Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Do NOT waste my time, I'm a very busy man

Sometimes I'm just not in the mood, you know? I'm literally the highest ranking person in the OpEd department this week, being only slightly above the unpaid intern that's only here for the summer. The other two people that are actually on the payroll are on vacation until next Tuesday and Wednesday. So needless to say, I've got stuff to do. However, this 'stuff' does not include reading smart-ass letters that don't have anything to do with anything. So imagine my surprise when I got such a letter earlier today. It rubbed me the wrong way so much that I quipped a response without even really thinking about it. The exchange went as follows:

Smartass:"Threads" says: "Do you have something to say about this? Send us a letter!" But wait - do you mean, literally, "a letter" (via the U.S. Postal Service and its "snail mail)?" To invite delay and lack of currency in feedback is antithetical to the nature of the medium you are using. It also undermines a "Threads" column, as it invites respondees suspicion that submitted comments are being screened and only selectively put in the paper -- the better to spin the story and the paper's content. That is guaranteed to undermine credibility, and repel the audience you are trying to attract.

The Examiner: In response to your submission, we would like to clarify that both forms of letters, both written and electronic, are acceptable when submitting to our newspaper. Actually, electronic mail is preferable as it is easier to transfer to the programs used to produce our paper. However, if a person takes the time and initiative to handwrite and mail a letter via the Postal Service, it is only fair that it be considered every bit as much as a threads submission via the internet.

Rest assured that each submission IS being screened and selectively put into the paper. This is due to the fact that if we simply printed every submission we received, our threads section would be inundated with poorly written, off-topic and irrelevant blather that is not entertaining, useful or informative.

Hopefully you will find this explanation useful in any future contributions you may have for our threads section.

I kinda hope he realizes I was making fun of him. But I doubt he will.


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