Thursday, April 15, 2004
Spoof Seemed Like A Spoof
Your April 1 cover story [“Disney Buys Del Rey Oaks”] was so riddled with errors I would almost think you made it up. For example, the city’s police department has six officers, not 27, and the parcel tax is over $200 per year, not $6. Nonetheless, if Disney has bought up our fine city, there’s not much I can do about it now. I really shouldn’t complain either, since my family’s share of the $27 billion buyout figures to be about $65 million. Shoot, with that kind of money we could afford to live in Carmel or Pebble Beach!
Arlen Grossman | Happiness
‘Quote’ Hints Gave ‘Spoof’ Away
I didn’t realize until one third of the way through the article that it must be some kind of “spoof.” I got concerned when I got to the two quotes about “the joke’s on them.” Then came the identical “quotes” from Smith and Caballero, and last, the offensive and twice-quoted phrase, “or even worse, Seaside.”
As Glass’s personal point of view, it was quite entertaining, ambivalent though it was. There will be, however, quite a number of people who will take it for serious reporting and see the whole article as real news on the project and the people.
Carla Davis | Salinas
The Herald is as Bad as the Times (!?)
In this period of time, there are so few things we trust. Granted, I was fooled by the article. But fooled only because I was still living under the illusion that our local newspapers might make mistakes, or have foolish opinions, but would never outright lie.
I get it! The idiots were in charge of the asylum.
I see now, Stephen Glass and Jayson Blair. What a joke on them! It’s a cautionary tale, letting us know that the Herald can’t be trusted any more than the New York Times.
Well, thanks again for getting me to feel cynical about one more thing! Nice public service! I hope you’ll enjoy writing for each other.
Kelly Arden | Carmel
Weekly: Handle With Care
After reading about the reaction to your April 1 issue [“Letters;” “April Fools;” April 8-14], I wanted to make sure that you also heard from the many of us who read it, got it, laughed at it, and moved on! What most disheartens me is that the responses detailed in the current issue confirm my suspicions that imbibing media reports in any format with skepticism and discrimination is a vanishing art. In these days, when empty rhetoric is used repeatedly by high-ranking officials in the hope that listeners will not notice the lack of real content, we all need to consume our news carefully.
If we chew it thoughtfully, question concepts that don’t ring true, hold both politicians and the media accountable for meaning and accuracy, and never, ever swallow information whole, then I think our media sources will more truly reflect the democratic principles that many of us hold dear.
While the clues to your intentions were more blatant than most found in current reports—I really think that it’s not asking too much of your readers, even if they have never heard of Jayson Blair or Stephen Glass, to question the intentions of an article that mentions synchronized swimming otters—it seems to me that your story and the response to it can act as a vital reminder that news should always be consumed with care.
Keep up the good work!
Mary Murray | Carmel