What journalism's about
Your article "The Future of Journalism" (1/22/10) could have been called "Uh-Oh for Newspapers," as you neglected to include the medium through which most consumers get their news: broadcast television and radio.
It's true that consumers more than ever need to discern the motivation behind any news source, in a time when the line between professional and citizen journalists is blurring. But I disagree with your statement: "When we say 'journalism,'...what we actually mean is newspapers."
You should mean any reporter pounding the pavement to act as government watchdogs or consumer rights advocates, as do reporters at WKOW, WMSN, WISC, WMTV and WIBA.
Journalism isn't about platform. Whether it's printed on paper or broadcast on radio, television or the Internet, our job is to provide accurate and relevant information to our community.
Wendy Hathaway, Internet director, WKOW.com
Media are lying about terrorism 'threat'
Your Jan. 22 issue separately considered two issues that are closely related, in the articles on local Muslims ("Misconceptions Frustrate Campus Muslims") and media ("The Future of Journalism").
The former article failed to address the biggest misconception about Muslims: that some of us pose a significant threat to Americans. Even counting the false-flag fluke of 9/11, you are 3,000 times more likely to be killed by bad medical treatment, 30 times more likely to be hit by lightning, and 10 times more likely to die in your bathtub than to be killed by terrorists.
Given this reality, only a paranoid lunatic would fear terrorism, and only a pathological liar would try to convince others to fear terrorism. Tragically, we have been rendered a nation of paranoid lunatics by the pathological liars in government and the corporate mainstream media. This is a major reason Americans no longer trust "professional" journalism.
Kevin Barrett, McFarland
Fake meat real treat
In her review of the Green Owl ("Vegetable Love," 1/22/10), I don't think Erin Hanusa was too knowledgeable about what she was eating. When I was going vegetarian, I also thought fake meats were weird - until I made seitan myself. Hanusa should try making it sometime. She'd discover that you might also classify freshly made bread as "processed" if you dismiss what the Green Owl is doing with tofu, wheat gluten, eggplant and jackfruit.
It is a pleasure to eat a good protein-rich Italian beef sandwich even if it is meatless and healthy. From my visits I can tell the Green Owl's dishes are about whole grains (yes, seitan is a grain-based food), vegetables and homemade deliciousness, not processed food.
Luckily this knowledge is commonplace among vegetarians, so the Green Owl will do fine.
Jennie Capellaro recently opened Madison's only all-vegetarian restaurant. Perhaps people who want Madison to continue to have vegetarian restaurants should spend more time inviting carnivores to try the Green Owl and less time complaining about how the menu has (gasp! horror!) the "names" of meat on it.
Erin Hanusa replies: Having eaten vegetarian and vegan diets before, I am familiar with meat substitutes. Seitan is grain-based but not made from whole grain; it's made from wheat gluten, the protein part of the wheat berry.
Bravo for theater direction
Thank you for your article on the Madison theater scene ("Staging a Comeback," 1/29/10). My family has been part of the Madison theater community for almost 10 years, and it has changed and enriched our lives in many ways.
Your comments about the inadequacy of local directors are surprising and confusing. In working with a dozen or so area groups on over 30 productions, we've worked with many capable directors. These are directors who know their craft, and have professionalism, creativity, dedication and the ability to teach something new.
David Lawver is at the top of the list. I hope you will expose yourself to more of his work.
More fan mail
Please add my vote to those who'd like you to drop the "Tell All" column. That last page is like dessert after a nice meal, a little treat to end on. Except with "Tell All," instead of getting a piece of pie, it's like being served a head of lettuce.
Please bring back "Mr. Right," or at least drop "Tell All" and print another ad. Otherwise, I love Isthmus. Keep it up!