One of the reasons I started this blog was my frustration with the Chicago Tribune. I’ve submitted letters to the editor for years. It’s fun to see your name in print and a challenge to craft a letter that they will deem worthy. When Todd Stroger and his cronies passed their notorious tax hike in 2008 I wrote that I’d do my shopping elsewhere whenever possible, especially when buying bottled water. I heard Roma read that one on the air, on the Dan and Roma show on WLS am 890 as I drove to work. Now that’s fun!
The conventional wisdom is that if you submit something in response to an editorial, or Op-Ed, your chances of publication increase as you engage in a dialogue with the paper and other readers. I’ve always tried to be concise-they will edit your letter and sometimes those little changes have a big impact on the message. I don’t submit temper tantrums. After many years and many letters it seems the Tribune doesn’t like me anymore. That’s OK, I’m finding other outlets for writing and venting-but it’s sad to see a formerly conservative paper overrun by liberal bias, even in the letters section.
Over the past 2 years I’ve paid particular attention to the Tea Party coverage. Liberal columnists Clarence Page and Eric Zorn among others have written some really pathetic criticisms of the Tea Party in general and the Chicago events in particular. I submitted my rebuttal-and then nothing. I don’t care if they ever print another letter of mine but the overwhelming favoritism they show to the left-wing view is out of all proportion to the readership, in some cases running 9 to 1 in a single edition.
This is not due to space constraints. As any regular reader of “The Voice of the People” knows, they frequently devote rather substantial space to the inane ramblings of their favorites; “change of season” or “my favorite teacher” drivel from Jack Spatafora and Mil Misic.
I’m not inclined to dredge up old unpublished attempts but I will start here with my very recent one. On January 23rd they featured a temper tantrum column from John McCarron. Virtually all of his columns are worthy of rebuttal as he plays fast and loose with the facts-or just ignores them. This one was particularly odious-so I fired off a letter. No luck. Here’s the original column and my attempted rebuttal:
John McCarron sees corporations as just pockets to pick; faceless entities that only take from society. The fact is that corporations are merely legally-organized collections of human beings representing our most successful businesses. These businesses employ the millions of people who pay the income, sales and property taxes that finance the roads and public schools. Even those that have no corporate profits left, to tax yet again, provide these revenues. This is far from a “burden” on our state. Businesses large and small are our economy’s life blood.
He may get his wish to see an Illinois void of these imagined monsters. I doubt he will like the result.