For twenty years as a reporter and editor, I never worried about comments.
Sure, as a cub reporter, I used to die a thousand deaths every time a letter to the editor appeared in my newspaper that took issue with something I’d written. But it wasn’t long before I learned two things:
•1. In a newspaper there isn’t much room for letters to the editor - maybe a half-dozen per day. And very few of them, even after a big, controversial story, were about you; and,
•2. The editorial page editor is your best friend. In order to keep a balanced page, he or she is only going to run (at most) a couple letters about you - and even then will try to maintain a balance between the laudatory and the cutting . . .and leave the crazies out.
So, for the next twenty years, as a reporter, magazine writer and magazine editor, I never sweated the Letters to the Editor page. Even as an edito
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