Skunky Wine | The Mapes File | Round and Round

Skunky Wine

Fizz for brains: I bought a rather expensive bottle of champagne from Tony's and decided to crack it open one very rainy night ("Sour Grapes," by Mark Stuertz, November 10). Imagine my surprise when the cork slid easily out of the bottle with nary a sound. Instead of pouring it down the drain, I braved the nasty weather to drive back to exchange it for another bottle. I was treated like an idiot, told by the owner that not all champagnes were "fizzy" and that he could assure me that he and his staff would enjoy the excellent champagne I was returning. I took the replacement bottle, left and never returned again. I'm so happy to finally know that it wasn't just me!

Anna Baker


Readers respond to "Sour Grapes," "Mapesgate," "The Human Race"


Plonk peddler: I have to say that I enjoyed your article on Tony's Wine Warehouse. I applied for a job there once as a "wine educator." I was invited to sit in on a class and observe one of the lessons. Once I was handed a pricing sheet, I knew that the other people in the room were about to be taken for quite a ride. I come from a family that owns a winery and have been around wine my entire life. It was made quite clear that Tony's preys on the customer who doesn't really know better. The real shame here is that they are taking something amazing and completely bastardizing it. Wine's sole purpose is to be enjoyed and shared. Thank you for exposing Tony's for what it really is: a back-alley moonshine distributor.

Brian Green


The Mapes File

Whatever sticks: I voted for "Dubya" twice, technically. Both votes were against his opponents. My desire for a more substantial president does not negate the fact that the Rather/Mapes affair was a cheap shot ("Mapesgate," by Jim Schutze, November 10). I can believe there is or was such a piece of paper, but if one cannot deliver the original or a facsimile for all to view, there is no case. People lie all the time, and there is plenty of reason to suspect the MSM of lying. The MSM theory of jounalism, written and broadcast, is to throw "it" against the wall, and if it is the truth. If it doesn't, well, the mixture isn't right. Rather had no case, Mary has no case and neither do you.

Richard Paden

Fort Worth

Steer clear of that dog park: Jim Schutze needs to be more careful who he chooses to defend. Mary Mapes continues to think she did nothing wrong. That her story was good. Her belief is that she has the journalistic license to lie, distort and mislead her bosses and readers in order to get the scoop.

Perhaps that answers the question as to whether she is a member of the "liberal elite." She believes she can judge others by a certain standard but will not allow herself to be judged by the same measure.

Jim, it is best that she continue to walk her dog through that park. It is best that you, who paint yourself as a Democrat and a Bush "disagree-er," steer clear of her taint.

She continues to damage her profession's minimal reputation. She thinks "until the allegations are proven false she will continue to believe them." A strange twist on allegations. The one pointing the finger has to be convinced by a jury that the charges are false! And even then that is not sufficient.

This woman could have taken down a great president. She assembled facts in a manner to fit her agenda. It failed and she took down other members of the liberal elite with her, Dan Rather included!

Jim Hairston


In the crosshairs: I read with interest Mr. Schutze's article in which he references Ms. Mapes' concern about a photograph showing a laser dot on her head as though she were a target. Perhaps now you and she will understand why I become livid whenever some moron publishes a photograph with President Bush in the crosshairs. And yes, I am old enough to remember 11/22/1963. Although I have not read Ms. Mapes' book, her defense of the documents seems to be that no one has proven them false.

I have worked in the publishing industry since 1972, and I am as certain that those memos were not created in the early 1970s as I am that I was not born yesterday.

They were created using Microsoft Word, which I use every day. Anyone who claims otherwise is a propagandist, nothing more. I'm sorry, but I have no sympathy when corrupt and venal propagandists are hoist on their own petard.

Donald C. Leamy

Newton, Massachusetts

Round and Round

Hooligans everywhere: I think I can speak for at least a few million fans when I say, "stick to writing about something you know about." Yeah, NASCAR has its fair share of crooked fans in the stands ("The Human Race," by Richie Whitt, November 10), but it's no different from other sports. Horse racing infields are filled with much of the same anarchy, and many more of their fans could care less about the horses or jockeys and more about gambling themselves silly. Many football fans spend more time and effort tailgating, stuffing their faces, hollering at cheerleaders and taking part in tons of other drunken antics than they do actually watching the game. Soccer fans around the world have been known to invest tons of time and money into getting trashed and having hellish riots that bear more resemblance to small-scale warfare. And that's just to name a few things off the top of my head. And as far as saying that NASCAR is boring and "sucks as a sport"--that's just an opinion that anyone could state about any sport if he or she felt that way. Basically, if you're going to write an article about wild sports fans or rednecks, don't drag NASCAR through the mud when you really ought to include other sports during which equally appalling actions occur.

Chris Allen

Louisville, Kentucky

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