Letters to the Editor

Noose You Can Use

As longest standing editor of City College News, the student-run paper of Minneapolis Community and Technical College, I am writing to inform Mr. Kaminsky that his "Hung Up" news article (10/31/07) not only reflects the tabloid deterioration of City Pages but sets a dangerous precedent in the world of yellow journalism and reporting. Clearly lacking in factual information, the article begs the question, "Is this a newspaper-caliber piece, or a short story?" Composed mostly of adolescent dramatization (need I quote here for evidence?), the narrative is littered with such appalling sensationalism that the whole scope of the article appears to be in error. The actual context of what happened in the newsroom consists mostly of miscommunication and interpersonal biases. If it had been written for The Onion or the National Enquirer, this wouldn't be the case. As it stands, there is simply no logical relation between the Jena 6 and Gabriel Keith.

The whole issue of racism in the United States has been trivialized by focusing on the Keith incident, which was obviously not racially motivated. The article is but another gross manifestation of the mainstream media who continue to control the public mind, and reduce a serious issue like racism to nothing more than instances of sensationalism and hyperbole. In fact, Mr. Kaminsky may want to consider submitting this piece to The Onion, because the overall premise is a joke. Why was Keith fired, rather than admonished for the prank? The answer is not clear, but one thing is certain: It was not done to "educate our students," as Kaminsky quotes Laura Fedock as saying. Ultimately, the question is not how Jonathan Kaminsky can be enlisted as a regular columnist for City Pages, but why Kevin Hoffman would allow such unprofessional boilerplate to pass the revision process and go into print.

Nils S. Richards Minneapolis

Taxicab Depression

It was nice that you included a bit about what's been going on with City Hall and cab licenses ("All's Fare," 11/07/07). Maybe it will even get more people to take advantage of the glut of cabs that now sit idle downtown in various cab stands. Thanks for giving us cab drivers a shout-out.

However, I felt that what you printed was totally biased toward those who are in a position of power to license more cabs but are out of touch with the reality that we cab drivers are facing. You wrote that the lawsuit that was recently dismissed was interfering with the city's "experiment in free market capitalism," putting more and more cabs on the street. I am a cab driver who knows the current situation downtown and I strongly disagree with that statement. As it is now we have too few cab stands and too many cabs. All the cabbies are complaining, not just the cabbies who want to preserve the "monopoly" you referred to.

Who are the men who started the lawsuit? Come on, muckraking City Pages, talk to them and write a real story, a cover story about what's really going on. The cabbies downtown are in dire straits. It's hard to feed a family; we are in a difficult, honorable profession, and these licenses should not be devalued and given out injudiciously and indiscriminately as they are now.

Damon Cuccia Minneapolis

Our Biggest Fan

I hate Spam. But either because I'm forgetful, or incurably hopeful, every 10 years or so I try the vile yet dull pink stuff again only to confirm that yes, indeed, I hate Spam.

And so it is with City Pages. Okay, the forgetfulness lies in occasionally not having reading material with me when stopping by the local coffeehouse, not in forgetting the memorably amateurish writing. And so I picked up the October 17 City Pages.

Dramatic cover. The story itself is a bit tedious, but this pull quote caught my eye: "A crime prevented is worth ten times as much as a crime solved." Now there's a quote-worthy line, ranking right up there with "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush." But it does point out a bit of irony that apparently is completely lost to the editors: Rapists are big consumers of porn. You know, like what's advertised in the back of City Pages: "Nasty Girls—Hardcore!" "Real Horny Girls—Try It Free!" Or (my personal favorite), "Anything Goes with These Trash Talkin' Hoes!" Oh, but City Pages is sooo concerned about the problem of rape in Minneapolis...yeah, right.

Ah, but this news item looks interesting: "Thy Neighbor's House." The subhead promises drama: "How far will an ambitious priest go to expand his church?" Jonathan Kaminsky tells a tale of...of...some people in affluent St. Louis Park who don't want to sell their houses to a church seeking to expand. The "robed priest" (ooh, that's sinister) is offering them an above-market price. Golly—and to think that this could happen here in America! Stop the presses! (Mr. Kaminsky, let me offer you a scoop: My neighbor's cat, "Patches," is using my garden as a kitty box. Waste not a moment—I sense a Pulitzer awaiting.) But hold on, there's even more exciting News: Happy Muslims go to the Mega Mall!

Spam and City Pages. So much in common.

Jean Sherlock Ramsey