March 17, 2003


LETTER TO THE EDITOR OF THE YEAR: I don't normally quote from letter-writers here, since the authors aren't professional journalists and all, but this one's just too great to pass up. It's from the Sunday New York Times Arts & Leisure section, in response to a profile the week before of the actress Frances McDormand that had insulted her alma mater:

"As a 1981 graduate of Bethany College (from which McDormand graduated in 1979), I am familiar, and quite comfortable with Bethany's relative obscurity. But I also know for a fact that the New York Times is perfectly capable of condescension toward most any institution located outside its island home except, of course, for Harvard. Why should a liberal-arts college in the northern pandhandle of West Virginia be excluded?"
-Peter Jensen, Timonium, MD

Damn straight. Pithy as it is, that's among the best takedowns of the Times' smug, elitist sensibility that I've ever seen.

Posted by Stephen Silver at March 17, 2003 09:56 PM
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