Columnist Lois Henry condemns Leticia Perez for excusing Scott Cox from an interview with Robert Price ("Vidak, Perez media behavior fails to impress," May 22). Candidates have a right to avoid hostile interviewers, a proposition quite separate from avoiding difficult, even searing questions. Indeed, candidates have a long history of avoiding passionately biased personalities, at least those who are passionately opposed. Whether Perez -- who worked in my office for two years while I was the Kern County public defender -- thinks Cox is a right-wing nutball radio personality, or a left-wing idiot, has no bearing. Cox has taken a vocally hostile position against Perez for which there were consequences. A microphone does not elevate the rights of a talk show host nor does it reduce a candidate to subservience.

Price completed the interview in a professional manner, which should have been the informational focus for educating readers, not a sideshow of hurt feelings. The working relationship between the newspaper and Cox suggests a consideration of conflict. While this election is over, these concerns are not.

To contend that excusing Cox from an interview somehow equates to ducking the media is nonsense.