What happened to Letters?
For the last two weeks, readers have been bombarding us with the question: What happened to the letters page?
Was this some kind of conspiracy by the Bush administration to silence dissent and impose martial law ahead of Obama's inauguration?
No. The simple answer is: We didn't get any letters, or at least not enough to fill a column. A lot of people have been using the fancy new comment tools on citypages.com to directly leave feedback on a story that rouses their passion.
But we still want to run a regular letters column, full of thoughtful discourse that is well punctuated. So please, if you see something in here and you have an opinion about it, send it to us at [email protected]. In the meantime, here are some recent comments:
The "pox on both houses" tone of this piece is disappointing ("Strike Anywhere," 10/22/08). Al Franken has faced a withering barrage of personal attacks from the Coleman/RNC/Rove machine. Rather than ignoring the attacks (i.e., Dukakis-Willie Horton) he has responded. But he's responded by trying to hold Coleman accountable for supporting Bush 90 percent of the time.
The central narrative of this campaign is that Norm Coleman has been an unabashed cheerleader for the Bush administration but now pretends that he hasn't been. This is a narrative Franken has had to advance on his own through commercials because most media coverage of this race has ignored Coleman's hypocrisy and focused on the stories cited in the article.
Richard Mensing St. Paul
Franken doesn't give a damn
As an independent voter (fiscally conservative, socially progressive), it pains me to see the DFL so supportive of such a poor choice in Al Franken. The fact that many of his comments have been due to his comedic career does not erase the insulting and degrading effects they have had on people. We have become so accepting of anything people say in the name of entertainment, and now don't even question it when they're running for the most powerful legislative body in the world. At a time when we need both political parties to solve major economic and social issues, I am hard-pressed to believe that Al Franken and his extreme partisanship will represent all Minnesota voters, or will be willing to work with other Republican and independent senators.
Sally Strom St. Paul
Coleman isn't looking out for us
Al Franken is exactly what the people of Minnesota need to represent their interests in the U.S. Senate. I think it's very obvious whose interests Norm Coleman has been looking out for. For some reason, his concerns were for George W. Bush, big oil companies, and tax cuts for the wealthy. Al Franken will fight to help the middle class. Al Franken will create positive change for Minnesota and for our nation. Al Franken is our only sensible choice in this election.
Mark Benenson Minnetonka
Blame the media
Typical media rant—tells us it's the dirtiest campaign ever and gives zero evidence. This is lazy journalism, copied from a thousand old stories. The author presents not one whit of evidence comparing it to anything else.
I often wonder how these guys think they should be taken seriously, but I am comforted knowing the only thing writers run is their keyboard.
What a joke.
Gene Wiley St. Cloud
After reading this article about a so-so former SNL bit player turned Democratic politico and an ex-Republican who joined one of those fringe parties that caters to the conspiracy-theorist/book-burning/Bible-thumping/anti-government wing of the GOP, I'm reminded of what Mark Twain used to say about politics: "People who love sausage and obey the law should never see either being made!"
ShanghaiJohnnyP Mansfield, Texas
Sympathy for Michele Bachmann
This is an amazing example of how entertainingly informative low-brow journalism can be ("Michele Bachmann's Christmas Letter," citypages.com). Regardless of how this letter came to light, it's a fascinating look into one of the most polarizing forces in Minnesota politics. However, I wonder how people would perceive this kind of news had it come from a more popular figure.
It is a personal letter and it is doubtful that Bachmann planned on its being published. What are the limits here?
I mean, it's a lot easier to ignore the invasive nature of this reporting when its subject is as easy a target as Michele Bachmann. Though I have long protested this congresswoman's politics, I would rather the press not release this kind of voyeuristic, partisan-centric article so close to an election.
This is not to say I didn't get a few hearty laughs out of it, I just think it could have waited a week.
Ryan Via internet
Correction: Last week's review of Barrio mistakenly stated that Michelle Gayer is no longer working for Tim McKee and Josh Thoma. In fact, Michelle Gayer is the executive pastry chef for La Belle Vie and Solera, with Diane Yang overseeing daily pastry operations. City Pages regrets the error.