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Rocker Bruce Springsteen may have been the Boss of our cover (#698, Feb. 28), but his liberal views on Iraq and 9/11 sparked a heated war of words among readers. ”I pride myself on the benefits of a good political debate, but seriously, EW is an entertainment magazine,” says Sonja M. Johnson of Fayetteville, N.C. Luisa Lawrence of Watertown, Mass., disagrees: ”True patriots tell their government’s leaders when they are wrong. I thank those celebrities willing to stick their necks out to stop an unjust, unnecessary war.” On a less charged note, Boomtown fans were fired up over Bruce Fretts’ review of the rookie crime drama. ”Hands down Boomtown is the best show on TV right now,” says Amanda Burgess- Proctor of Royal Oak, Mich. ”Now let’s hope that loyal EW readers will stop rotting their brains with reality TV and start tuning in to this truly remarkable program.” Sounds like the tribe has spoken.

Bruce Ha-Ha

Kudos to Ken Tucker for drawing amazing responses out of Bruce Springsteen. The Boss’ takes on Eminem and Elvis were insightful; his views on George W.’s war with Iraq and tax cuts for the wealthy were politically barbed in the best possible way; his articulation of the need for ”replenishment of ideas” while settling into middle age provides words of wisdom for all. Tucker provided the proper palette for Springsteen’s colorful answers. Great stuff, guys. CHUCK BAUERLEIN Assistant Professor of Journalism, West Chester U. Chuckdad69@aol.com West Chester, Pa.

In the ninth grade after one listen to Born in the U.S.A., I took all the money I made babysitting and hit the record store. I remember picking up Springsteen’s Darkness on the Edge of Town and thinking to myself, ”This guy has some guts posing for an album cover looking like he just got up.” Well Bruce, you still have more guts than anyone in music. God bless you and keep on rocking! SUE CASHION Philadelphia

Now that you felt the need to ask Bruce Springsteen his opinion on Iraq, how about asking J. Lo her opinion on North Korea? Or Anna Nicole Smith on the root causes of Islamic fundamentalism? Like every other citizen, entertainers are entitled to their opinions. But please keep your magazine and the people that you cover devoted to something that they know, like entertainment. ROGER W. PECK RWP7263@aol.com Long Grove, Ill.

I am a huge Springsteen fan, having seen him play live well over 100 times since 1978. But reading about his feelings of helplessness and despair infuriated me. I lost my job after Sept. 11, and like all too many others, I’m in a dire financial situation. Thanks to the support of fans like myself, Mr. Springsteen is a multimillionaire. Three hours at a Springsteen concert can lift me up, but at the end of the day, I still don’t know where next month’s mortgage payment is coming from. Spend a day or two in my shoes, Bruce, and then talk to me about despair. SANDRA STRICK New York City

Cent and Sensibility