Down on Dowd and Hillary; The Times' Pretensions

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MUGGER: Your "alternative"newspaper is obviously written by people who love to write for people who loveto read. Unfortunately, I fear the numbers of both groups are dwindling. I canceledour local paper some time ago because it was written for readers with a third-gradeeducation and a first-grade capacity for recognizing original thought. Honestdisagreement expressed in logical terms is far too important to be sacrificedby a capitulation to the lowest common denominator. Thanks to you and any otherswhom I will never get to read for continued excellence in the most importantaspect of learning the written wordregardless of their views.
Wayne Robbins, Great Falls, MT
Mr. Reno I got a laugh out of AndreySlivka's piece ("Media Roundup," 7/14) on The New York Times'use of "Mr." no matter how absurd it sounds. I've seen some prettyfunny uses of this style, but the best was many years ago when Meat Loaf's albumBat Out of Hell was released. The Times, writing about the rotundrocker, insisted on calling him "Mr. Loaf." I haven't taken the newspaperof record seriously since then.
Andrew Whitehead, Manhattan
Daughters of Liberty MUGGER: Your 6/30 columnwas so great. Sam Schulman deserves a fucking raise! That memo shows what abitch Tina Brown is and the depths she'll go to help Hillary Clinton. Why don'tcarpetbaggers like Tina and Hillary just stay the hell out of New York and letnatives 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 bitchwhen 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 cancount on to tell the truth. Now that we can get NYPressin the outer boroughs, can't you list our movie theaters in the movie clock?
Michael Ames, Long Island City
Dee Snider MUGGER: People without livesof their own spend their time deriding others in order to mitigate the pointlessnessof their pointless, parasitic, eventless lives, and are usually ugly.When you're doingso, remember that we the people elected our president and yourstwice.When were you or yourfamily so elected or honored?What outstanding featshave you or your unknown family achieved?As for Al Gore, hehas a dignified, patrician background and has achieved things in the serviceof humanity. The Gores would make a most handsome presidential couple!Showingdisrespect for the president and vice president is a low (are you from a poorfamily?) 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 flabbergastedby Maureen Dowd's being honored with a Pulitzer, I found myself nodding in agreementand muttering, "Right...right...absolutely right," as I read KevinKosar's razor-sharp analysis of her columns. Granted, the prize itself has alwaysseemed a bit stodgy and conventional (just consider the sort of trite news photothat generally wins). And granted that, with all its influence, The New YorkTimes always manages to walk away with a few. Still, Dowd's award hasdebased the Pulitzer, just as her shallow, trivial column debases the Timesop-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 thoughtthat he's lavished on her work honors it more than it deserves. Plaudits, too, to Sam Schulmanfor a truly insightful and provocative essay ("Top Drawer," 7/14).It was especially gratifying to see, among the names of "apologists forterrorism," that of Edward Said, that sacred Palestinian cow. Let me turn, finally, toAlexander Cockburn's "Wild Justice" column of last week. Amidst theusual bright stuff, he writes that, no matter who gets elected next year, "Thesame 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'mpretty sure that the majority of those executed in this country, both men andwomen, 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 factthat opponents of capital punishment would prefer to avoid; instead, in attemptingto argue that the death penalty is "biased against blacks," they areforced to turn to statistics about the race of the victims rather than the raceof the perpetrators, since one is more likely to be executed for killing a whitethan for killing a black.
Mark Acosta, Manhattan

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