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
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.
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
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.
Good boy: Although I agree with some of what Dan Renzi wrote in his review of The Winter's Tale, he failed to mention the boy who played Mamillius. I thought he was terrific, particularly given his young age. He was very professional and had good stage presence.
Given the staging and the nature of the adaptation, I thought the cast did a reasonably good job.
But don't want to F her: Can't thank you enough for the story "Lowest Forms" (August 24) by The Bitch! I appreciate your taking the time to do it. All in all, I thought it was well written. My oldest, who is almost twenty and a Hooters girl in Coconut Grove, has tons of friends who say I am a MILF. Guess this is a good thing?!
Via the Internet
Get off your high horse: In response to "Home Groan" (August 17), I have been disappointed with Carlos Suarez De Jesus's comments for some time, but in this issue, he really made a fool of himself. His use of inappropriate words has exhibited a lack of education. And the level of his attack on an individual artist seemed too personal. His unprofessionalism is a direct reflection on your newspaper and indirectly affects how visitors view the city of Miami. Perhaps he has potential as a writer, but he needs to refine his thoughts and study art criticism. It's silly to make reference to the great artwork of Gego when describing a pipe structure. It would be nice to have more diversity of writers and create opportunities for other critics. Perhaps competition would assist Mr. Suarez De Jesus in his education.
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And his writing rocks: Regarding The Bitch's "The Scourge of Mandals" (August 10): Hear me roar. I was there when the species first stepped out of the mud and into the faint light of modernity. I traversed the desert sands when the great religions were formed and the great wars were fought. I've been forever on the road and I've carried hippies, yippies, and yuppies as they trod up and down their respective paths of enlightenment. And on the beaches of this great big, beautiful world, I stand without peer. I was here before you, and I'll be here when you are gone. I am strong. I am invincible. I am MANDAL.
Blind Rev. Jennings
An item from the September 14 Riptide column incorrectly attributed a posting on cooljunkie.com to local DJ Denny Tsettos. The post, which concerned the identity of the authors of thedirtmiami.com, was made by Nick, screen name barbarino, who declined to provide his last name.