Letters from the Issue of September 21, 2006

”Green ends her hypocritical, moralizing piece with a prediction”

Blind Free Weekly

Open your eyes, Judy Miller: The moralizing trash-fest, "Blind Date," (September 14) demonstrates once more that those who complain New Times is a sophomoric rag aimed at the prurient rather than the journalistic or, heaven forbid, the intellectually curious might just be correct. In the article, reporter Joanne Green blasts Internet Website DontDateHimGirl.com for what she calls the site's failure to vet the posts for accuracy. Green, however, fails to disclose to readers that a Website provider does not have to check the veracity of posts made by third parties. It is a fact that under the law, this is not required.

She also seems oblivious to another fact: that in the same issue where she trashes DontDateHimGirl.com's posts, her employer is peddling its newly created blog, Riptide 2.0, where posters will be permitted to engage in a no-holds-barred blog-fest. "Swim for your life!" the paper claims. "No one is safe!" How much vetting for accuracy is New Times going to do when it comes to its own rip-parade? None, of course. That's because thanks to the 1996 federal law that Green doesn't tell readers about, forum providers as filthy-rich as Village Voice Media LLC, New Times's parent, or as lowly as DontDateHimGirl.com, are on equal footing. Neither has to ascertain whether every rant posted on its Web page is true.

Were the law to be any different, everyday people, small businesses, and the occasional crazy on a crusade would be financially barred from laying claim to their little corner of the Web, thus turning the Net into a mirror image of the real world, where communication forums are controlled by rich and perfectly lawyered-up players like New Times and its parent. That's apparently too much information for Green and her employers to share.

Green ends her hypocritical, moralizing piece of pseudo-journalism with a cheerful prediction that DontDateHimGirl.com's current legal battle over whether it is responsible for posts made by third parties "could eventually topple the Website." Green, New Times, and its wealthy parent all appear to miss the irony here. If DontDateHimGirl.com goes down, the tidal wave is unlikely to spare New Times's Riptide cash cow. And, although New Times and its parent might not care, the rest of us should care because it is our freedom that will be curtailed.

In the meantime, New Times is only too happy to allow its cyber rip-party to exist off the backs of the little Websites like DontDateHimGirl.com, which are in court right now protecting an open and free Internet. Just ask New Times's high-price lawyers. They'll tell you, even if New Times's little Judy Miller didn't.

"Swim for your life!" indeed.

Lida Rodriguez-Taseff, Esq.
Via the Internet

Family Ties

Telenovela style: Emily Witt's "The Kiss" (September 7) was great. My son and I have a new and fresh relationship as a result of Tierra de Pasiones. My wife, my son, and I have been able to talk about this very difficult issue.

I appreciate the positive way this novela has approached the issue of homosexuality. It is showing young gay men in love who have goals — as you mentioned in the article — not the perception many of us have had of drug addicts, promiscuity, sexual irresponsibility, and in-your-face-type attitudes.

In our Latin community, this issue is very taboo. It's about time it is dealt with. Our family appreciates it.

I have the highest respect for the straight actors who are willing to take these roles.

Our family looks forward to every evening watching the novela together.

David Fernandez

Sue, Sue, Sue

You talkin' to our pig? Regarding Francisco Alvarado's Pedro Martin story, "Redeveloping History" (September 7): I do not know Mr. Martin or any of the people involved in the story, but I read it just the same out of curiosity.

However, when I came to the end of the article and saw the reference to a seven-page letter from Mr. Martin and his attorney, well, it didn't sound too good. What could they possibly have to say that would take seven pages? Alarms went off, and I remembered the old adage, "He who excuses himself accuses himself."

Well, the answer was that it was really a two-page letter and a five-page answer to the reporter's questions.

Again, I don't know the parties involved. But I look forward to Mr. Martin suing your pants off.

Juan R. Pollo

Bad Critic

But this guy doesn't know how to spell theater in American: I have a few things to say regarding the review by Dan Renzi about the Shakespeare Festival at New Theatre, "Bad Bard" (August 24). It is evident that the reviewer has very little knowledge about Shakespeare and/or what the two plays (The Winter's Tale and Much Ado About Nothing) are really about. Both plays are not set in present time; only one is. The two stories are not drastically different; in fact they are parallel stories about extreme jealousy, wronged women, and giant misunderstandings. It is obvious why they were chosen to be performed together in rep. I saw both shows and was thrilled to witness the Bard's words come to life with such impeccable timing. I am embarrassed for Dan Renzi, who wrote such an unresearched article, and for the editor as well for having hired a theatre critic who has no knowledge of theatre. Good luck appealing to the rest of your audience. You have lost me.

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