DONATION UNDER DURESS
Just a note regarding your remarks (Political Whore, "Tainted Love," by Wayne Garcia, Dec. 7-13) on Congresswoman Harris' donating the RISCORP money to charity. She 1. Put up a major fight about giving the money to anyone. 2. It was not until after my letter to the editor suggesting she donate the dirty money to charity that she felt pressured to do so.
Also, FYI, I sent her campaign headquarters in Tampa a scathing fax regarding her keeping the "MZM" contributions and the "Cunningham dirty money" and two days later, she announced she was contributing all of those funds to charity as well.
ALTERNATIVE TO INFERNO
The Centro Ybor Muvico is never busy (Life Sentences, "The Nine Circles of the Googolplex," by Scott Harrell, Dec. 7-13). I go to the 21+ theater, The Premier (ooh! ahh!), for opening weekend of any movie, and I never have problems.
It's never been packed, there are no kids or teens, you can buy booze, and I'm in shock that I even write that *gasp* I have never had a bad experience there.
That probably doesn't say a lot for the success of that theater, but I'm not complaining. As far as I'm concerned, it's one of Tampa's best-kept secrets.
Oh, and except for Fri. and Sat. nights, valet is free with validation from the theater. You can't beat that with a beating machine.
David M. Jenkins
Artistic Director, The Jobsite Theater
EDITOR'S NOTE: Weekly Planet-Tampa named Muvico Centro Ybor the Best Place to See a Blockbuster and Not Wait in Line in 2004.
RADIO FREE AMERICA
I congratulate the Weekly Planet for helping the progressive cause (Cover Story, "Al Franken is a Big Fat Candidate...Maybe," by Sheelah Kolhatkar, Nov. 30-Dec. 6). Air America Radio is a critical medium for Democrats. For over the past three decades, the Republican Party has built a national echo chamber. They have a TV station (FOX), a dominance of talk radio, various magazines, and large group of attack dogs (Coulter, Hannity, Rush, and O'Reilly to name a few).
Given the recent revelations of the Rendon Group and the Lincoln Group and the paid commentators selling the Prescription Drug Benefit and No Child Left Behind, it is critical that we can turn to a free press. Air America is important not only to liberal voters as a source of information that is not doctored by the government, it is important to Democratic politicians. Air America Radio is the place where these candidates and elected officials can get out their message without fear of it being affected by the Republican echo chamber.
Almost all artists are able to inject a political point of view into their creations. The message may be overt or subtext, but an accusation of "propaganda" is hardly ever unjustified. A film review should not be given the same latitude (Film Feature, "Blow-Up," by Lance Goldenberg, Nov. 23-29). When a film reviewer uses the sinecure of his position to undermine the public's confidence in a work of art and bases his critique on his own narrow political standards, he oversteps the bounds of his profession.
Mr. Goldenberg defends his accusation of propaganda by writing: Paradise Now "is only able to give a human face to one people by denying that same basic humanity to another."
A film about suicide bombers should not be intrinsically obligated to delve into the lives of victims of suicide bombings. When I wonder about what's missing from a film, it should have to do with a plot element, or a performance that ends up on the cutting room floor, not its political correctness. Films are not journalism, there is no "Fair and Balanced" standard at the Motion Picture Academy.
I find Mr. Goldenberg's politics to be an unnecessary distraction in making my choices about a film's impact. One would think that I should not have to analyze a reviewer's political bias before deciding if a film is worthwhile.