Your October cover reminded me that one of Custer's lieutenants at the Little Bighorn was named Reno.
-MALCOLM M. MCGAWN
All the Names Fit to Print
In his October Presswatch John Corry noted that the last conclave of the American Society of Newspaper Editors resounded with the New York Times' concem for diversity in the newsroom. At the Times newsroom diversity is no idle concem but an existential fulfillment. In its past parade of reporters' bylines marched mainly names that rest comfortably on the eyes and tongue. Illustrations at the alphabetic start are Apple and Ayres, Baker and Butterfield, Cowell and (yes) Corry, Damton and Dowd. By contrast, observe the following selection of bylines culled from recent issues of the paper: Anemona Hartocollis, Sana Siwolop, David Kocieniewski, Judith Dobrzynski, Garry PierrePierre, Carol Kaesuk-Yoon, Somini Sengupta, challenges all to the eye and tongue. TAS's Wladyslaw Pleszczynski will forgive me.
New York, New York
Please allow me to respond to your diatribe criticizing PETA for trying to derail Oscar Mayer's Wienermobile tour (The Continuing Crisis, TAS, September 1997). While certain magazine editors may "revere the giant wiener on wheels, most people can see through Oscar Mayer's not-so-subtle attempts to sell people on the idea that pig lips are good food.
Sadly, many kids as naive as American Spectator staffers don't realize that hot dogs aren't all that fun for pigs. On a typical factory farm, pigs are crammed into crates barely larger than their own bodies, pumped full of hormones and antibiotics, fed offal and other junk, and then unceremoniously shipped to slaughter. Each year, 92 million pigs are killed in the United States alone.
And the Wienermobile should be equipped with a barf bag, because many people lose their lunch after leaming what actually goes into meat hot dogs. In Hog Farm magazine, a USDA official confirmed that "hot dogs contain skeletal muscles, along with parts of pork stomach, snout, intestines, spleens, edible fat, and yes, lips."
Fortunately, consumers can still enjoy hot dogs without eating leftover pig parts or promoting animal abuse. Health food stores and even many mainstream supermarkets sell a variety of vegetarian pups that have all the taste of the "real thing"but none of the cruelty, cholesterol, or pig lips.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
P.S. While you were looking up "invidious" in the dictionary, you should have checked on the spelling of "wiener." I before E, boys.
Florence King is the present-day Dorothy Parker-with a constructive side. She is erudite, witty, and always right on-target. Even when I disagree with her, I know that I could never win the argument.
Having read several reviews of the Luce book, I had no interest in it. But then I read Miss King's review (TAS, October 1997) on the train this morning, and bought the book at lunch.
Conspiring Against Bethell
I read with dismay Tom Bethell's "Conspiracy Talk" article (TAS, October 1997), in which he pooh-poohs millions of Americans who have been labeled "conspiracy nuts." Mr. Bethell should understand it is not the "nuts" who have pinned on this label, but rather their enemies. The liberals' first line of defense is name calling; it beats hands down an honest debate of the issues. But by joining the mainstream media chorus to belittle patriotic Americans who see our freedoms weakened, our Constitution circumvented, and our traditional values trashed, Mr. Bethell becomes an accomplice to the tyranny. Admitting Vince Foster's suicide note "surely was forged" clearly qualifies the author as a full-fledged "conspiracy nut" himself, but then suggesting it may have been merely "a dishonest attempt to embarrass the Wall Street Journal," tells me Mr. …