Tell the Truth
I was not surprised that there were some angry responses to your piece on Steve Hotze [News, "Hotze in the Media Fun House," by Jim Simmon, August 4]. However, I think the article deserves defending, which is why I am writing.
First of all, I, like the readers who protested the article, am frightened and disturbed by Hotze and attitudes like his. I think we'd all benefit greatly from a little less self-righteous intolerance and a little more unconditional acceptance. But, like him or not, we should not allow Hotze's opinions to be exaggerated by the press.
We possess only one effective weapon against people like Hotze, and that weapon is Truth. Truth is the only thing capable of exposing the semi-rational logic and unreasonable ideologies of zealots.
And the communication of Truth in our society depends immeasurably upon the accuracy of the media. When the New Yorker and the New York Times misquote Steve Hotze, they do a great disservice to all of us -- to Hotze and to his opponents.
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The Houston Press deserves congratulations; it took balls to run that piece, considering how obviously unpopular it was going to be with the Press readership. But it needed to be done.
If we are to protect ourselves from problems like homophobia, we must assure ourselves of an honest and accurate news media. Honest and accurate in their coverage of all parties, not just those we agree with.
And regarding Jone Devlin's concern that the article served as a soundboard for Hotze's views
-- I wouldn't worry. Like Harlan Ellison said, all rational people have a low threshold for bullshit. Have faith that the majority of people will continue to dismiss bigotry for the load of bunk that it is.
When the Houston Press was first published, it was so enjoyable I wrote in that it was my favorite Houston newspaper and I'd even be willing to pay for it. But recently, your boring and uninteresting articles and repellently muddy covers have made me debate whether I should even pick up a copy for free. The reviews, restaurant guide, Life In Hell (although even that is not what it was) and, particularly, Cinema Scoop are why I have continued to read (some of) it.
Happily, recent issues seems to show a spark of the old Press. But please, so we can determine where to look for restaurant info, find a geographer to work on the area destinations of your restaurant guide.
Why is 8.0 in "Montrose/Lower Shepherd," Churrascos in "Kirby-Med. Center-West U" and Armando's in "River Oaks-Memorial Park"? In fact, several of the restaurants listed in "River Oaks-Memorial Park" are really in Montrose, and "Montrose" and "Neartown" are synonymous, at least to members of the Neartown Association like me. And where is "Lower Shepherd," pray tell? "The Village," "Theater District" and "Museum District" might be useful designations, while a map of what you mean by these mysterious localities you're now using might be a big help.
From what I gathered in reading your lead article ["The Private Life and Public Death of Frank Koury," by Brian Wallstin, August 11], homophobia seems to reign supreme here in Houston. Frank Koury may have had reason to remain in the closet if his clients were similar to those that served on the jury in Mr. Templeton's trial.
What happened to Mr. Templeton in his jury trial is similar to what a lawyer suggested may happen to me in a pending trial. The attorney suggested that I should accept an offer being discussed simply because if my case goes to trial, I may not receive a favorable verdict if it were mentioned that I am gay. Now my case has nothing to do with sexual orientation. It was simply suggested that my being gay may be mentioned during the trial and this simple fact may result in prejudice in the courtroom.
At the time I selected to ignore this opinion. I must now reconsider my position. Needless to say, if Mr. Templeton were straight his case would never have gone to trial. George Koury would have respected his son's wishes.
Discrimination does exist for gays. People say that gays don't need special rights. They don't. The verdict of the jury reinforces the need for gays to simply receive basic rights. If Mr. Frank Koury and Mr. Templeton's relationship was recognized by the state, Mr. George Koury would have no call to any of the estate. To say that Mr. Templeton did not contribute financially to the relationship is moot.
In any personal relationship this intangible is accepted for what is contributed to the relationship, whether expressed in dollars or emotional support and love. Something was there. Otherwise the union would not have survived the years it did.
If a measurement for contribution is necessary, it may be said that Mr. Templeton gave more than his share. He is HIV-positive. He may have given his life.
Charles D. Walters
I found the piece by Brian Wallstin about Frank Koury's life and death intrusive and somewhat sensational.
Yes, he was an attorney in a corporate world who walked the tightrope of "Is he or isn't he?" But society and the corporate world do not make it easy for someone like Koury to "come out," or admit to having AIDS.
Unlike O.J. Simpson, who will be tried by a jury of his peers, Koury has been tried and pronounced guilty without benefit of judge or jury ... and with not a defense lawyer in sight.
So, what was the point?
May M. Munn
No Thanks Needed
Thank you for running the feature article in a recent Press about the Koury/Templeton matter. It acquainted me with the unfortunate circumstances of Mr. Templeton, with whom I had a professional association some few years ago, and so enabled me to pass on to him my sympathy and regret for his situation.
Perhaps such reporting is favorable to the just legal disposition of the case.
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