Letter To the Editor, Anyone?

Has anyone written Letters to the Editor they want to share? E-mail included.

I have (honest) only sent about 10 letters to the editor or a reporter. The latest was provoked by the 19th paragraph of the following article in today’s New York Times online version:

Common Core Curriculum Now Has Critics on the Left

Here is the e-mail to the NYT reporter who wrote the article:

“The answer reported below is inadequate, and I wonder why it was selected from what presumably were extensive notes. Hopefully it wasn’t the best answer anyone gave in school that day!

Recently, at Public School 253 in Brooklyn, Myra Wenger applied her new curriculum in a lesson on ancient Athens, asking her second graders why the city adopted Athena, not Poseidon, in naming itself. A pupil, Daniel Gornak, 8, answered, “Because Athena gave more uses than Poseidon did, and more healthy things for Athenians,” and Ms. Wenger lauded his methods in consulting his marble notebook for the facts.

According to legend Athena’s name was adopted because she gave Athens the gift of the olive tree, whereas Poseidon gave a spring, but didn’t realize it ought to be a freshwater spring.

Maybe the student went on to give a complete answer, but the journalist, because of inappropriate fixation on the theme of making healthy choices, left out what is surely the most important part. “

I might have elaborated a bit, but I did not think it necessary to point out that while any number of things are “use(ful)” and “healthy”, Athena gave only one of them, the olive tree, whereas Poseidon’s saltwater spring was neither useful nor healthy.

I used to be a prolific letter-writer to the San Diego Union, the largest local newspaper. They published pretty much everything I sent them, too.

Then I received a death threat in the mail for what I’d said (critical of Northern Irish violence – how’s that for a rebuttal? “You called us terrorists: we will kill you for that!”) I reported it to the newspaper and to the police…and also kinda stopped spouting off my opinions. The classic “chilling effect.”

(My father, who had the same name I have, also received a threat, and he asked me to stop writing on controversial subjects. Sigh…)

It’s now easier to click Add Comment on a webpage, but I used to write letters to the editors. Smaller newspapers present little challenge, but even the N.Y. Times and/or International Herald-Tribune published most of the letters I sent, including a few a decade ago where I commented on the Iraq War idiocy.

I’d post some choice excerpts but N.Y. Times archives are on-line and Googling even a short phrase could lead you immediately to my real name. :eek:

I’m wondering who’s going to be the first to post a letter they wrote to the editor of Penthouse Forum.

A couple years ago USAToday published a Letter to the Editor I wrote. They emailed and called me to verify that I wrote it and had not sent the same letter to other publishers.

It was on immigration matters, particularly taking to task a spokesperson for USCIS who was quoted in an article saying something flippant along the lines of an immigration petition for a spouse or child is processed “almost immediately.”

For the record, it takes months to move through all the hoops and you might have to be apart during that time.

I wrote a letter to the local paper when I was 17, complaining about an article about local teens that said something like 50% had tried marijuana. I pointed out that number was far too high, and cited an in-class poll that found less than 5% who had tried it.

The result was a positive editorial in the paper. I think the response was an important factor in my becoming a writer.

I wrote one just this morning. Okay, it was not a Letter to the Editor per se, but I sent him some copies of old postcards of the town because he likes to write about the history sometimes. It was a series of pictures of a train wreck that happened in 1913 and he has one that he keeps printing even though it may or may not pertain to the particular thing he’s writing about. I thought he might like a little more variety. :slight_smile:

When I was a teenager I wrote an angry letter to Houdini’s Magic Magazine over an article claiming that Houdini really believed in ghosts. I have no idea if it was published, as I refused to buy any more issues after that. Checking just now, I see that the first issue was August 1977 and the last was March 1978.

So I’d like to think I shamed them into shutting down.

A few, in my day, but now I just stick to Facebook posts, blogging, writing assignments on online publications, and the like.

My last letter to the editor, published on ink and paper in a newspaper, was to the Springfield, Illinois State Journal-Register. Every few days the SJR will publish the local PD’s Most Wanted list, with pictures of the perps, and their “crimes.” The day I wrote the letter, the most wanted list included sixteen individuals, nine of whom were wanted for possession of cannabis.

My letter was one sentence, and was basically: “Would anyone in the Springfield Police Department kindly tell me who the victims were in the cannabis possession cases?”

Mammahomie read it and had a righteous hissy fit.

I wrote to NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday. Near as I can remember, it went like this:

For a long time, I thought it was a sweet tip of the hat to Robin Williams’s Mork from Ork character. Then, one Sunday, Lian Hansen slowed it down a half-beat, and I knew I had it wrong. I slapped my forehead, “It’s not nanus, you nimnull! She said now, news!”