To the Editor,
I had a dream the other night. In the dream I was reading the newspaper and the headline read: "President Exonerated--Woman in Beret not Foreign Spy (AP): The lurid account of presidential affair turns up nothing. Monica Lewinsky has no foreign ties--except to California, where she has lived the banal self-absorbed existence of a 'valley girl.' The President is guilty of nothing but trying to cover up a personal affair and save his family from embarrassment. Apparently the Commander-In-Chief was the only person in Washington who understood the boundaries between personal affairs and national affairs."
Another headline read, "Nation Demands Apology From The National Press (AP): The corporate giants who own the national information outlets--Television, Radio, newspapers, etc.--are now being held to task for the hysteria they have perpetrated over the past four years. Citizen groups are now demanding apologies from the national press corps, along with a call for reform measures in the antitrust laws that would break up corporate control of the national media network."
Yet another headline read "Rutherford Foundation and Special Prosecutor Being Tried for Treason And Misuse of Public Funds in Presidential Witch-Hunt (AP): The executives of the Rutherford Foundation were arrested along with Special Prosecutor Kenneth Starr by the newly appointed Citizens for Rational Democracy. They were charged with treason in the malicious and illegal use of a public office with the intention of promoting their private vendetta, undermining the office of the president, and attempting to overthrow the United States government. Citizens spokesperson Anita Hill released a statement saying, 'The moral outrage that this arrogant act of treason represents is indescribable. That a small militia group could, with taxpayers money, attempt to overturn the election of the President of the United States is a moral outrage that has shaken the very foundations of this democracy. I intend to pursue the prosecution of these criminals with every means at my disposal.' The case will be tried in Texas; to which a smiling Ken Starr replied, 'If I get the chair, there'll be nothing to conduct electricity--unless of course my penis leaks.' " (Remember this was a dream, and dreams are, after all, stranger than reality.)
A related headline read: "Rutherford Foundation Being Sued in Civil Court (AP): The Rutherford Foundation has been served with a class-action suit by all parties injured in their reckless attempt to overthrow the Office of the President. The plaintiffs in the suit include members of the presidential staff; the President himself; and the American voters who saw their duly elected official harassed by an endless stream of unsubstantiated charges--charges that had no bearing on the office of the presidency and in no way were related to national or international issues. It is anticipated to be the largest lawsuit ever pursued."
It was a strange dream. Funny though, at the time it seemed so lucid.
To the Editor,
Attaboy, attaboy, attaboy on your recent coverage of Councilman Jerry Anderson's proposals to get an independent review of the Tucson Police Department's procedures and operations ("Police Politics," September 10). The need for such a review is self-evident to anyone who has lived in Tucson for a while, the Mayor and other Council members' protestations notwithstanding. I would even go so far as to suggest that a state or even federal probe of TPD is warranted.
I hope you and Jerry will keep the heat on as long as it takes.
--J. P. Meyer
Style Over Substance
To the Editor,
One of the many reasons The Weekly will always be a minuscule-league publication--every time I go up to Phoenix and read the New Times I am shocked by how substantive and how professional it is compared with your paper--is its continuing ignorance of the basic rules of English grammar. In the September 10 issue, the subhead of Jeff Smith's column gets it right--"Neither Kaites Nor McGovern DESERVES..."--but in the column itself, ol' Jeffy mangles it with "Neither one of the them DESERVE..." Flip a couple of pages and Danehy ends his piece with "The only thing Rush rules ARE..." It should be, of course, "is." Y'know, as in singular subject "neither/thing" takes singular verb "deserves/is." Coming, as the latter does, after Tommy's snipe about the "underclass...who filled their high-school notebooks," y'ud think that he, and The Weekly, would take a little care not to flaunt their knuckle-scraping ignorance quite so proudly.
On your masthead, no copy editor is listed. It shows. And for a paper that jes' loves to go on about the Dim Bulbs and Mammy Yokums and dunderheads of all kinds, that devotes a special side bar to the grammatically and semantically unintelligible blatherings of public figures, and that self-righteously thumps its chest as the great defender of education against the cretins, you folks ought to pay a little more attention to what you write and how you write it. But then, who needs grammar when yuh got a gun? Right, Emil and Jeff and the rest of the "no-dick" crowd at The Weekly (Mr. Smith's obsession with long pointy things is getting somewhat pathological), where reporters' private obsessions determine editorial content?
Editor's reply: You dare to to mention "obsessions?" Frankly, we're delighted it upsets a tightly a'holed grammar Nazi like yourself when our writers choose to express themselves conversationally rather than in rigidly standard English. By your inflexible standards, apparently, information and opinions are worthless unless they conform to an ossified rubric devised by academics. Good luck getting along in an increasingly diverse America, dude. Furthermore, we bet you long to live in one of those countless look-alike beige boxes with the fake tile roofs, and that everything in your predictable little world is just as orderly as a well-embalmed corpse. And, yes, our writers and reporters are obsessed, and their obsessions often determine our editorial content. You want passionless writing and reporting, then look somewhere else.
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