Down on Dowd and Hillary; The Times' Pretensions
MUGGER: Your "alternative" newspaper is obviously written by people who love to write for people who love to read. Unfortunately, I fear the numbers of both groups are dwindling. I canceled our local paper some time ago because it was written for readers with a third-grade education and a first-grade capacity for recognizing original thought. Honest disagreement expressed in logical terms is far too important to be sacrificed by a capitulation to the lowest common denominator. Thanks to you and any others whom I will never get to read for continued excellence in the most important aspect of learning the written wordregardless of their views.
Wayne Robbins, Great Falls, MT
Mr. Reno I got a laugh out of Andrey Slivka's piece ("Media Roundup," 7/14) on The New York Times' use of "Mr." no matter how absurd it sounds. I've seen some pretty funny uses of this style, but the best was many years ago when Meat Loaf's album Bat Out of Hell was released. The Times, writing about the rotund rocker, insisted on calling him "Mr. Loaf." I haven't taken the newspaper of record seriously since then.
Andrew Whitehead, Manhattan
Daughters of Liberty MUGGER: Your 6/30 column was so great. Sam Schulman deserves a fucking raise! That memo shows what a bitch Tina Brown is and the depths she'll go to help Hillary Clinton. Why don't carpetbaggers like Tina and Hillary just stay the hell out of New York and let natives like the Mayor represent real New Yorkers? I know you don't like Rudy, but you've got to admit he sure will make a better senator than Bill's bitch when he kicks her big fat ass. Keep the faith, MUGGER! Don't let the bastards get away with it. You're one of the last people we can count on to tell the truth. Now that we can get NYPress in the outer boroughs, can't you list our movie theaters in the movie clock?
Michael Ames, Long Island City
Dee Snider MUGGER: People without lives of their own spend their time deriding others in order to mitigate the pointlessness of their pointless, parasitic, eventless lives, and are usually ugly. When you're doing so, remember that we the people elected our president and yours twice. When were you or your family so elected or honored? What outstanding feats have you or your unknown family achieved? As for Al Gore, he has a dignified, patrician background and has achieved things in the service of humanity. The Gores would make a most handsome presidential couple! Showing disrespect for the president and vice president is a low (are you from a poor family?) attempt at self-aggrandizement, and it proves your no-class upbringing. I pity your parents for your behavior.
Dee McNamara, Manhattan
Girls' School Horror As one who was flabbergasted by Maureen Dowd's being honored with a Pulitzer, I found myself nodding in agreement and muttering, "Right...right...absolutely right," as I read Kevin Kosar's razor-sharp analysis of her columns. Granted, the prize itself has always seemed a bit stodgy and conventional (just consider the sort of trite news photo that generally wins). And granted that, with all its influence, The New York Times always manages to walk away with a few. Still, Dowd's award has debased the Pulitzer, just as her shallow, trivial column debases the Times op-ed page. Her pieces read like the work of some smart-aleck high school girl; it's hard to believe she spends more than 15 minutes on them. Anyway, plaudits to Kosar, who's got her dead on target. Ironically, the very care and serious thought that he's lavished on her work honors it more than it deserves. Plaudits, too, to Sam Schulman for a truly insightful and provocative essay ("Top Drawer," 7/14). It was especially gratifying to see, among the names of "apologists for terrorism," that of Edward Said, that sacred Palestinian cow. Let me turn, finally, to Alexander Cockburn's "Wild Justice" column of last week. Amidst the usual bright stuff, he writes that, no matter who gets elected next year, "The same men and womenmostly blackwill pass from death row to their graves." I can't lay my hands on the figures (I'm writing this far from home), but I'm pretty sure that the majority of those executed in this country, both men and women, are white, not black. Indeed, though blacks commit half of our homicides, they are far less likely than whites to face execution for them. This is a fact that opponents of capital punishment would prefer to avoid; instead, in attempting to argue that the death penalty is "biased against blacks," they are forced to turn to statistics about the race of the victims rather than the race of the perpetrators, since one is more likely to be executed for killing a white than for killing a black.
Mark Acosta, Manhattan
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