Who Sent That Spam?

Dear Reader,

In Hot Type, Michael Miner has twice written about that “familiar piece of collegiate Internet humor,” the “Dear Doctor Laura” letter. It is being circulated widely and was even cribbed for the TV show The West Wing.

According to Jim Hightower (one of my favorite social critics, quoted in his book If the Gods Had Meant Us to Vote They Would Have Given Us Candidates), the author of the “Dear Doctor Laura” letter is Michael Moore, activist, author, filmmaker, and all-around subversive.

Although I’m sure Michael Moore would have no problem with the letter’s wide circulation, I believe in giving credit where credit is due.


Mary Ellen Croteau

W. Armitage

Michael Miner replies:

So do I. The friend who brought the Dr. Laura letter to my attention wasn’t certain who’d written it, though he told me Moore’s name had come up. And a spokesman for The West Wing said the show hadn’t found out where it came from. At any rate, I now have it from Moore himself that he was responsible. “I don’t believe in copyright laws,” he E-mailed me. “I always consider theft of my work a compliment and one further step down the road.”