or journalism from respected institutions and research in professional journals that can be scrutinized? They have simply arrived at radio and TV stations with a provocative delivery and are then presented and promoted as credentialed authorities.

Sheen has seen more of life's variety of political struggles for worker's rights and peaceful solutions to problems all over the world than all of them together.

If Shaw is going to claim his high-minded position, then he should write honestly.

Richard Beck Peacock

Carlsbad

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