Is this what the U.S. Department of Justice study came up with to improve relations between the Minneapolis Police Department and the community — a renewed public-relations offensive using social media to create a positive image of the officers? (“Police try new way to build trust,” July 19.)

Excuse me, but I think that’s the present approach. There are plenty of positive stories about police planted in the media. Chief Janeé Harteau, in particular, has been a magnet for feel-good stories.

What some people, including me, would like would be for the MPD to show more candor and transparency when things go wrong. We would like to see new policies that minimize police shootings. We would like to see the chief in a less-controlled environment. We would like to see greater civilian control of law enforcement. People will form attitudes about the police based upon their own personal experience rather than media-created images orchestrated from the top.

And, say, what does Harteau intend to do to prevent future incidents like that involving Terrence Franklin and Ivan Romero two years ago? I hope it goes beyond finding new ways to control the image.

William McGaughey, Minneapolis


Decision to publish letter from legislators was abominable

Everyone knows that the interview released by a right-wing sting operation making Planned Parenthood look bad was so severely edited as to be not credible. I am a little surprised that so many Republican legislators would call for action based on it (“[Planned Parenthood’s] practices in Minnesota ought to be investigated,” Readers Write, July 17), and I am very surprised that the Star Tribune would provide a platform for the smear by publishing their letter.

David Perlman, New Hope

• • •

Why did you publish the letter from the Republican legislators regarding a video (that has since been debunked and proven as intentionally edited, misleading and blatantly false) without adequate research on your end?

Exactly how long do you expect to attempt to convince the good citizens of this state that the Star Tribune is worthy of purchasing if you do not do your homework?

We no longer buy the printed edition and have gone to the Web version, and it looks like we may even phase that out.

Mary Smith, Little Falls, Minn.

• • •

The good news: Seventeen Minnesota legislators managed to agree on something and actually act on it — or at least demand action on it. The bad news: Seventeen Minnesota legislators could not manage to get the facts straight.

Once, just once, maybe could these folks get together and manage to be aghast, alarmed, nauseated and aggrieved about something that actually happens — say, gun acquisition without adequate background checks that results in the murders of schoolchildren, theatergoers or recruitment-­center Marines?

Miriam G. Simmons, Stillwater

• • •

First, were the shocking “crush” videos. Then the Minnesota Republican legislators’ joint letter calling for an investigation of Planned Parenthood’s practices in Minnesota. And then, on July 18, a response by Sarah Stoesz, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood for the region that includes Minnesota (“The fact: There’s no fetal tissue donation program in our region.”)

In her comments, Stoesz reassures citizens that concerns about Minnesota are unwarranted. But she goes on to assert that this region stands “behind our colleagues around the country who help women and families donate tissue for medical research when they wish to.”

How can one argue that the following terms discussed in the video don’t deserve a skeptical response from “pro-lifers”: harvest, crush and “products of conception”? And then I read a fairly calloused comment from New York University Prof. Cristina Beltran, discounting the pro-life reaction to the “crush” videos: “What’s really horrific is women who are pregnant being forced to bear children against their will. That’s horrific!”

Let’s step back and reflect on some of these words and phrases: crushing fetuses, products of conception, and harvesting organs from “products of conception.” Can one honestly say that our society would have been this comfortable routinely using those phrases 10, 20 or 30 years ago? Have the nation’s values drifted?

Isn’t it time to have a serious discussion about the definition of life?

Steve Bakke, Edina



Irresponsible media gives him too much/too little legitimacy

What if Donald Trump held a rally and no media outlets covered it? The media perpetuate his silliness and give voice to his vile attacks. Do us all a favor and cover only genuine candidates.

Eileen Biernat, New Brighton

• • •

I am not a Trump fan. Nor would I vote in favor of him occupying any role that required tact, diplomacy and humility. I am a fan of the mainstream media. I consider it essential to an informed democracy.

With this said, I’ve been intrigued by some media outlets’ hair-trigger dismissal of Trump as a credible presidential candidate. Too soon after his official announcement, some commentators asked if the media owed Trump airtime given the large number of “serious Republican presidential candidates” they needed to cover. Perhaps Trump’s unexpected surge in popularity reminds us that the media’s role is to report the news — rather than risk calling it too early and influencing news audiences unfairly.

Cory Gideon Gunderson, Lakeville

• • •

At a rally in Phoenix recently, Trump was quoted as saying, “I’m really smart.” (“Unwinding Donald Trump’s complex charisma,” July 17.) It is probably reasonable to assume that opinions about this vary wildly from person to person. I am not really interested in spending any amount of time debating his assertion. I wonder, though, is Mr. Trump smart enough to understand the difference between knowledge (“being smart”) and wisdom? I, for one, would much rather have a president who is wise, for wisdom requires the ability to be introspective. I have yet to see any indications among Trump’s extensive curriculum vitae extolling his smarts that introspection is in his wheelhouse of knowledge. Then again, I’m not very smart, so what the heck would I know?

Justin Rivet, Minneapolis



Sorry, Editorial Board. You journalists have no credibility.

I laughed at the Star Tribune Editorial Board’s presumption that for some reason people don’t trust pollsters (July 20). What we don’t trust is the media. The corruption of the media in our nation has risen to levels never seen before. Your actions and political bias are so obvious and untrustworthy that people ignore you and brush you and your polls off, and we also believe you make the polls say what you want them to say.

When our journalism schools and our universities and mainstream media finally return to their constitutional responsibility of unbiased rhetoric, then we may once again have trust in your organizations. You have no credibility. Zip. Zero.

Terry W. Branham, Lakeville