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Web Letter

Mr. Zirin's dissection of the Plaxico situation is disingenuous. Zirin wants the reader to believe that Burress is not capable of making the decisions a man of his position must make. Isn't Zirin laboring under the premise that Burress, and therefore all who play an equivalent media role, are and will be incapable of making difficult decisions? Yes, Plaxico is in a precarious position in this society, but do what Zirin terms "contributing factors" equate to fatal flaws?

It is right, in my opinion, to hold our heroes to high standards and not to make excuses for their bad acts. Zirin declares that the choices that Burress has to make "just aren't choices many players want to make." What is the reader to feel here: sorry for the millionaire, media-fed, superstar, or wanting of a higher level of moral behavior? Feeling sorry is demeaning, and moral aspirations are inspiring. Zirin asks us to demean, all while chastising Bloomberg for not "displaying anger" about the more politically correct issues. Bloomberg's politics in relation to Wall Street and the Republican National Convention will be judged and historically debated. Bloomberg chastising Burress is part of his laudable effort to keep guns off the streets, and out of the clubs. I'd rather have Burress, and therefore all of our media heroes, held to a higher level of citizenship, then be asked to weaken that desire and permit them to avoid a choice that they "just...don't want to make." Being liberal does not have to be about relative morality.

Peter Consenstein

New York, NY

Dec 10 2008 - 9:44pm

Web Letter

Considering the times, I'm sure things are getting crowded in Hell. Still, there must be a little corner table reserved for sportscasters who go tilting after windmills like Plaxico. Just like Burress should have had a license, Ditka and the rest of Team Flighty Peabrain need a special dispensation before they start jawing on reality-based news.

Daniel Sullivan

San Diego, CA

Dec 8 2008 - 1:48am

Web Letter

Pray tell, Mr. Zirin, who might these "moralists" be that you are now whining about? (Frankly, I am very surprised that this label is being thrown about in a sports-related story instead of sex-related story as it usually is!)

Mr. Zirin, I've heard Katrina vanden Heuvel herself write on "morals" or "moral issues." Maybe you should look up her columns in the archives. And do you have such a short memory (or is it selective memory?) that you do not recall one of the producers of the documentary An Inconvenient Truth flatly stating that salvaging the environment was a "moral issue" when at the podium to receive his "in the bag" Academy Award? I remember that verrrry clearly.

Finally, there is the example in Edward Said's 1981 book, Covering Islam, where he quotes a New York psychiatrist writing a column where he uses the word "moral" in reference to our disastrous history with Iran.

So yes, Mr. Zirin, there are some of us on the progressive side who see the different issues with a little broader perspective than most. I am sorry for any heavy-handed upbring you may have had growing up, but now as an adult, please don't squirm next time you hear the word "moral."

john molina

Chula Vista, Ca

Dec 6 2008 - 9:17pm

Web Letter

The Plaxico situation is completely absurd and I'm sick of the sanctimonious prattle that is constantly filling the airwaves. There are much bigger fish to fry and more important issues to deal with then this inane attempt at "being tough on crime." Three issues that I think are worth considering in this situation:

1) Mandatory minimum sentencing is ridiculous.

2) How to protect high-profile athletes is a difficult question to answer.

3) To play the race card a bit, what would the reaction be if this had been a white player?

Plaxico shot himself and that is punishment enough. Stop harassing the guy and making another professional athlete out to be this dangerous bogeyman that we must rein in. Enough already!

Nausherwan Hafeez

Apollo Beach, FL

Dec 6 2008 - 11:47am