Don't Blame Reichert
Bearing in mind a few famous examples of dubious confessions extracted by Washington state authorities (the Paul Ingram confessions to Satanic abuses in Olympia, the Wenatchee sex ring), I'm a strong advocate of videotaping any and all police interviews of suspects. But this will be only more problematic if the media latch on to the sort of overzealous, hindsight criticism I read in "The Sheriff and the Serial Killer" [Jan. 11].
As ugly as it is to read the excerpts that Seattle Weekly chose to print (and even, in a sensationalist flourish, post video clips of), I looked in vain for some serious criticism of Dave Reichert's actions. Were there known, empirical standards of seeking evidence that he violated? Should we condemn him because many of his varied efforts to retrieve information from a relationship with a sick and dangerous man were unsuccessful? Is it an unacceptable insult to the families of victims to feign sympathy and humor when dealing with a sick criminal mind? I can't see answering any of these implications of the article positively.
I'm no great fan of Reichert's Republican politics, but I don't think there's any perfect manual on how to obtain data from a crazy criminal psyche, and I certainly can't fault the sheriff for doing everything he could think of to try to elicit a little more information.
God Is Love, Too
Knute Berger's column on Pat Robertson is about as silly as any I've read [Mossback, "In Defense of Pat Robertson," Jan. 11]. Aside from the analysis of the right reverend's blathering, the statement that "God of the Bible is angry from beginning to end" stands out. I'm not a theologian (hell, I'm not even a theist), and I know this is totally wrong. Aside from arguments over whether God "changed" from one of anger to one of love between the Old and the New Testaments, it cannot be disputed that a "God is love" aspect appears repeatedly throughout the books. Just depends on who you are. Just like for the Rev. Pat and true believer George Bush.
Not So Nicey-Nice
What a fantastic (and gutsy) article [Mossback, "In Defense of Pat Robertson," Jan. 11]—so "right on"! It is time that some begin to take a look at all sides of their "faith" and stop picking and choosing only those that fit the "nicey-nice" image they'd like to portray (while, of course, picking only the "ugly-naughty" side to claim as the other guys' religion).
Richard C. Burrows
Bigoted Bible Reader
At the end of Knute Berger's column, he writes: "Not new, perhaps, but apparently discomfiting to believers who are in denial about the basic text of their faith" [Mossback, "In Defense of Pat Robertson," Jan. 11].
In denial about "the basic text of their faith"? No. In denial about the implications of their particularly narrow form of "faith," perhaps, but not about the Bible. Fundamentalists happen to believe that the Bible is a text that supports only one interpretation—theirs. In appearing to critique their beliefs on the basis of their "basic text"—to blame the Bible, in effect—Berger inadvertently gives support to this notion. My guess is that he would agree that the Bible supports many interpretations. The bigoted and mean-spirited things public fundamentalists like Pat Robertson often say have more to do with them and their particular religious community than with the text from which they claim to take inspiration.
Tossing Rocks at God
I just wanted to set the record straight concerning Knute Berger's piece "In Defense of Pat Robertson" [Mossback, Jan. 11]. He has taken the opportunity to toss rocks at the God of the Bible because of the words spoken by one Christian. Unfortunately he, like Pat Robertson and many other Christians today, is only seeing half the picture.
It is true the God of the Bible did show his anger. But he also displayed his love. The God of the Bible is not angry from beginning to end. At one point in history, he came in the form of a human to show us true humanity. Jesus spoke and lived peace and love. "Blessed are the peace makers for they shall be called the children of God" (Matthew 5:9). "Unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other" (Luke 6:30).
What Berger doesn't understand is that not all Christians are pride-filled warmongers that are out to destroy the axis of evil. Mother Teresa never packed a gun. Martin Luther King Jr. promoted passive nonviolent resistance. Billy Graham's voice only offered the free gift of salvation.
To disagree with Pat Robertson's view is not denial about the basic text of our faith but an embrace of what we believe to be true.
Already a Pariah
Since when did Pat Robertson "suddenly" become a pariah [Mossback, "In Defense of Pat Robertson," Jan. 11]? He has always been a loose-cannon nutcase pariah. How about him threatening Orlando with a hurricane if Disney World celebrated Gay Day? How about him and Jerry Falwell claiming that America deserved 9/11 because our country harbored feminists, pagans, abortionists, gays, and lesbians?
How about him blaming Katrina on New Orleans' alleged "sins"? How about him calling for the assassination of Hugo Chavez, the president of Venezuela? There is nothing sudden about Pat Robertson's pariah status.
I know editors like to take controversial stands to rouse the populace and sell more papers, but I did not think Seattle Weekly was in such dire financial straits.
Janice Van Cleve
No Picking on Jolie
What does Angelina Jolie have to do with Glory Road [This Week's Attractions, Jan. 11]? Why insult someone who's not acting in the movie, and who does altruistic things with her time and money? If Tim Appelo needs to insult someone as "awful," he should at least be objective and do it about something she's in.
How Netflix Saved Nebraska
Neal Schindler unfairly and wrongly misrepresents Netflix in his article "See (and Save) the World" [Jan. 11] in the following quote: "And though Netflix offers 50,000 titles, the company charges a monthly fee and emphasizes mainstream fare. Plus, being the only person in town geared up to watch an obscure documentary about migrant workers must get old pretty fast."
If Schindler had done even a little research, instead of relying on his anticorporate leftist prejudices, he would know that Netflix does not emphasize mainstream fare. In fact, Netflix is the number one reason that folks in Nebraska even have access to arty-farty niche titles. And those folks in Nebraska are not the only ones. Netflix's subscribers rent 98 percent of the titles in the Netflix inventory, not just the "mainstream" ones.
Schindler obviously didn't know that Netflix is a very large distributor of independent movies, buying hundreds of titles each year that would never otherwise be seen.
Film appreciation is no longer restricted to the liberal elite in college classrooms and film festivals. Isn't it ironic that it's a corporation like Netflix—using capitalism and free-market economics, not communism—not the liberal elite, which is democratizing video distribution?
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