Letters to the Editor

Quit spoilin' history!

I have to second PJ Cain's complaint about your paper's sloppy oversight in revealing the ending of Into the Wild (Letters, 10/10/07). Like Cain, I was looking forward to finding out what happened to the young man who ventures "into the wild" Alaska wilderness without food or survival gear and only a gas-station map. But now I know, thanks to your reviewer Scott Foundas (don't worry, fellow readers, I won't spoil the ending in this letter in case you didn't read the review two weeks ago)!

The last time I was this mad about a movie review was about 10 years ago when you guys spoiled the ending to Titanic. As Cain said, just because a movie is based on true events doesn't mean that everyone knows how those events turn out! And when you spoiled the ending of Ken Burns's new documentary The War? Shameful! The greatest generation would turn over in their graves!

It will be a long time before I again rely on you to protect me from historical fact!

John Hesse-Moline St. Paul

Seeing ghosts

It's high time someone wrote about the Spectors ("Something Mod, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Black-and-Blue," 10/3/07), a great band that received virtually no attention during its tenure, while other bands around it were lapping up praise like dogs from a water bowl. They're defunct, but not in my mind. I was happy to hear about their reunion, for whatever reason.

Thank you for finally realizing, and bringing to light, the brainiacs behind this band.

Lori Wray Shattuck Lawrence, Kansas

Zoned out

Maybe City Pages does need to "hire" Matt Snyders as an ombudsman on behalf of the Star Tribune, which recently "reassigned" its reader's representative (Blotter, 9/3/07). The Strib editor claimed that the new realignment over the past few months, which saw close to half of the real journalists leave the paper with "early retirements," the forced retirement of Susan Albright as the editorial page editor, and moving Kate Parry from ombudsman to health editor, was designed so that the new owners of the local print media "heavyweight" could concentrate on better coverage of the local area. Ha!

Two recent examples highlight the hypocrisy of such a claim. First, the whole city media is "scooped" by the City Pages breaking the story of St. Thomas and Desmond Tutu. Only after City Pages publishes do the Strib, the Pioneer Press, and all the TV stations pile on—to an incident that happened in July!

But more current is what happened in the Sunday edition of the Strib. Despite the fact that the Twin Cities is home to one of the largest concentrations outside of Laos of people of Laotian descent (Hmong), the Strib carried a story about the effects of unexploded ordinance in Laos on page A21 ("Laotians live with a lethal legacy"), a story written by Paul Watson of the L.A. Times. The Pioneer Press placed the same story with a different headline ("The war is over; our bombs still kill") on the top front page of its Sunday edition. However, there is a difference beyond the editorial decision of where to place the story and how much of the story is "newsworthy" to our local readers. The Strib version of the story deletes 12 of the paragraphs included in the Pioneer Press version, and, most critically, cuts the original article's mention of one of the deadliest unexploded ordinance left in Laos from the Vietnam War days: the cluster bomb.

Steve Clemens Minneapolis

Beef over descriptions

I'm sure it's tough being a food critic, trying to say something new about barbecue. Given her choice of words, one might think Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl was giving Big Daddy's a poor review ("Only on Saturday," 9/26/07). Beef ribs like jelly? Gelatinous pork? That sounds disgusting, actually. When she said "chewy as a good steak," I wondered if Dara has even had a good steak.

Lane Phillips Minneapolis

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