What a pleasure to read something positive about Barry Manilow (PEOPLE, Oct. 22)! Finally a somewhat complimentary article on the musician and his music. However, Mr. Manilow's comment on his new album that "this one's for me" is wrong. I've heard 2:00 A.M., Paradise Cafe, and "this one" is for all of us who knew that he could outgrow the Top 40, and have just been waiting patiently for him to do it. Congratulations are in order.
Scotch Plains, N.J.
I'm sick and tired of the bad-mouthing Barry has been getting from two-bit critics for a decade. There are millions of people like me who are disgusted with hard rock and heavy metal. Barry Manilow has given a wonderful lift to the pop music world. I just saw him in concert, and it was one of the best nights of my life.
In your 10th anniversary edition, Barry Manilow was named the "performer PEOPLE has been too nasty to." This article almost reversed that trend; it was intelligent, objective and enjoyable. It was a shame that you spoiled it with subtle insinuations and "questions of gender preference." I respect Mr. Manilow for keeping his personal life private. It's enough to know that he's a talented, sensitive human being.
Donna M. Katz
I love a good song as much as anyone, but most of Manilow's lyrics are unbearably maudlin and trite.
New York City
Barry might not make the heart beat a little faster, but his music sure does and that's what it's all about.
Coral Springs, Fla.
As a victim of long-term sexual abuse (ages 5 to 15), I know firsthand the tragedy that the children in Jordan, Minn. have experienced. I was appalled to learn that the Bentzes were set free and are attempting to regain custody of their sons. Psychologist Michael Shea was so right when he said, "Children are not able to fantasize in such graphic detail." The children in Jordan are victims not only of their abusers but also of a society that all too readily refuses to believe them, preferring to bury its head in the sand. My heart goes out to them, to their families and to prosecutor Kathleen Morris who seems only to be trying to help.
Las Cruces, N.Mex.
So Kathleen Morris is a "sick person," is she? What is sick is the way that the children once again are made victims. A not guilty verdict implies that these children are liars. My son was abused. After hesitantly agreeing to testify against his abuser, he had to wait six months for his court date. Then he endured a painful court hearing. The verdict: not guilty. We walked away from the courthouse in shock, sadly disillusioned with the society that helps perpetuate these crimes upon innocent children.
Karen L. Kerkhoff
After listening to three experts testify to the fact that my 7-year-old stepson was being sexually molested, the judge said that the little boy had been watching too much television and had blown the whole thing completely out of proportion. Not only will he never trust us to protect him again, but we don't have custody and right now we can't even find him to try and protect him. We need more people like Kathleen Morris.
Linda S. Lane-Smith
As a "liberated" woman who is a proponent of the ERA and the pro-life movement, I find one of Catholic theologian Daniel Maguire's statements simplistic and typical of the self-oriented attitudes of many pro-choicers. Thousands of American families would be happy to shorten what Mr. Maguire refers to as the "20-year condition" brought on by pregnancy. For every child adopted in the U.S., there are many, many more families eagerly waiting to adopt a child that, for whatever reason, cannot be cared for by its birth mother. Wouldn't it be nice if women finally took responsibility and invested nine months to give life to a child desperately wanted by others.
When the right-to-life coalition puts some of its effort into taking care of unwanted children, the severely handicapped and diseased newborns, and helps the parents or the state to nurse them, I will feel some concern for embryos and 12-week-old fetuses. I have not seen them address these living, breathing problems.
Ruth M. Lee
Port St. Lucie, Fla.
I am disgusted by pro-lifers pushing their beliefs on other people. Just because they would not have an abortion, that does not give them the right to say what I can or cannot do, nor do I think it is right for them to condemn me for my choice. Today children are bearing children. Think of the child abuse running rampant in our society. What kind of a life is a child going to have if the parents were forced to have it because some closed-minded person outlawed abortion?
The worst part of New York deejay Howard Stern's show is not his boorish bigotry or his obnoxious, insensitive behavior. The worst part is that the show is simply not funny.
New York City
Readers of your article who are not fortunate enough to live in his broadcasting area may think that Howard Stern is nothing more than vermin. In fact, Stern provides hours of light-hearted humor every weekday, cheering his listeners when they are feeling as faded as their blue jeans.