culture, politics, commentary, criticism

Tuesday, April 06, 2004
Gays trounce Bigots, 40-1. Not only are they losing, the bigots aren't even very smart, says the
Boston Globe's ombudsman:
"Your editorial page is printing letters in a ratio of seven-to-one in favor of gay marriage according to my sampling," complained a local college professor. "Surely this is not a fair reflection of your readers' letters?"

Actually, the ratio of incoming letters is even more lopsided -- more like 40 to 1 in favor of gay marriage -- according to the two editors, Glenda Buell and Peter Accardi, who compile the daily letters for publication.

Impossible, you say? Well, I haven't eyeballed every letter myself, but my quick review convinces me that -- surprising as it is -- the Globe indeed gets many more letters supporting gay marriage than opposing it. And that leaves editors scrambling to find suitable "anti" letters to run along with the "pro" ones reflecting the Globe's editorial stance on the issue.

On one recent occasion they were so desperate that they went to the resident conservative columnist, Jeff Jacoby, to see if he had any "anti" letters that could be used. He didn't.

The problem, the editors say, is compounded by the fact that many of the "anti" letters tend to be simple statements of religious or personal belief, rather than the more layered arguments that make the best reading as letters to the editor.

In the end, the paper ends up publishing one anti-gay marriage letter for every two or three pro-gay marriage letters -- a "pro" tilt, but a far less dramatic one than what is represented in each day's incoming mail.
Via Romenesko.

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