Readers’ Letters

Story about Weaver

is painful for families

I have really enjoyed reading the Portland Tribune. I find its coverage somewhere in the middle. But you guys blew it big-time.

How could you put Ward Weaver's picture on the cover and give him more coverage (Mind games, Dec. 27)? The sight of him on the cover of your paper sickened me. I felt ill. He is vile and wicked. I can't even think of enough strong words to describe this evil piece of humanity.

You see, I am a survivor. My stepson, Eric Plunkett, was murdered a little over two years ago at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. I know the pain losing of a child to murder. It hurts deep down into the depths of your soul like a pain never felt before. Your life has changed, never to be the same again.

When you exploit someone of Ward Weaver's caliber, it affects all survivors of homicide. We feel the pain of our loss all over again.

When will the media Ñ print, TV or radio Ñ start thinking about the families and friends of those left in the wake of violence?

Lois J. Plunkett

Southeast Portland

Passion, not marketing,

is the fuel of activism

I take exception to the misguided views of sociologist Michael Dawson, quoted in 'A new breed of activists put the 'pro' in protest' (Dec. 13). Dawson claims that the successes of local activists are the 'result of methods gleaned from an unlikely place: corporate America.'

Dawson has this both wrong and backward.

The success of local mobilizations against the war is primarily a function of the widespread opposition to President Bush's foreign policy; local activists have merely succeeded in providing an outlet for that dissent.

It is corporate America that's doing the 'gleaning' here, mimicking grass-roots campaigns. As is characteristic of the public-relations industry, corporations want only the appearance of grass-roots activism, with none of its substance.

The PR firm of Hill & Knowlton (which has fronted for the tobacco industry, among others) is typical. They sell 'Astroturf,' an orchestrated corporate PR blitz intended to create the appearance of grass-roots dissent. (See especially the 1995 book 'Toxic Sludge Is Good for You! Lies, Damn Lies and the Public Relations Industry,' by John Stauber and Sheldon Rampton.)

Will Seaman

Portland Peaceful

Response Coalition

Southeast Portland