Dear Reader,

First of all let me start off by stating that I only read your paper for the News of the Weird and to laugh at the personals that a lot of the losers out there waste money to write in the vain hope to seem self-important. Occasionally, if an article catches my eye, I’ll read it completely, but only if the subject interests me. David Futrelle’s article on the American Spectator [“The Rag of the Right,” August 18] was somewhat interesting at first because he seemed to try to give a fair review of the journal. Sadly, his consistency was erratic at best. I’ll list a few of the many points of contention I have with this article.

(1) Futrelle writes that the journal has “the kind of rhetorical excess only believable to those who haven’t ever had to struggle to pay the bills.” I work at a $6.31-an-hour job making copies so my financial situation isn’t as rosy as I would like. I know the value of hard, honest work and how money could be tight, but I resent having the government take so much in taxes out of my paycheck just for outdated, useless programs for other people except me. What about the “rhetorical excess” that your paper seems to be filled with on any given week? Like the quaint little article a few months back where a writer suggested a night in the city where the electricity would be turned off so people could look at the stars [Field & Street, April 7]. Gee, I wonder what would happen on the west side or Logan Square if such an idea became a reality. Would the colorful residents of these parts gaze up in awe or would there be a reenactment of South Central LA after the first trial of the cops? Think about it.

(2) It is written in the article of how “savvy entrepreneurs have found a large and gullible market. . . . Or at least a lonely one,” when mentioning the ads in American Spectator. Gosh, I suppose the adult ads talking about “Chicago’s best phone fuck” in Section Four or the Matches pages in Section Two are geared for a different type of consumer than me. Mr. Futrelle is the most unbiased man in the universe. Not!

(3) The article goes on about the magazine’s “deeply rooted eccentricity” and how it can’t be disguised. Please tell me it is my imagination, but have there been any cover articles of the Reader dealing with such topics as “environmental racism,” Carol Moseley-Braun, school curriculums, et al without a leftward slant? I guess you’re not an eccentric if your thinking is along the lines between Ted Kennedy and Fidel Castro.

This paper has been hypocritical on far too many occasions, but I don’t hold that against any of your writers. I’m sure their concern for all liberal causes is truly genuine while they drive their BMWs, look over their stock portfolios, shop for condos in Old Town, and that makes them caring human beings. Me on the other hand, with my old-fashioned beliefs, can only hope for a better tomorrow while I bust my ass working for every dollar and not write crappy articles for a living.

That is the difference between honesty and hypocrisy. Kindly spare me of any reply to this letter, because nothing you can write will convince me that your paper is good enough to completely enjoy. If it wasn’t free, I wouldn’t buy it, and I’m sure your circulation would drop if you started charging for a copy.

Tony Kale

Albany Park