I sometimes wonder if letters written in are written by the authors.
Dan Savage of “Savage Love” fame gets asked this (maybe “accused of this” is a better way to put it) all the time, and his response is, “The best part of an advice columnist gig is that we only have to write half of the column, but we get to keep ALL the money. Why would we want to write the questions, too?”
I used to think this too, until I actually ran a letters section (for my magazine) and got a gander at the goofiness the general public sends in. You would not believe the torrent of misapprehension, paranoia, projection and special pleading, on- or off-point or simply out of left field, that comes in when you open yourself up to outside comment.
About the only thing you can accuse the editors of doing is cherry-picking the weirdness for the ripest and juiciest fruits to display. I understand it’s different on the Web where, to a large extent, editing is entirely after the fact — not unlike going onto the battlefield after the shooting stops and bayoneting the wounded.
Just heard a report on NPR the other morning about authors, etc. writing reviews to their own works.
And restaurants paying people to write favorable reviews under lots of pseudonyms in order to bury bad reviews.
I often wonder where Jerry Springer digs up his mutants and if they are paid actors. But if you want to hear some way out stuff, have you ever heard Steve Harvey’s radio show and the Strawberry Letters?
“My husband is too fat and he says that as his wife it is my duty to wipe his a** since he can’t reach it anymore.”
You can’t make up that kind of stuff.
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