Winter 2010

Autumn 2009 Cover

Letters

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I appreciate the work you do at Emory—and I usually savor and keep my copies of my alumni magazine issues a long time. But to be honest, I was pretty disgusted to see Newt Gingrich’s photo on the cover a little while back (autumn 2009). I won’t go into a diatribe about what I think about the man (pretty low opinion, to sum it up), but I did want you to know I did not enjoy seeing him there on the cover—and rather quickly discarded that issue. Just didn’t want Newt “in the house.”

Larry Webb 71C 74T

Decatur

The utterly failed editorial process that led to the decision to place the photograph of such a controversial figure as Mr. [Newt] Gingrich on the cover is truly astounding. I now wonder about the impact of your editorial decisions on the content of the magazine. No, I am no fan of Mr. Gingrich. Yes, I can ignore him, just as I will now ignore any gift appeals that come from the University.

Ondina Ester Gonzalez 78OX 80C 80G 01G

Avondale Estates

Thanks for always doing a great job. As a proud Emory alumnus, I always display Emory Magazine in our reception room for clients to see. For the autumn 2009 issue, I’ll display page twenty-two (“Being Dr. Gupta”) and not the cover.

Johnny Warren 59B

Atlanta

I was sad to see the right-wingpolitician and disgraced former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich on the cover of the latest alumni magazine. Yes, I know—he got his BA at Emory. So did a lot of people. I’m afraid I won’t be able to make my annual donation to Emory this year.

Dan Blumenthal 86MPH

Atlanta

I was appalled to see Newt Gingrich’s face looking at me from the latest Emory Magazine. He is the biggest hypocrite in politics. If you wish to write about him in the magazine, I do not object, but I protest this blatant partisan use of the magazine cover.

Patricia Lancaster 70G 71G

Winter Park, Florida

I was disappointed and angered that your recent issue carried the article about Newt Gingrich. It pictured this disgraced politician, bereft of personal morals, favorably. However, the most disturbing thing was his picture on the cover of Emory Magazine. Despite your coming claims to the contrary, it amounts to an endorsement of his upcoming candidacy for president. Oh, he hasn’t formally announced, but he is already running. The article points with pride at him being an Emory graduate—it should be an embarrassment.

O. C. Brown 61T

Auburn, Alabama

I regret to tell you this is the first issue of Emory Magazine I did not open and read cover to cover. It went straight into the trash. I am an Emory alum, as was my father, and we both were disgusted that someone like Gingrich graduated from Emory. Do you honestly imagine he is a public servant of integrity and caring? Are you becoming a journalistic medium that incites controversy for the purpose of garnering money/readership? What happened to the idea of the university as a bastion for critical thinking and national/regional leadership? Newt Gingrich is not on a par with the likes of the Dalai Lama or the scientists and professors who often grace your covers and actually give something of great value back to our communities.

Constance Evans Romero 73OX 75C

Mandeville, Louisiana

I am disappointed that such a well-educated man [Newt Gingrich 65C] would put forward such a simplistic statement as, “In America, I think you ought to have the freedom to have the quality of life you’re willing to work for and save for.” Does he really think parts of life exist in a vacuum where simple hard work is all anyone needs to achieve the American dream? Is he aware of the working poor? By his logic, many antebellum slaves should have achieved the lifestyle of the plantation owners. I wonder if, as a professor, he would have accepted such simplistic thinking from his students.

Susan Tucker 81G

Collingswood, New Jersey

You are to be congratulated for having the courage to insert an interview with Newt Gingrich into Emory Magazine. As a graduate student in physics in 1963 to 1965, I remember Newt and his Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) colleagues standing on the sidewalk approaching the student union with their YAF banners extolling the need to escalate in Viet Nam and against racial progress—then quite the hot topics. I sometimes enjoyed debating political issues with him and felt that he more enjoyed hearing himself talk rather than trying to be logical. It seems that he has not changed. Can you imagine him to suggest that the protesters at town hall meetings were speaking for the public and grassroots America, rather than responding to the hysterical right-wing misinformation broadcast on some media (no doubt inspired by moneyed interests). Just what groups are funding his for-profit Center for Health Transformation? We can only read between the lines. Forty-five years ago, most students I knew steered away from him on the sidewalk to the student union. And today?

David Sliney 65G

Fallston, Maryland

Once again I write to compliment you and your staff on the journalistic excellence demonstrated in the autumn issue of Emory Magazine. I found your cover photograph and caption, “Fan or Foe, You Can’t Ignore Newt Gingrich” fascinating, since Emory did appear to ignore publicly this important American political leader over much of his significant career. Ms. Loftus, I felt, did a first-rate job in capturing with thoroughness, balance, and fairness this brilliant and complex “Man with a Plan.” This attention to Mr. Gingrich undoubtedly will not be well received by some in the Emory community who often loudly proclaim belief in “diversity” in terms of race, religion, ethnic background, and gender, but apparently not in political opinion. Others of us, who consider ourselves “moderate conservatives” not wedded to knee-jerk support of political positions or candidates, have long found Mr. Gingrich’s views worthy contributions to national political dialogue. Emory Magazine’s featuring of Newt Gingrich is more heartening evidence that our university these days truly recognizes the value of varying points of view as to the future of our society, nation, and world.

Richard E. (Dick) Hodges 50C

Marietta

I appreciated the interview with Emory alum Newt Gingrich in the autumn 2009 edition. I am heartened to see the Emory Magazine highlighting an array of alums and the work they do—the last several issues have represented the diversity of thought and endeavors undertaken by alums around the world. Mr. Gingrich’s picture on the cover reminded me of the wonderful and thought-provoking discussions with those I agreed with and disagreed with during my Emory years—the exploration of ideas Mr. Gingrich embodies represents the best of Emory.

Doug Shipman 95C

Atlanta

How refreshing it was for me to receive my latest issue of Emory Magazine. What a pleasant surprise to see one of the great conservatives of the twentieth century on the cover. Finally, after all these years, our alumni magazine is achieving some needed balance. Congratulations! I plan to renew my annual contributions to the University this year.

James Roy Cabanis 91T

Lawrenceville

I had to chuckle when I read the assertion in your article that, according to “critics,” Mr. Gingrich “appeals largely to right-wing voters.” I wrestled with whether I should ignore this bit of liberal mythology, or inform the well-intended folks at Emory Magazine that Gingrich is very unpopular among most right-wing voters. A book could be written explaining why this is so, and in fact one has. After voluntarily leaving the House of Representatives, but before being elected as a senator from Oklahoma, Republican Tom Coburn wrote Breach of Trust: How Washington Turns Outsiders Into Insiders. This excellent book could have been titled How Washington Turned Newt Gingrich Into an Insider. The book tells a sad story regardless of your political views or party affiliation. For conservatives, it was the fact that within two years of being elected, Gingrich was repeatedly calling conservative congressmen “You conservatives” as he became increasingly frustrated with their unwillingness to join his shift towards the political left. True right-wing conservatives regard Gingrich with the same disdain as we do such moderates as John McCain and Lindsey Graham. Bottom line: you will not be seeing Gingrich in the 2012 presidential primaries.

Jeff Strode 78B

Dunwoody

I was very interested in the article “Feeding Children for and with Peanuts” since it is a product that has been brought to my attention in the work I do serving many communities in Kenya. Just in visiting the different communities, I have seen malnourishment and the impending death that can result. I found out about the product, Plumpy’nut, and began to look at how it might be factored in with what we do. So I was very interested to see that a competition was held to discuss the complexities that are presented when dealing with the safe and efficient distribution, so that it will meet its intended goals.

Chuck Pitts

Atlanta

Finishing the autumn issue of Emory Magazine just now, I noted the several messages congratulating you on the quality of this publication. I thoroughly agree! But the best accolade I can offer, I think, is that [former Emory Magazine editor] Randy Fort would be very pleased also, I’m sure. When I hit the campus in 1949 I was so fortunate as to rent the Forts’ spare bedroom, and felt for two years (and after) that I was almost part of the family. Carry on!

John Porter Bloom 56PhD

Las Cruces, New Mexico

Write to us

Has something in Emory Magazine raised your consciousness—or your hackles? Write to the editors at Emory Magazine, 1762 Clifton Road, Plaza 1000, Atlanta, Georgia, 30322, or via email at paige.parvin@emory.edu. We reserve the right to edit letters for length and clarity. The views expressed by the writers do not necessarily reflect the views of the editors or the administrators of Emory University.

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