Letter to The Edit…

As I’ve written before (https://ironicman.wordpress.com/2010/03/23/semitic-satisfaction/) I’ve been sending letters to the editor at The Times for years without any of them being  published.  And then, about six months ago, after  I had obviously worn them down, they finally relented.  This was followed by another one, published just a few months ago. (Copies available upon request)  I hadn’t written any more since then. That is, not until this past Tuesday when I emailed  another one, yet again disagreeing with a David Brooks Op-Ed piece.   Within hours I heard back saying they wanted to publish my  letter…..which appears  today. (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/21/opinion/l21brooks.html?_r=1&ref=todayspaper) This is starting to feel like shooting fish in a barrel.  Except for one big thing–the editor at The Times wanted my permission to severely edit it.  I guess this is why they’re call “editors”. 

In this case the content wasn’t changed, just almost eliminated.  My brilliant and unique critique of Mr. Brooks’ analysis of the relationship between money and elections  is somewhere in a cyber waste basket.  They decided to keep only two of my statements…one of which is a quote from someone who’s been dead for more than a century.  So…very little of me in this. 

When I was asked if I would allow them  to only include my “punchline” ( I swear, that’s the term that was emailed to me) I, of course, said that I would.  Only afterwards did the artiste in me start to feel that I had somehow comprised myself;  that I had sold out, just for some minor fame.  And let me tell you, this is really, really minor fame (Still no calls from people in my past…”Are you the same  Neil Stein etc., etc.”.)

I think that in the future I’m going to stick to my guns.  If they don’t want to include my entire letter…screw ’em!   So, if you’re a reader of The Times  and a month or so goes by without seeing a letter to the editor  from me, assume that an incredibly thoughtful one has been sent, accepted for publication, a request for some minor edits has been made, and that I’ve told the editor that my integrity is no longer for sale (at least, not that cheaply).

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2 Responses to “Letter to The Edit…”

  1. bob Says:

    accolades to you. I was going to say much more but val edited out everything!

  2. iron(ic)man triathlon Says:

    are you the same bob joseph i went to kindergarten with?

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