As media ownership narrows (and the top-dog corporations scramble to merge and buy up all the media outlets) and corporate media dominate our every thought and action, it is refreshing to read an article ["Bar Patrons," by Nick Cooper, October 1] that explains, in some detail, how cigarette companies are using desperate measures to lure the lonely, less-informed consumer. It is a very sneaky and brilliant strategy on the part of the cigarette companies to persuade and change public opinion by attracting bar owners with monetary support. So clever, in fact, that ordinary public citizens blame the government (often claiming more rights taken away by mean big government) for anti-smoking legislation and not the cigarette companies.
Great spin. Got to hand it to the Press for its investigative reporting: How difficult, in these days of media concentration, to bite the hand that can feed you (cigarette companies). In other words, yes, the Press accepts cigarette monies, but no, the Press is not afraid to inform the public about reality.
Hold the Presses
In regard to Nick Cooper's shocking revelations in his "Bar Patrons" article....
Next week ... Nick reveals "Lincoln Shot by Booth!"
I am very pissed off regarding this whole thing. The reporter talked to me for less than two -- yes, two -- minutes. He never said he was going to quote me, or asked to quote anything I said. He represented himself as if he was doing a positive story on clubs and sponsors in the Houston music scene.
I myself am not a smoker, but I am married to one. I have no opinion on smoking one way or the other. I feel that I have been misquoted and unjustly represented regarding all of this. This job supports my family and kids. I would never, knowingly or otherwise, do anything to jeopardize my involvement with this club or its business.
The reporter in question was to call us back with the story line, to find out if we agreed with it. He never called or anything. We really do appreciate and value the relationship that this club has with your organization. No one here would ever, and I repeat ever, do anything to change that.
Art, Sandi and I feel very disgusted with the story. Again, we never said anything about minors and all that. We were all misquoted, badly.
Shifting the Blame
Stuart Eskenazi almost placed the blame where it belongs ["Deadly Pitfalls," September 17]: Elsie Nitsche failed to yield the right-of-way and caused an accident that resulted in five people drowning and two others being near death, requiring resuscitation.
It is unfortunate Mrs. Nitsche injured her kneecap. Our daughter, Kristen, spent four weeks on a ventilator in the trauma intensive-care unit.
The article minimized the lives of the five women killed as well as Kristen's.
While Mrs. Nitsche did not intentionally cause the accident, the fact remains that she broke the law and must pay the consequences of her actions. Instead of devoting so much print to open pits, maybe some space should have addressed the laws regarding who is licensed to drive in the state of Texas.
John and Cheryl Lindy
Apparently, Judge Annette Galik ["No, No, Annette!," by Tim Fleck, October 1] has forgotten that when a man marries his mistress, a job opportunity is created.
Loved the headline "One Dick's Opinion of Another" and Tim Fleck's news story [September 16]. Great coverage! Would like to see more of this kind of thing before the November 3 election. This will be a watershed election; determined will be whether this country continues in the path it seems to be going in or if a different path is in our future. I'm not a Dick Morris fan.
James R. Willis Jr.
Before Tim Fleck pronounced the attendees of the International Celebrity Series' Dick Morris lecture "gullible," he would have been well served to get some feedback from that audience. For approximately the price of a movie, popcorn and a soft drink, the attendees heard a fascinating lecture that stimulated a great number of future discussions. For the 45 minutes after the lecture that Morris spent talking to individual members of the audience and signing their books, I was kept busy by attendees telling me how much they enjoyed the lecture, how much the live-lecture experience exceeded any expectations they had coming in, and how important it was to Houston to bring this series to town.
During the lecture, I noted that even though Morris had spent his lifetime working with politics and politicians, he remained amazingly uncynical about the process. One could hardly say the same of Tim Fleck.
President, International Celebrity Series
Save the Prairie
Of all the issues that need dealing with in our area, John Carroll accusing the Sierra Club of questionable intentions seems contentious and fishy ["Wetlands Maul?" August 27]. Has Carroll read past issues of the Houston Press, which have covered the Katy Prairie issues widely and competently?
The Houston Sierra Club, one of many groups in the conservation community, looks around us and sees disaster looming. Wetlands are being filled and covered at a rampant pace by malls, highways and subdivisions. Tropical storm Frances victims in the northwest subdivisions scratch their heads and ask why. They have never been flooded before. Why now? Because there is no plan, and no protection of our wetlands and rural areas in Houston. The Barker and Addicks dams, designed to protect downtown Houston, are now islands among cement and development.
We are not the enemy. The enemy is our local governments, which persist in choosing and encouraging economic growth over our physical and mental well-being without a plan.
Marge Hanselman, Conservation Chair
Houston Sierra Club
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