Opinion | The Post should have covered the NCAA wrestling … – The Washington Post

Written by Amanda

Opinion | The Post should have covered the NCAA wrestling …  The Washington Post

Every week, The Post runs a collection of letters of readers’ grievances — pointing out grammatical mistakes, missing coverage and inconsistencies. These letters tell us what we did wrong and, occasionally, offer praise. Here, we present this week’s Free for All letters.

I am, yet again, disappointed that The Post’s Sports section continued its snub of NCAA wrestling. Over six sessions, attendance reached nearly 100,000 as fans showed up to watch 330 wrestlers compete for a national title, and there was not one mention of it in The Post.

Penn State, which The Post covers in other sports, won its 10th team championship in the past 12 years. Virginia Tech, also covered as a local team, boasted five all-Americans. Cornell University standout Yianni Diakomihalis won his fourth individual championship, joining an elite class of only four others. Penn State wrestler Aaron Brooks, who starred at North Hagerstown High School in Maryland, could be the next, as he notched his third straight title. About 20 wrestlers from “local” schools also competed with nary a mention.

I am a fan of all sports. I read the notes of title winners in collegiate track, swimming and diving, lacrosse, gymnastics and a host of other “nonrevenue” sports, but for whatever reason, collegiate wrestling seems to be ignored.

Sadly, there were many great story lines from this year’s tournament, but readers who relied on The Post for coverage were out of luck. Again.

Malcolm Wilson, Wheaton

Child marriage deserves proper attention

There was a lamentable disconnect between the headline on the March 19 Politics & the Nation article “States resist child marriage bans despite U.S. policy” and the final paragraph of the article. Fraidy Reiss, an advocate for ending child marriage, was quoted there: “Our biggest obstacle is not that there’s someone standing outside with a picket sign saying, ‘I want child marriage,’ Legislators are looking at this and just kind of yawning. Legislators are not accustomed to making girls a legislative priority. They are not old enough to vote. They are easy to look past.”

The article said studies show dramatically higher rates of domestic abuse, school dropout, divorce and lifelong poverty among girls who marry at younger than age 18. Ignoring the welfare and future of this population is an atrocious neglect of legislative responsibility. The headline writer compounded the injustice by missing this critically important message in the article.

Maria Roberts, Gaithersburg

A new twist in the Manson case

The March 2 obituary for Linda Kasabian, a member of the Manson Family, “Manson Family lookout was vital witness at trial,” described one of the cult’s victims, actress Sharon Tate, as “the wife of filmmaker Roman Polanski, who was more than eight months pregnant.”

Though I am reluctant to inject humor into an article concerning unspeakable tragedy, I do indeed wonder how Polanski, a man, became pregnant.

Laurence E. Block, Annapolis

Tell the whole story

The March 18 news article “Senate advances bipartisan bill to repeal authorizations for Iraq, Gulf wars” left out a couple of salient U.S. Senate and House original vote totals that would have given the story some context.

I served as congressional liaison for the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq in 2003. One of my assignments was escorting 274 (by my count) members of Congress on their fact-finding tours of Baghdad, Babylon, oil fields and other regions up and down the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. The congressional support from members of both parties for our rebuilding efforts was virtually unanimous. That was no surprise, given the Gulf War Resolution vote in 1991 was 250 to 183 in the House and 52 to 47 in the Senate. And the Iraq War Resolution in 2002 stemming from some dozen U.N. Security Council resolutions was 296 to 133 in the House and 77 to 23 in the Senate.

After those expressions of congressional and U.N. support, it was quite an honor greeting the members at the airport with “Welcome to a free Iraq.”

Tom C. Korologos, Washington

Stop making uneven comparisons

The March 16 Style profile of Mexican writer Elena Poniatowska, “Mexico’s legendary literary journalist still has questions,” was flawed in an important respect.

In Mexican prisons, Poniatowska met Leon Trotsky’s assassin, Ramón Mercader, who was correctly described as a “violent criminal,” but the article contrasted Mercader with Mexican painter David Alfaro Siqueiros, who was labeled a “political prisoner.”

Siqueiros certainly went to prison over politics, but his politics entailed the alleged gang assault he led on Trotsky’s home before Mercader’s successful solo action. The assault is widely believed to have been organized and led by Siqueiros. The attackers sprayed Trotsky’s bedroom with machine-gun fire but missed him. Trotsky’s grandson was wounded, and an American Trotskyist on guard duty was killed and buried in quicklime.

Somehow this “political prisoner” differs from Mercader.

Thomas Holgate Young, Washington

Local sports deserve prominence

As a fan of all Washington-area sports teams, I was dismayed to see that the Howard men’s basketball team’s loss to Kansas in the NCAA’s vaunted hoops tournament was Page D5 news in the March 17 Sports section [“Jayhawks receive a brief scare from the Bison, who made their presence felt”].

While the Terps’ win (yeah!) and Wahoos’ loss (sniff!) made the Sports section’s front page, two columnists writing about March Madness chose to focus on Princeton [“Nothing went according to plan for Princeton — except the upset,” Jerry Brewer] and Drake [“For Drake’s father-son DeVries duo, this season has been a gift without a curse,” John Feinstein]. Even though the vice president of the United States thought it was important enough to attend part of her alma mater’s game and speak to the team afterward, this seemed to be ho-hum news to The Post. Why?

Andy Lawrence, Bethesda

Sports article had lax reporting

In the March 19 Sports article “Terps have top-ranked Cavs’ number once again,” there was no mention of what sport was being played. It wasn’t until the reader looked at the photograph that it appeared to be lacrosse. The score might be a hint, but absolutely no mention was made of lacrosse in the entire article. The Post needs to be clearer in reporting.

Ellen Smoller, Silver Spring

Internet’s definition is caught in web

Regarding the March 20 editorial “Who’s responsible when ChatGPT goes off the rails?

It would be really useful for The Post to stop using the word “internet” when it really means “World Wide Web,” a.k.a. “WWW” and “the web.”

As we all should know, the internet is just packet switches, lots of coax and fiber cable (backbone network), an addressing protocol (IP) and a messaging protocol (TCP). The vast majority of the social media and other content — all the “.com” stuff — constitutes the web. What is the advantage of confusing the two?

Clive Carpi, Kingstowne

Grandmas always know best

I enjoyed the article in the March 19 Travel section about difficulty sleeping the night before traveling [“Can’t sleep before your big trip? These tips can help you get some shut-eye.”]. My grandmother used to say that if you couldn’t sleep the night before a trip, you were “journey proud.” And if you had a hard time getting to sleep the first night you were back home, you were “still traveling.” Her remedies for both conditions were pretty much the same as the article suggested: Be prepared before you go, and relax when you get home.

Keith Kennedy, Sperryville, Va.

The Post was a bit too on the nose

After reading Helaine Olen’s March 15 Wednesday Opinion column, I wanted to write her but couldn’t locate a way. Because I thought maybe The Post could tell me, I called the reader advocate line — five or more times — and in each case was asked to leave a message and told “someone will get right back to you.” No one has gotten back to me.

What was Olen’s column about? Well, here’s the headline: “Vanishing phone customer support is driving us all insane.”

John C. Campbell, Washington

Othering is unnecessary

The March 19 Metro article “New chief judge will oversee Trump juries amid partisan tests” described Chief U.S. District Judge Beryl A. Howell as Jewish. The article didn’t include her educational background, as it did for her successor, James E. Boasberg. Boasberg’s religion wasn’t mentioned, nor should it have been.

The religion of the judges was irrelevant to the article and, in this context, is a potent example of the insidious tendency to classify Jews as somehow different or “other.” I do not ascribe any bias to the reporter, but in these times of rising antisemitism and other intolerance, editors must be made aware that unnecessarily classifying individuals by religion or otherwise might have harmful consequences.

Anne Schenof, Chevy Chase

Larger than 12 Eiffel towers, probably

I was brought up short by the comparison in the March 19 news article about the 2008 financial crisis, “Big banks may get bigger as crisis swamps ‘too big to fail’ worries,” which referred to “behemoths such as JPMorgan Chase — whose $3.8 trillion in assets is larger than the entire French economy.”

So how big is the French economy? In kilos of Camembert per month? Liters of pinot noir per day? JPMorgan Chase is surely larger than a behemoth — maybe it is even larger than Lake Michigan or the planet Venus. Come on, copy editors. Don’t let the writer get away with totally meaningless apples-and-oranges comparisons.

Jack Aubert, Falls Church

Long covid analysis fell short

When I read the March 19 front-page article “Long covid’s severity easing,” I found myself thinking about the James Bond movie “Tomorrow Never Dies.” For those who might have forgotten the plot of that one, it centers on a mega-billionaire media mogul who is not content with simply reporting the news; he decides to begin manufacturing the news itself. There are a few echoes of “Citizen Kane” in it. This article raised the same specter. The Post did its own analysis of nearly 5 million electronic health records (EHR), and it came up with results to support an eye-catching headline — one that discounts the prevalence and the severity of long covid.

EHR research is inherently challenging. It rests on providers entering accurate codes into a patient’s medical records. For conditions such as long covid that are unfamiliar to many providers, that assumption falls apart very quickly. This point is discussed routinely in peer-reviewed studies. The article didn’t mention it. The article claimed its dataset was the “largest-ever,” but the National Institutes of Health’s major study of long covid, known as Recover, is working with a comparable database that includes more than 7 million people who’ve had long covid.

As someone who has been disabled by long covid for three years, I should have been happy to see an article about this scourge published above the fold on a Sunday front page. I wasn’t. These pages just made me think about dystopian plots and shaken (not stirred) martinis.

Michael Sieverts, Arlington

The writer is a policy adviser for the Patient-Led Research Collaborative.

Unimpressed by multisyllabic words

I was working my way through the March 22 paper and had reached the third page of the Style section, wherein I saw “Snook says ‘Succession’ cast wasn’t aware of series finale until final table read,” and I thought to myself, who or what is a Snook? Sopranos? Dr. Seuss?

My curiosity aroused, I paged back to the section front and soon discovered that Snook was not a thing, but an actress for an HBO series [“ ‘Succession’ actress had reservations about the role”].

Halfway through the long article, I came to a sentence that stopped me cold: In her youth, Sarah Snook “displayed a performative streak.” Now, I confess I don’t know what “performative streak” means. I do not think The Post’s editors know what it means, and it is inconceivable that the writer knows. But as Inigo Montoya says to Vizzini in “The Princess Bride,” “I do not think it means what you think it means.”

I suspect that this novel usage is coined from the same mutilative syllabication impulse that prefers “preventative” over “preventive,” “irregardlesss” over “regardless” and even “syllabification” over “syllabication.”

I can excuse The Post because the story is from the Los Angeles Times and because, during my research for this response, I discovered George Orwell’s essay “Politics and the English Language.” I can just imagine brainwashed sheep chanting, “Two syllables good, four syllables better.”

Thomas Chappell Aldridge, Alexandria

Knowledge is still power

On March 18, my wife and I headed for a funeral at her church. We allowed a more-than-ample 45 minutes to navigate from Capitol Hill to Dupont Circle. First, we ran into the detours for the Cherry Blossom festivities that we thought had not yet begun. Then we bumped into the half-marathon that we had not heard anything about. When we tried to find left turns to get across town, we were met by police sitting in their cars doing nothing to assist frustrated motorists. More than two hours later, we headed home without ever getting the church in sight.

There was a time that The Post would highlight daily events in the Metro section and include a map so that those who were looking for the event and those who wanted to avoid it could navigate efficiently. We would suggest that it is past time to restore this useful tool.

Laurence Pearl, Washington

Women barely got a mention

When I started reading Mitch Daniels’s March 19 op-ed, “In a me-first era, women’s sports is a rare gem,” I was excited because I thought it was going to be about, well, women’s sports. I thought the last Women’s World Cup was some of the most interesting and exciting team sports I had ever seen.

Alas, the first nine paragraphs did a great job of addressing what’s wrong with men’s sports, especially professional. The 10th paragraph described the joy of women’s team sports. Paragraph 11 reverted to form. Shame.

Bob Bailey, Silver Spring

The pen really is mightier

The March 15 Metro article about Fahrney’s Pens, “A fount of luxury for whom the ink spills,” noted accurately that many parts of the United States lack even a stationery shop, much less have a store devoted to pens. But it bears noting that the D.C. region stands apart from this trend.

We are fortunate to have several nationally known pen shops: Along with Fahrney’s, there are Bertram’s Inkwell in North Bethesda and Pen Boutique in Columbia. The highly regarded stationer Jenni Bick Custom Journals in Dupont Circle also carries a wide selection of pens. D.C. has a strong community of pen aficionados — the DC Metro Pen Crew meets monthly — and even pen craftmakers such as Lauren Elliott (Lucky Star Pens). For pen lovers such as those the article celebrated, area residents are lucky indeed.

Scott Butterworth, Rockville

‘Busted’ for great journalism

After reading his March 18 Sports column, “Busted: No. 1 Boilermakers out,” I realized I could read articles by Chuck Culpepper all day. The writing and tone in this column should serve as an example to anyone aspiring to be a writer. Until this column, I rarely read the Sports section. Now, I’ve searched for other articles by this fine journalist.

Virginia Olin, Alexandria

Source: washingtonpost.com

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Hi there, I am Amanda and I work as an editor at impactinvesting.ai;  if you are interested in my services, please reach me at amanda.impactinvesting.ai

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