Saturday’s letters: At WMNF, we’re committed to striking the right balance and hearing underserved voices

Saturday’s letters to the editor
Published April 19
Updated April 24

We at WMNF are dismayed to find ourselves in this public discussion with the Jewish community (“How We, As Jewish Leaders, Feel About WMNF Now,” a column posted on TampaBay.com on April 18). We do understand the response, though, by the authors. Their proposed show, after working with our former general manager, seemed to WMNF’s programming committee to be focused on points of view that do not fit our mission statement. There was a range of responses to the program, with a general feeling that there was the beginning of what could be a good talk show centering around Jewish issues and news.

As our mission statement guides us:

WMNF advocates for peace, social and environmental justice through independent media and programming neglected by the mainstream.

At times this can create a sense of discomfort within our listening audience. In fact, concerns about bias in coverage of Middle Eastern affairs was important enough an issue that a study by independent media experts at Kent State was conducted. The results revealed that while there was no bias in our coverage of the Jewish/Palestinian conflict, there was an opportunity to create more balance on the airwaves.

We remain committed to striking the right balance, not just on this issue, but across the spectrum of areas where contrasting opinions are heard. The above-mentioned study does refer to how listener bias can lead to feelings that the hosts are being negative or one-sided. WMNF has always worked to provide viewpoints and news not easily found in mainstream news and talk channels.

As our community evolves, WMNF needs to evolve with it. Yet at our core, we remain committed to our mission and allowing underserved voices to be heard. We will continue to advocate for the underserved and will work diligently to resolve the concerns of the Jewish community. We want to continue to reach out to the Jewish community and leaders to find common ground. We believe that the majority of our listeners understand that there are many points of view around every issue, many of which are not heard in the mainstream press.

David Harbeitner, St. Petersburg

The writer is president of the board of directors of the nonprofit organization established solely to operate WMNF community radio.

The disturbing Mueller report | Editorial, April 19

On Trump, minds are made up

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report will make hay for the media, but it will not change the minds of the electorate in any significant way: Like him, hate him or wish for someone better, the numbers won’t move from where they were in 2016. For our adversaries, their rather nominal investment and perhaps deliberately amateurish meddling is a goose that does not stop laying the golden egg of divisiveness — and cynicism about our leaders and core institutions. Russians have meddled in foreign elections since the time of the czars. We just gave Vladimir Putin a more handsome reward for his ruble. We really do not have to keep doing this. It’s over. We waited 675 days for Mr. Mueller’s report. There are only 289 days before the first presidential caucus. Prioritize. Or serve our adversaries.

Pat Byrne, Largo

Plenty of black marks against the president | April 19

Let the president be

And your point is?

There was no Russian collusion, and no obstruction. That was the innocent man’s rants against made-up accusations. So what? I would be ticked off also in the same situation. Now that the “game” is over, why don’t you and the rest of the media stop obstructing governance of the country?

Rano Mueller, Clearwater

Get priorities straight

I would suggest the following priorities for the House of Representatives: fine-tune and enhance the Affordable Care Act, introduce a comprehensive infrastructure plan and introduce a well thought out immigration program. In addition go slow and professional with the presidential issues and whatever they do they must get it right.

Ross P. Alander, Tampa

Why I voted for Trump

I keep reading about how the Russians influenced the 2016 election. But no one is saying just how they did it. I was not motivated to vote for Donald Trump because of anything Russia said or did. No one I know has claimed to have been influenced by Russia, either. We all voted for Donald Trump because he stood for everything Hillary Clinton did not. Why can the truth not be accepted as fact? He was the better choice for POTUS.

Marilyn Messina, Tampa

Very different headlines

We subscribe to both the New York Post (for the sports) and your paper for everything else. Friday morning, the headlines of the two papers were distinctly different. The Post had “Trump Clean” in the largest letters possible. The Tampa Bay Times had “Plenty Of Black Marks Against The President.” In these times it is as important as ever before that we try to keep ourselves informed and open-minded. We should not insulate ourselves by only reading or watching that which reinforces our own beliefs. Truth and facts should not be open to interpretation. We need to allow ourselves to hear all sides.

Dan Greene, Weeki Wachee

Stop Russian interference

Read the opinions of various individuals Democratic and Republican regarding the Mueller report. I am amazed to read that all Republicans want to do is put the Mueller report behind them and move forward. It seems they haven’t a clue as to the implications of the Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. Where are the chest-beating “patriots” of the Republican Party who should be appalled at the Russian interference? Instead, they won’t do anything to stop the interference in the election by a foreign country.

Miklos Lorand, South Pasadena

That was then, not now

What the Democrats said in 2017: We must accept the results of the Mueller report.

What they Democrats say now: We cannot accept the results of the Mueller report.

Patricia Wood, Brooksville

Not very presidential

If you say the free press is the enemy of the people, you shouldn’t be president.

If you consistently mislead the American people because if you repeat the lie often enough they will believe it, you shouldn’t be president.

If you shout and tweet repeatedly that you are completely exonerated, and you clearly are not, you shouldn’t be president.

If you disparage American institutions — like the FBI, CIA and the judicial system — you shouldn’t be president.

If you make enemies of our allies, and allies of our enemies, you shouldn’t be president.

If you believe windmills cause cancer, you shouldn’t be president.

If you think our attorney general should be your personal defense attorney, you shouldn’t be president.

If you and your campaign are surrounded by people who have been indicted and/or convicted for crimes and none of it should apply to you, you shouldn’t be president.

If you think POWs are not heroes, you shouldn’t be president.

If you say you have one of the all-time great memories, yet cannot recall a knowledgeable answer to one third of questions written for you, you shouldn’t be president.

If you pay large sums of money to keep people quiet from telling about their relationship with you, you shouldn’t be president.

If you believe the president of Russia, and not your CIA, you shouldn’t be president.

If you ask your White House aides to lie for you, you shouldn’t be president.

If you don’t believe Russians are hacking our elections and continue to do so, and then you refuse to address it firmly and directly, you shouldn’t be president.

If you are Donald Trump ...

Vince Piccolo, Largo

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