Please inform Michael Berryhill that his "Terminator of TSU" article [October 6] was damn good.
I declared war on Lady Joann even before she got here, and it wasn't just because Dr. Otis King is a childhood pal of mine.
Editor's note: Johnson is managing editor of the weekly Forward Times.
Stretch and Snap
Congratulations to Michael Berryhill on the informative article about TSU President Joann Horton ["The Terminator of TSU," October 6]. His detailed report of the results produced by Ms. Horton with her "stretch" to establish a new agenda may result in a "snap" that will be felt in the community. Her response should be to place a suggestion box for help. And if she does, I have the first two: take a class in finance; take Dale Carnegie.
First, your feature article covered in the Houston Press under date of October 6 entitled "The Terminator of TSU" [by Michael Berryhill] represents what I consider to be first-class journalism. Second, your article was timely, accurate, properly sequenced and signally objective. Third, in a nutshell your article was extremely well written.
The calls and demands for copies of your article have been monumental. Many readers report to me that they continue to reread it. Others who hear about your article continue to seek unavailable copies.
Last, I only wish that more tenured faculty would join our truth journey. Inasmuch as tenured faculty are protected against being fired, I believe that they have a duty to speak the truth.
Ray F. Wilson
President, TSU chapter
Texas Association of College Teachers
Re: your article on Gene Fontenot ["God's Own Candidate," by Jim Simmon, October 13]. What a biased diatribe! I thought the piece was written by an eager young reporter wannabee, then I turn to the masthead and find that the writer is the editor! This is not serious journalism; I'm not sure what it is, but surely your readers who plan to vote deserve more serious coverage of political candidates.
The article is full of irresponsible statements; some even cross over into illiterate, like this one: "... McKenna was blind-sided this year by Fontenot's big-bucks media sprees. Bentsen, meanwhile, beat a better qualified Democrat ...." This is a non sequitur. How does Fontenot's spending in beating his opponent Dolly Madison McKenna equate to Bentsen beating his opponent, Paul Colbert? (Colbert was a "better qualified Democrat," you say, but the only qualification you mention is that he was a state Representative. Even the queen of the liberal journalists, Molly Ivins, would question the qualification you deem "better.") Turn in your word processor, Mr. Simmon, and take up your red pencil. A journalist owes readers the truth, not his or her opinion, but this is a difficult responsibility for a human being. That's why newspapers have editors, isn't it?
The transcript of Fontenot's incoherent babbling about midnight basketball was frustrating to read, all right. These candidates get so caught up in their competition that they try to tell us what we want to hear, not what they truly believe. I suspect that Fontenot, being human, got tongue-tied as a result of the same problem. The steps of a righteous man are ordered by the Lord. So are the words. Christians know that God gets what He wants, not what we want, while he uses us to His ends.
I'm not a Fontenot supporter (not yet, anyway; I'm still examining the candidates). I'm as turned off by the religious right as I am by the radical left. Regardless of our religious beliefs and convictions, we all need to strive toward building political bodies composed of members who represent all of us for the good of the whole community. If the politicians would only think that way, we would not have a leadership crisis in our great country. If the media representatives would think that way, we, the masses, might be able to make more intelligent choices at the polls.
Valerie Sanders Bryan
While I wholeheartedly agree with Jim Simmon's article on Eugene Fontenot being able to run for office only because he has the money to buy himself recognition ["God's Own Candidate," October 13], I find it rather ironic that the Houston Press (and the press, in general) only bothers to run cover stories and mention those candidates with the money to buy their congressional seat.
Since you chose to do a cover story on the 25th Congressional District race and only included two of the four candidates running in this race, it would behoove you to educate yourselves that Sarah Klein-Tower, running as an Independent, is definitely worthy of mentioning as a valid candidate in this race. What is wrong with a system that only recognizes the Democratic and Republican candidates and ignores any other individual that may indeed be the best choice to serve as a representative of the people? Is it fair to the public not to let them know they have more than the "politics as usual" choices? Slap to your hand Houston Press. Can you say censorship?
What a shock that Gene Fontenot is spending his own money to get into Congress. And to think that a quarter century ago, Ralph Yarborough was complaining about a millionaire opponent spending his own money to buy a U.S. Senate seat. Think his name was Bentsen, or something like that.
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