Rule of threes

Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.

What do you want to read about this week? I’ve got three possibilities: compiling our submissions to the Nevada Press Association’s annual newspaper contest; watching my neighbors rescue baby quails; or these letters I’ve been receiving about Steve Foht, the naked guy on the cover a couple weeks ago. Why don’t you write me, and I’ll tally up the answers? We can think of it as our own little focus group.

Well, judging from the number of e-mails I received since I posed the question in the last paragraph, the focus group was called on account of apathy.

I’m not one of those editors who usually inserts a little italicized potshot after letters I disagree with. I think the letters section should be filled by letter writers who don’t agree with the paper. I, or some of the other editors around here, may weigh in after a letter, but it’s usually only to clarify a necessary point.

Anyway, the Foht thing has me a little bugged. I got a lot of positive feedback on the story, but it’s the reasons for the negative stuff that’s confused me. The e-mails seem to say that by the simple act of writing about Steve Foht, I am validating his life and the way he has lived it. We should only write about charitable people who “deserve” to be in this newspaper. Or, conversely, we should only write about people who are obviously evil—murderers, corrupt politicians or warmongers.

I’ve really only got one thing to say to those people: I don’t see the world in those contrasts of black and white, and I’m going to write stories about people who are all shades of gray. After all, the same people who eat chicken rescue hatchling quail. Heck, I’ll probably submit the Foht story for prize consideration in next year’s Nevada Press Association’s newspaper contest—at least for Best Illustrated Photo.

Heh, heh. Hehhehhehheh.