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Cronkite and Murrow Are Still Safe
I have enjoyed reading SF Weekly. But now I have to wonder about the accuracy of everything I've read in the past.

Your article on the murder of Carmel Sanger ("Murder at the Pink Tarantula," Jack Boulware, June 18) was of particular interest, not just because I covered it, but because of the genuine feeling of loss felt by the people who knew her. And of all the reporters covering it, I was flattered at first that Boulware chose to use my interview with Timmy Spence as an example of the coverage her murder received.

I'm bothered by the "tabloid" picture that one paragraph painted of me. I didn't "stick a mike into" Spence's face until after he agreed to talk with me. As a writer, Boulware is no doubt aware of the stereotype his counterparts in television often have to live down. In many ways it is deserved. But there are those in television who hold themselves to a higher standard and seek to always be "factually correct," in hopes of one day having viewers see broadcast journalists of today in the same light as Walter Cronkite and Edward R. Murrow. I count myself among them. Am I being overly optimistic? Probably. But it's the only way I know. And that optimism prompted this letter. There. I've vented. Keep the faith.

Joe Oliver
San Francisco

It's the Pits
I'm sick and tired of reading these anti-pit-bull articles ("Shouldn't We Just Kill This Dog?" George Cothran, June 11).

The first few paragraphs of your article were disgusting. Contrary to your beliefs (and what you saw), pit bulls are not born killers.

My husband and I have a chocolate Lab we rescued at 4 months. We have no idea what his early life was like. As a result, he can't be trusted around other dogs. Even with his small, soft mouth, he is very capable of a severe bite.

Unfortunately, pit bulls happen to have an anatomy that lends itself to fighting. They are fiercely loyal, smart, and have very strong jaws. These same qualities also enable pit bulls to make wonderful pets. My husband and I had a pit bull-Doberman cross that lived to be 12 years.

I am one person who sincerely believes you won't be able to write another story with a tragic ending. I just hope you haven't scared away too many potential owners.

Abbie Reiten
Potrero Hill

Your June 11 cover story, "Shouldn't We Just Kill This Dog?" was very provocative, to say the least. As a former animal caretaker for the Washington, D.C., Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, I know firsthand the issues of pit-bull killings and adoptions.

As long as pit bulls are being bred, we will have overpopulation.
Jennifer Schneider
Western Addition

As the companion to a very sweet and gentle giant male pit bull, I am saddened/disgusted/bored by your cover story ("Shouldn't We Just Kill This Dog?"). It's pop misinformation such as this that perpetuates the genocidal mass hysteria against a certain race -- this time being pit bulls.

Jane Poe
Lower Haight

Anatomy Lesson (Part III)
You give a whole new meaning to the concept of a slow press day. It's hard to believe you have nothing better to do over there than critique press releases and letters ("Anatomy of a Letter to the Editor," Unspun, June 11). Can the wording on my letterhead, my choice of verbiage and punctuation, really be worthy of such premium placement and coverage? You obviously don't think you're stretching the boundaries of reporting to the ridiculous, not to mention racist in your "Mammy" comment about the mayor, but my last rash of phone messages regarding your rebuttal to my letter indicates otherwise. I guess anyone who gets in your way of lampooning the mayor is fair game. While being vilified by you is not really causing me to lose any sleep -- or business -- I do wonder what the motivation and satisfaction can possibly be for such mean-spirited journalism.

If you decide to do a cover story on this letter for your next issue, please at least give me the courtesy of calling for an interview. I prefer to meet my attackers head on.

Tricia James

Phyllis Orrick's "Anatomy of a Letter to the Editor" is a terrible example of journalism. To mock Tricia James for her letterhead and her use of quotation marks (apparently for lack of anything legitimate to mock) is just mean-spirited. For Orrick to use her overwrought, wordy writing style -- the trademark of freshman lit papers -- to attack the plain, understandable style of someone who is not a professional writer does not make the author look good. It makes her look pretentious.

And anyone who can't see an African-American kneeling in any context without thinking "Mammy" is herself a racist. Unfortunately for Orrick, it is not James who was made to look foolish in this piece.

Oh, and I'll be sure not to upset your delicate sensibilities with an insincere closing.

A professional writer who is not at all impressed with Phyllis Orrick's writing style.

Linda Formichelli

Bull's eye! Kudos to Phyllis Orrick for writing a terrific Unspun ("Anatomy of a Letter to the Editor"). Her educational tips for writing a letter to the editor are right on target. I hope Tricia James intends to put those helpful hints to good use. It would be a pity to deny the readers of SF Weekly the opportunity to witness her progress. Plus, it would give James the chance to show off any new company letterhead.

Don Davenport
Duboce Triangle

The waiter who won best Norma Desmond impression in last week's Best of San Francisco issue was misidentified. He goes by the stage name of Sable. SF Weekly apologizes for the error.


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