The Rittenhouse Review

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

Saturday, March 27, 2004  

Forget the New York Daily News
Turn to the Philadelphia Daily News

One of my favorite things about New York is the “Voice of the People” section (i.e., letters to the editor; see Saturday’s collection here) of the New York Daily News. Three words: Archie Bunker lives.

To be honest, missives from yours truly appeared in the “Voice of the People” section twice during my years in New York. In one letter I specifically mentioned how much I appreciated the feature because “I enjoy a little idiocy with my morning coffee.”

Yeah, yeah, we’re New York, we’re the center of the universe, blah, blah, blah, you can’t find anything like what we got here anyplace else.

Really? Try reading the letters to the editor published Monday through Saturday by one of my favorite (and I really mean that) newspapers in America: the Philadelphia Daily News.

The section has its cranky regulars, along with an abundance of correspondence from the incarcerated, and, now and again, some fairly sketchy letters -- almost always accusing the PDN of being “a liberal rag” -- from “readers” living in places like Lolo Hot Springs, Ida., Cheraw, S.C., and Hillsdale, Mich., none of whom, I’m willing to bet, has the paper dropped on his doorstep each morning.

Today’s Philadelphia Daily News, though, stands out for special mention, including as it does, a remarkably audacious expression of idiocy from one William Lattanzio of nearby Spring City, Pa.

Lattanzio writes, in a letter I unfortunately can’t find replicated at the PDN’s web site (Shame perhaps?):

I’m happy with the outrage at PGW’s billing policies. [Rittenhouse: The reference here is to Philadelphia Gas Works and I’ll spare you the background on it because it is neither interesting nor particularly earthshaking.] But PGW is just one problem out of [sic] many.

Welfare, Section 8 housing, access cards, etc., are all forms of [c]ommunism, plain and simple! Take from the people who are working and give it to the people who aren’t.

I did hear some good news. The [C]ensus [B]ureau says that by 2050[] whites will be a minority in America. Maybe then I’ll get a free ride, too.

Amazing, isn’t it? Idiocy, lunacy, totally dated John Birchism, erroneous punctuation, flawed capitalization, poor grammar, faulty diction, and to top it off: blatant, unabashed racism.

It would appear, at least to this self-professed Philadelphiaphile (a/k/a “Philaphile”) that this great city, in all its greatness, once again has exceeded the standards generally perceived to be set and maintained by New York.

The Rittenhouse Review | Copyright 2002-2006 | PERMALINK |