Open Mike




Meredith McGehee [Open Mike, 5/22, p. 30] mischaracterizes my comments about McCain- Feingold. She claims that I suggested that the courts have stated that “money is speech.” Worse, she puts this mischaracterization in quotes, as though they were my very words.

I said nothing of the kind. It is not my view that money is speech. My view is that speech is speech. More than this, I am fully aware of the Supreme Court's decision. That is why I characterized McCain-Feingold as a great defeat for the First Amendment.

As an official with the Campaign Legal Center, and before that with Common Cause, it is completely unsurprising that Ms. McGehee fails to appreciate the damage to freedom of speech that she and her allies have done in the name of campaign-finance reform.

Patrick Maines


The Media Institute


Overpaid News Stars


I really enjoyed J. Max Robins' April 17 column [“Big Bucks for What?”, p. 4]. When I tell my college students the facts about pay in our industry, they are often shocked by the millions that the networks pay their stars each year. As you know, the starting salary for new employees in our industry is under $30,000 a year. The contrast shocks the conscience.

I would be curious to find out which of the network news stars have funded philanthropic efforts. I remember hearing about Peter Jennings' generally low-key efforts, and, of course, his obituaries discussed funding a Peter Jennings Foundation.

But after all, when you can have every creative comfort imaginable, what else can you do with that pile of money that the networks' Brinks trucks drop off?

A. Joseph Borrell

Assistant Professor of Communication/Journalism

Shippensburg University, Shippensburg, Pa.