Alibi V.28 No.2 • Jan 10-16, 2019 

Letters

Troubled Alibi?

Dear Editor,

I faithfully pick up a copy of the Alibi each week, and in the Year in Review issue [v27 i51] 12/20, I read the three Letters. One is from the Conservative Caucus in Warrentown, Va., and the other from Ybarra Jr. in Coalgate, Okla., and the third from a “disgusted American-Mexican" apparently in Albuquerque. What the hell, anyway, is an American-Mexican?

Did you guys even read these letters? Are they fake, just to stir up your liberal readership? It’s like I'm now "reading" Ultra Right Wing Hate Radio in the Alibi. Does Alibi not receive any letters from the local readership? How is it that residents from out of state (from Coalgate, OK, where the population has remained the same for 70 years) would have an interest in submitting a letter to Alibi?

Even the Albuquerque Journal does a better job of balance with their LtE page. Is it possible the Alibi is trending to the right of the Journal?

Disappointed,

Ralph Wrons,

Albuquerque

Editor’s Response

Dear Ralph,

That’s a lot of questions, so let’s try to address them one by one.

We did, indeed, print three letters from people holding conservative, right-wing views in i51 of the Alibi. That does not mean that we have turned conservative or that (as one telephone caller—the only other person to respond to the letters—worried) that the newspaper had been bought out by the Koch brothers. Because we occasionally print opinions that are different from or even contrary to those of our staff is no indication that we have suddenly become “ultra right wing hate radio.” This is a free country, and we at the Alibi have always appreciated an open interchange of ideas.

Printing a letter from the “Disgusted American-Mexican” (whose name was withheld at request) accusing us of being America-hating idiots was not meant to be an indication that we agree with the reader. We do not hate America and we spent enough on our college educations to be able to say we are no longer idiots.

Yes, we read the letters. No, we did not make them up. Which brings up the most troubling concern that grew out of our printing of these letters. The very idea that such conservative, Trump-loving Republicans couldn’t possibly exist in the real world and could only have been “made up” in an attempt to “stir up” our liberal readership is a troubling one. We can assure you that such people do exist. They are out there. They are the reason Donald Trump is president today. And we should all be engaging in a vigorous debate with them on a daily basis.

Sadly, Mr. Wrons, you chose to debate us for printing these letters rather than debating the authors of the letters for the (we think) rather dubious points they brought up regarding immigrants, Democrats and various Clintons.

In future, dear readers, please know that we here at the Alibi welcome all letters. Admittedly, two of the letters discussed above were not locally generated. Were they people who read us on the internet? Or were these mass emails sent to a number of media outlets? With today’s online culture, it’s hard to determine. We’d prefer not to fall back on janky gripes from out-of-towners we wouldn’t want to talk to at a cocktail party. In all instances, we like to give preference to Albuquerque readers and their opinions. But the truth is, these days, we rarely receive letters from locals and are often unable to devote an entire letters section to them. Really. Honestly. We swear. We mentioned this a month or so ago in the letters section. Actual letters (as opposed to emoji-filled text messages) are a dying art, apparently.

So, please, if you are an Alibi reader and you have an opinion—if you have an issue, if you have a gripe, if you have a disagreement with our coverage, or if you just like what we’re doing—drop us a line and tell us. We’d love the opportunity to print your words on our pages.

Letters should be sent with the writer’s name, address and daytime phone number via email to letters@alibi.com. They can also be faxed to (505) 256-9651. Letters may be edited for length and clarity, and may be published in any medium; we regret that owing to the volume of correspondence we cannot reply to every letter. Word count limit for letters is 300 words.