Mailbag: Front page photos were too flattering to Obama during presidential visit

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I am extremely disappointed in how you reported President Obama's visit to Corona del Mar last week ("Obama visit rattles CdM," Feb. 17). I opened up the Daily Pilot the following day to see only signs supporting him on a full-front cover picture. This is such biased reporting and far from the total picture.

I couldn't believe my eyes as I had driven by on East Coast Highway and saw more signs against him and his policies than for them, yet all you show is what you want us to believe. I am tired of the biased, liberal media.

I thought my neighborhood newspaper would be above that, but I was forgetting that it is owned by the liberal Los Angeles Times. What was I thinking?

I changed my subscription from the L.A. Times to the O.C. Register years ago for this very reason. Shame on the Pilot. And, by the way, there are a lot of us who are not necessarily members of the Tea Party, but who just don't agree with Obama's policies.

Why can't you be fair in your reporting? I'll be shocked if this letter gets published on the editorial page.

Julie Long

Newport Beach

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Coverage appeared biased

Fair and balanced? Hardly. A huge pro-Obama photo on the front page, above the fold, and a minuscule photo on page 7 for the opposition. Biased article.

No wonder your paper is a throwaway!

William S. Wright Jr.

Corona del Mar

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Protesters outweighed supporters

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but are those words portraying a true picture? In the case of a recent photograph prominently displayed on the Feb.17 Daily Pilot front page, the answer is absolutely no.

As a participant in the crowd who lined East Coast Highway the day President Obama came to town for another campaign fundraiser, I observed four times as many signs with a negative viewpoint about Obama's leadership.

Therefore, I found it misleading when the paper chose a picture of pro Obama people, huddled together and holding supportive signs, as their featured front-page article. One sign claimed, "Obama Creates Jobs."

Really? Our current unemployment rate in California remains over 11%, and that figure doesn't even include the unemployed who have given up looking.

Hundreds of patriotic protesters took time to make signs and then stand in the cold for hours in order to express their concerns with the current administration. Sadly, the Pilot's article did not include a single picture of them or their signs (Editor's note: A photograph of Obama detractors appeared on Page 7).

A pathetically small two paragraphs, buried on Page 7, made a brief reference to them. But Obama and his supporters were graced with 50 syrupy paragraphs of detailed information and quotations.

Considering there are three times as many Republicans as Democrats in Newport Beach, one would think a bit more attention to our viewpoints would be appropriate for a community newspaper, even considering one that's owned by the liberal L.A. Times.

Bonnie O'Neil

Newport Beach

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Detractors outweighed supporters

This morning I was treated to the Daily Pilot, and I was reassured once again why I do not get this or the Los Angeles Times. No matter how you try to spin it, we are not happy with this president's record.

170 supporters? You sure about that? Did you count yourselves to get to that number?

I actually found that "statistic" funny! And you felt they deserved their pictures on the front page while ignoring the hundreds (too many to count, heh?) of protesters?

You are so obviously biased that this article was actually sad for me. It's kind of pathetic and not really news, just the left-leaning media doing its usual thing — hiding the real news! I call your "news" paper, "Spinning Gone Wild!"

Liz Tutton

Newport Beach

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Why should taxpayers pay for visit?

Re Obama's visit to Corona del Mar: Why must the taxpayers pick up the tab for all of the extra police officers, including overtime? I hear that the Newport Beach Police Department isn't too happy about it, either.

The Democratic National Committee should bear the expense of the visit because this is not official business, but rather a campaign stop, and President Obama collected a cool $1.4 million.

Or is this about conservative taxpayers paying our "fair share?"

Pamela Hoffman

Newport Beach

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Liberal media complicit

When Barack Obama took office, he promised America an era of "hope and change." The stunning level of corruption stemming from the half-a-billion-dollar Solyndra scandal, among others, proves this was a lie.

Amazingly, the liberal media won't hold Obama fully accountable for the sewage of corruption and cronyism flowing straight out of the White House. From the "slush-fund" stimulus packages and sweetheart deals with companies like General Electric, to paying kickbacks to unions and Obama lying about raking in campaign cash from fat-cat lobbyists, the liberal media refuses to do its job and be the ultimate check on government power.

Our nation urgently needs a fair and independent press for our democracy to thrive. It is outrageous — and downright dangerous — that the nation's press will not tell Americans the truth about the Obama administration's unethical and even criminal conduct.

I urge my fellow readers of Daily Pilot to visit the Media Research Center's website at http://www.MRC.org to learn for yourselves the facts about cronyism and corruption tied to the Obama White House.

Harry C. Crowell

Newport Beach

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Obama commentary was baseless

Re "Commentary: Obama wages war against Catholic Church," Feb. 19:

Since the Obama administration has enacted legislation requiring institutions — whose primary purpose is not the inculcation of religious values — to provide employees free access to contraceptive health benefits, the rhetorical attacks against it have been swift, boisterous and filled with conjecture and hyperbole.

Dr. R. Claire Friend's commentary, supposedly on aspects of recent health-care legislation, is just such an attack, a bombastic and unsubstantiated diatribe that vacillates from calling President Obama a monarch with his boot on our throat to actually calling for a crusade against him.

This unveiled comparison of our current president to the "Muslims, who attempted to conquer Europe" is nothing more than base Internet conspiracy fodder and not reasonable debate over governmental policy. At no point in her rant does Friend mention any specifics of the legislation; she presents no factual evidence, only merely naive oversimplifications of world history and apocalyptic paranoia.

The recent legislation is in no way analogous to the rule of England over her colonies; in fact it is not even some aberrant law without precedent. More than 20 states have similar regulations in place, which, just as the newly enacted legislation, exempt churches and parishes with religious objections.

Until recently, these legislative efforts received bipartisan support, free from the specter of vernaculars of catastrophe. Indeed, one of those states with this legislation is California. Another is Arkansas, whose legislation bears the signature of then-Gov. Mike Huckabee; is he also a tyrant intent on destroying our country? Has he also declared war on the church?

Also glaringly unmentioned in your commentary are those millions of women (and men) this legislation benefits and also who overwhelmingly approve its passage. I am consistently surprised at the exclusion of their desires by one side in this national debate.

The concern I hear voiced by its opponents is not so much about women's health, or their affordable access to its care, but is about concern over unchecked institutional power.

Yet without hint of irony, an all-male panel testified before Congress decrying despotism, all while refusing to acknowledge its own hegemony over the individual choices of women and their health, even those who are not Catholic. After all, it's not as if women whose choices and beliefs dictate they not engage in the use of contraceptives be forced to take them.

Those who desire safe and knowledgeable access to legally obtained medical resources will simply have that: a choice. Those who desire access should have it, those who don't want it have the choice not to take it, and those who object over matters of faith have been exempted from paying for it, yet the federal government requiring the recipients of its largesse to provide it is analogous to our country's "death knell?"

Is Friend's position really so tenuous that her defense of it is reduced to doomsday predictions about the viable future of our country and ranting the word "tyrant"? Her historical evidence is selective and reductive, for while it is true that President Washington was a war hero and a true patriot, he was also a slave owner.

While the Catholic church has indeed played a central role in the creation and perseverance of what we call civilization, it has also enacted incredible atrocities of exerted power, including the creation of a synonym for "tyrant" — "inquisitor." If the Trail of Tears, slavery, the Jim Crow laws or Japanese internment are "always being on the right side of the angels," then what is the wrong side?

To ignore the marvelous complexity of the world we live in is shortsighted; we make progress, we overcome fears and anxieties, we learn from mistakes to become better — better people, better cultures. It is slow, but important work.

My point is this: There is need for debate on serious, complex issues, like separation of church and state, access to health care and the role of institutions in our daily lives. But honest debate can only occur when facts are discussed rationally, without emotional posturing.

This legislation represents no war on the church. In fact, it exempts those religious organizations opposed to it.

It does not limit our choice in worship; it broadens choice.

It does not oppose faith or restrict it; it simply ensures that physicians can continue to gladly share what knowledge they have received.

There is only one war happening within this nation — a war on reason, on logic and on rational dialogue. There seems to be no sincere desire for real debate, which leads to agreement or at least understanding, only a desire to perpetuate paranoia and fear. So I say, let us pray that reasoned discourse arrives before November.

Nathan Kuntz

Costa Mesa

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Obama respects Catholic views

Amazingly, Dr. R. Claire Friend sounds a lot like Rush Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich — a whole lot of gibberish about nothing. President Obama, as part of an overall health-care initiative, required, then rescinded, that women be provided contraceptive counseling.

It has nothing to do with abortion, which I assume that most objectively informed people know. Its purpose is simply to provide women preventative medical options, as does most every insurance plan.

The headline, "Obama wages war against Catholic Church," is a metaphor of the most mean-spirited kind. Obama has great respect for all religions, as best as I can tell, based on his past body of work.

And when the founders guaranteed the separation of church and state, they did so not to protect religion from the state but to protect the state from religion. Fortunately for Friend, the founders also provided the right for all people to state their points of view, no matter how distorted.

Bob Tiernan

Newport Beach

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Republicans benefit from stimulus, too

Newport Beach: the land of John Birch, millionaires and home base for Republican anti-government and anti-bailout sentiment. But after reading about the latest federal bailout in the Daily Pilot ("Harbor dredging receives additional federal funds," Feb. 15), I am convinced that Republicans suffer from PADS (Party Affinity Disorder Syndrome), a condition that accounts for political conduct that zealously and instinctively rejects the opposition ideas while secretly desiring them.

Councilman Mike Henn announced that the federal government has just agreed to send $1.75 million in tax dollars to Newport Beach for dredging Newport Harbor so that pleasure craft and yachts can navigate the channel much easier. This is in addition to the $2.4 million already committed by the federal government, bringing the total to almost $4.2 million, or about $50 for every man, woman and child in Newport Beach.

To his credit, Henn said that he planned to raise some of the funds from private parties interested in the harbor. I'll await the results.

What can explain this? It can't be a Democratic stimulus program. Republicans know that government stimulus doesn't work.

It certainly can't be a jobs scheme. Republicans preach that government doesn't create jobs.

The only possible explanation is that old-wealth redistribution habit of Democrats: taxing one group and giving it to another. At least in this case, it is going to the deserving and needy yacht owners in Newport Harbor.

Face it. When it comes to big government, there are 4.2 million reasons that Newport Beach Republicans love Uncle Sam as much as the other guys.

Recovery from PADS is possible. The first step is to get out of denial and accept the truth. My recommendation: Look in the mirror. Then change your party registration.

Thomas J. Peterson

Newport Beach

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