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Check out letters from those who agreed with us, and those who didn’t, on ”Book of Shadows,” ”The West Wing,” and more

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Mail from our readers

Any Witch Way
I was really excited when I received your issue featuring the cast of Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 on the cover. I loved the article about the film and can’t wait to see it.
Michael Greenwaldt
Randall, Minn.

Am I the only person in America left dumbfounded that the first Blair Witch was such a cultural phenomenon? The first film was about some immature people lost in the woods. All they did was whine and complain. You call that entertainment? Here is some advice for them; next time you [go into] the woods, bring a cell phone.
Rich Bernhaut
Springfield, N.J.

Iron John
It was very disheartening to see a man I was ready to vote for trying to regulate the movie industry. As the father of two small children, I would like to inform Sen. John McCain that my wife and I are quite capable of protecting our children from the so-called evils of Hollywood without government intervention. ”We’ve had expressions of outrage from thousands of parents….” Thousands? Really? Sounds like the squeaky wheel getting the grease yet again.
Steve Arnold
Pine Grove, Pa.

It’s high time someone goes after the movie industry for its mindless pilfering of our impressionable children’s innocence. Isn’t it just laughable that when [studio executives were] asked by John McCain, ”Will you or will you not market movies rated R to children under 17?” McCain initially didn’t get many clear answers? Just what part of this very direct question didn’t they understand? [Hollywood] sees many full-time working parents with children who have time on their hands after school, and bingo! In they go for the kill, with their fast action and sexually explicit movie commercials. Well, that’s not enough for them. Family shows! I’ll bet the exec who thought of that one was given a big raise. I suppose that’s why my family and I don’t do TV dinners.
Raylene Sonntag

The Cowboy Code
Jeff Jensen’s moving tribute to Hollywood’s elders in his Richard Farnsworth story argues for a revolutionary new EW Top 100 theme issue. Send your intrepid reporters out in search of the great, memorable stars and character actors who are still alive. So many of us would be thrilled to know about them today, and they might be thrilled to know that we still care.
Michael Shepley
Maplewood, N.J.

Thank you for your very moving article on the life and career of Richard Farnsworth. I was saddened to hear of his death and felt that your report handled it in a respectful and dignified manner. I encountered Farnsworth a few years back at La Guardia Airport. He saw me staring and I could tell that he was uncomfortable, but he was gracious when I told him how much I admired his work. Our meeting lasted only a few moments, but it remains one of my favorite celebrity encounters.
Daniel Byrnes

West Winged
In your article ”Flubgate,” you mention two noticeable errors from the premiere of The West Wing. Admittedly, I didn’t notice the EW on the table, but the Verizon pay phone stuck out like a sore thumb, so much so that it almost seemed intentional. This proves my theory that the ”flashbacks” took place in the year 2000, and The West Wing is a television show chronicling the administration of a future president. Couple these flubs with Martin Sheen’s President Bartlet, an idealistic academic with a morally bulletproof staff, and you have further evidence that The West Wing is, in fact, science fiction.
Will Knapp
Kalamazoo, Mich.

Corrections: Actor Gary Oldman has never been nominated for an Oscar (”Vice Versus”). The actor pictured in a photograph from the movie Tigerland is Matthew Davis, not Colin Farrell.

Even though a Blair Witch sequel just stormed into theaters — and onto our cover — it’s the Washington/Hollywood melee that’s got everyone talking. John McCain’s comments on big-screen violence aren’t rocking the vote with most readers. ”Maybe [Congress] should work on getting the guns out of kids’ hands instead of blaming the entertainment industry for putting them there,” says Chris Westland of Rochester, N.Y. Adds Angelo Dania of Monroe, Ohio, ”This is a smear campaign, and Hollywood’s time to counterattack will come.” In other politically charged mail Jennifer Cuddeback of Concord, N.H., stumps for The West Wing‘s esteemed Commander-in-Chief: ”President Bartlet isn’t perfect, but I’d still vote for him!”

A Wing Ding
I was excited to finally see a mention of some of the fantastic West Wing sites [EWi, October]. Unfortunately, once I finished reading ”Nothing but Net,” I was nothing but disappointed.
There are a number of very well done WW fan sites out there, including The West Wing Online! (www.testy toads.com/TWW/) and Continuity Guide to The West Wing (westwing.bewarne.com/), which is a well-researched site detailing continuity problems with the show.
Also, there is JedBartlet.com: Inside the Bartlet White House (www.jedbartlet.com). I admit I am a tad biased about this one, since it’s my own personal labor of love. It features in-depth biographical descriptions of all the characters; it also details everything that is known about the fictional Bartlet administration, from members of Congress and the White House press corps, to the secretaries and stewards who hover in the background. I’m afraid it reveals me as a somewhat obsessive personality, but I prefer to think of myself as extremely thorough. Anyway, it’s all done a bit tongue in cheek.
Susannah Nix