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JACKSON DIVE After reading your article on Michael Jackson ( 201, Dec. 17), I have one question: Where were the parents of the boy who alleges that Jackson molested him? I think it is endemic of modern society that parents relegate their parental responsibilities to others, and when something tragic happens, cry that their trust has been misused. This boy was in Jackson’s company only because of Jackson’s celebrity status. What thinking parents would allow their child out of the house on 30 separate occasions-unsupervised-with a person he or they hardly know? If there is a moral to this sordid mess, it is: Parents, it’s time to reclaim your children. Stan Brooks Oxford, N.C.

Salem revisited. Your recent articles on Michael Jackson were nothing short of judge, jury, and executioner. I like your magazine, but could you please lay off the tabloidlike speculation and stick to the facts? I thought a person was innocent until proven guilty, not vice versa. P.S. I hereby nominate La Toya Jackson for the Sister From Hell award. Sheila A. Williamson Detroit

Your report on Michael Jackson was wonderful. Thank you for being fair to him. I feel he’s innocent and that he’s caught up in a soap opera type of situation. But I would like to point out that all those people who said they saw him molest children should have criminal charges brought against them because they failed to help those innocent children. Mary Jones Compton, Calif.

‘PICKET’ DEFENSE

Since Picket Fences debuted more than a year ago, EW has had few kind words to say about this unique program. In the latest review, Ken Tucker calls it ”one of the most profoundly humorless series ever made.” If this is the case, why do I and other fans find ourselves laughing each week? Is there another program on the air that would tackle religious issues as Fences did in the virgin birth episode? Yes, it hooks you with something weird, but then it makes you think. Perhaps the latter is too demanding a task for Mr. Tucker. Rob Owen Vienna, Va.

A FRANK OPINION

Thank you for finally printing an article on the man who was the greatest musician of the second half of the 20th century, Frank Zappa. I cannot think of anyone else who worked in so many different styles while consistently pushing the boundaries of both the business and art sides of music. I believe that 100 years from now, when the world has forgotten the Guns N’ Roses and Pearl Jams, people will still be playing and studying Frank’s music. Jim Pike Warner Robins, Ga.

‘FAMIL’ MAN

It was like love at first sight! I’m talking about the article on Paul Rudnick, writer of the hit film Addams Family Values. Not many people can turn a kooky, quirky, mixed-up group into the most functional family in movies today. It’s also a pleasure to see Rudnick is involved in a positive gay relationship. J.C. Alvarez Miami