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Venal Attempt


Dear Editor,

I am writing to you to complain in the strongest terms possible about what must be a tremendous lapse in your review of columns published in your newspaper. Two weeks ago, you published Rick Murphy's venal attempt at humor in his Low Tidings column. It included question number seven which asked:

7. When you go to the beach you: a) Think everyone is staring at your bathing suit b) Wonder Why you wore pink flip-flops c) Look around for someone sexy to sit near d) Mercilessly taunt the children from the Special Needs school.

And the even more offensive answer:

7) D Cardinal Rule #1: It is always great fun to ridicule others but bonus points are awarded for ridiculing those too stupid or helpless to fight back.

Aside from not being funny, it was outrageously insulting to a group of individuals who are most in need of sympathy and understanding not derision. My wife called Rick Murphy who stood by the piece.

I would appreciate it if you would let me know whether you likewise stand by this piece or if publishing it was an oversight. If the latter I would likewise appreciate a written retraction.

Editor's Note: Rick's Low Tidings column, a three time winner of the New York Press Association's Best Column award, is often satirical. In this case, it was satirizing psychological testing quizzes that have become the rage. There was no intent to insult special needs students.

MITCHEL S. IDEN
August 22, 2006

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