The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Tuesday, August 20, 2002  

Eric Alterman’s E-Mail Box Has Become a Cesspool

Wow. Eric Alterman gets an awful lot of truly vicious e-mail.

Much of it, or at least much of the recent barrage of nastygrams headed Alterman’s way, is, sadly, part of a well-orchestrated campaign of intimidation and abuse, a campaign he has done nothing to deserve.

Compared with the barrage of moronic and invective-filled messages filling Alterman’s in-box, our generally steady trickle of hate mail, even with its occasional flare-ups, seems inconsequential.

However, the effect is still the same: Hate mail, provided it doesn’t include credible threats of physical harm and does not breach the line of harassment, has no effect -- none whatsoever -- on writers with strong opinions.

Frankly, we can’t imagine what Alterman’s foes thought they might accomplish through their juvenile crusade, except possibly embarrassing themselves.

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