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July 25th, 2009
07:46 AM ET

Dear President Obama #187: The Russians are coming ... to a theater near me

Reporter's Note: President Obama had a very busy week what with health care, comments on the Cambridge matter, fundraisers, and a prime time news conference. No doubt he could use a break; maybe a nice movie this weekend! Hence, the subject of my daily letter to the White House.

Tom Foreman | Bio
AC360° Correspondent

Dear Mr. President,

As you may recall, I’ve been keeping you up to date on my family’s screenings of great movies over this summer. My younger daughter came up with the idea, and we’ve made reasonable progress. Perhaps if you would quit making me stay late at work by making news so often we’d make even better progress. Ha! Anyway, this week’s selection is kind of an odd one for mid-summer, (speaking of which, we also saw that new film “500 Days of Summer” a few days back…excellent! Really well-written, acted, directed. Four thumbs up from the Foreman family!) but a favorite nonetheless: “Doctor Zhivago.”

Now I know that this film has long been praised for its beautiful cinematography, epic nature, the backdrop of the Russian revolution, the incredible scenes of winter, the drama of life in big times. It’s all wonderful to behold, but what I most love this movie for is a single line, as Komarovski describes Zhivago: “There are two kinds of men and only two. And that young man is one kind. He is high-minded. He is pure. He’s the kind of man the world pretends to look up to, and in fact despises.”

Don’t look for any hidden or secret meaning in my mention of this. I’m not writing with a nod and a wink your way, nor any aspersions either. It’s just that I think that quote can have great meaning for any person, in any station in life, who aspires to goodness.

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July 25th, 2009
07:36 AM ET

Dear President Obama #186: The facts: Not always black and white

Reporter's Note: The President has a pretty great job. Mine’s not bad either, even though I do write a letter every single day to the White House, and I have not exactly been swamped with replies. Hint, hint, hint.

Tom Foreman | Bio
AC360° Correspondent

Dear Mr. President,

Well, I have no idea what to make of all the noise over your comments on that black professor being arrested up in Massachusetts. I thought you were headed down the right track in your presser when you were asked about it, and started by saying you really didn’t know what happened. But then you started making comments about it anyway.

Pretty soon you were saying the police acted stupidly, and now it seems like everyone and his uncle has an opinion. Did the police overstep their bounds to target a black man? Did a distinguished professor lose his cool and pick a fight? You don’t know. I don’t know. And with racial tensions buzzing like hornets all around the incident I suspect we’ll never know. Nonetheless, I have been thinking about a number of alternative scenarios and wondering how they would have played out.

For example, if the police had not responded quickly to the report of a suspected break-in, would that have constituted racist behavior, because they didn’t take enough interest in protecting the professor’s house?

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