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‘Three Little Words’ series raises ire

Published Nov. 30, 2021|Updated Nov. 30, 2021

I truly cannot understand why you think there would be interest in the series you are currently running titled “Three Little Words.” It is common knowledge, I believe, that there are many gay men who marry, and father children, in the hope of either changing their sexuality or concealing their true bent. The long, overly detailed story of one such man, the hurt he caused his family and his ultimate demise due to AIDS is not something to be overlooked or denied, but the Feb. 13 contribution alone makes me wonder if you are only pursuing sensationalism in its lowest form with your explicit details of not only male homosexual behavior but of the entertainment, and I use this word only for want of a better one, provided to the public by the transvestite shows in Brazil.

The only purpose I can see for this series is to provide Pinellas County with its very own homegrown tabloid and, of course, a lovely vacation in Brazil for the writer.

To date, you have given details of the layout of the school in which Mr. Morse taught, of the co-dependency of his wife and the concealment of the truth from his own children. What purpose does this serve?

With hopes of better journalistic choices in the future.

Mary M. Bernard, Oldsmar

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Your paper has the best feature writers and columnists — Klinkenberg, Glidewell, Maxwell, Melone, etc. — all thoughtful, insightful, playful, whatever the subject dictates. We have enjoyed their morning company for years and will continue to do so for many more years.

So, I am absolutely flabbergasted at the sound-bite format and Harlequin style and content of “Three Little Words.” This has to be a test, right? “How many of our readers will accuse us of trying to pick up the Enquirer trade?”

Martha Herbst, Hernando

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I have canceled my subscription to your newspaper.

After living in a smaller town, where the newspaper was not as full of interesting sections as yours has been, I enjoyed being a subscriber. Not anymore! The first section was my favorite until “Three Little Words.” This made the paper a tabloid of trash reading. I’m referring to the story of a couple’s marital problems in Brazil, Rio, etc. That is not news. I can find stories like that any day on talk shows on TV, monthly magazines or tabloids.

I’m sure your reporters can find interesting news from here and around the nation.

America is a great nation; give us news we can enjoy or learn something new from.

Mrs. Bates, Largo

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The series of articles from the pen of Mr. Roy Peter Clark started off with, “The age of AIDS.” (How about “Lust is love”?)

The great emphasis on this condition places heart problems, cancer, etc. in the “also ran” category! One wonders why!

Could be it is the “in-crowd, Mod-Squad, do-your-own-thing” disease.

It might be called, “The age of promiscuity!” The age mankind goes into the toilet willingly and eagerly!

No wonder the children are murdered in abortion clinics and schools deliver condoms for uncontrollable youth!

It all adds up to a rejection of pro-deo-et-patria!

Ralph A. Packard Jr., St. Petersburg

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First of all, I would like to tell you how much I enjoy your newspaper. We have recently moved here from Connecticut. I find the news informative and, in particular, I enjoy the editorial page.

I was upset and outraged yesterday when I read Chapter 16 of your continuing story about Mick and Jane Morse, written by Roy Peter Clark.

I have followed with interest and in a non-judgmental manner the full story and was horrified to read that the Morse wife had chosen to tell their friends that Mick had cancer. Sure, that makes it okay.

As a wife of a cancer patient currently in Suncoast Hospital, I resent them using that. My husband has struggled to teach 26 years beyond his first experience with cancer. He is a laryngectomee, having lost his beautiful singing and teaching voice to a tumor — followed by six recurring bouts of cancer.

There is no shame, blame or guilt when you are a cancer patient unless you have abused your body, such as smokers, etc. My husband was a non-smoker all his life but we are not bitter or judgmental when we see people smoking or abusing themselves in other ways.

Mick Morse has/had to accept responsibility for what he did — vis-a-vis, the sexual encounters. To take responsibility a person can either go through life at cause or at effect.

I look forward to reading the continuing saga and commend Roy P. Clark for his in-depth and sensitive journalism.

P.S. On the flip side, with great humor, I read Mary Jo Melone’s column on Nine easy steps to fame in the ‘90s. She has put into words what I could not express — and with satire; loved it! Your paper keeps me reading it.

June Allard Berte, Belleair

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That your newspaper is changing is evident from the new layouts, section names, reporters’ color pictures, etc. Whether these physical changes have any circulatory effect remains to be seen.

One apparent editorial change is disturbing in that in the news portion of your paper there appears to be an in-your-face proselytizing of homosexuality. I specifically refer to the almost-book-length (29 segments) travails of an AIDS situation, and the included graphic discussions of homosexual techniques.

My thinking, albeit pre-modern, is that news belongs on the news pages, editorials on the editorial pages and such stuff as described above in a features section. Perhaps you could initiate a special section titled “Alternative Lifestyles” (and the consequences thereof), embodying not only homosexuality but whatever kinds of strange behavior and lifestyles that entice your fancy.

Certainly you have the right to publish what you wish, such right constitutionally guaranteed. This without regard to the sensitivities of your readers and their children, not to mention good taste, evidence of same obviously lacking in certain corners of your editorial territory.

James F. Turner III, Belleair Beach

Related: Read the 29-part series “Three Little Words”
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