Letters

RED-BAIT FLAG

In Richard Goldstein's column "On Being Called a Commie" [August 6], he contends (coyly yet in cowardly fashion, without directly mentioning his name) that Andrew Sullivan has been bashing him on Sullivan's eponymous Web site and then later deleting the "evidence" from his Web archives by altering archived posts.

I can assure you that nothing of the sort has ever happened. As webmaster of Andrew sullivan.com, I manage the archives, not Andrew, and not a word of any archival post about Richard Goldstein has ever been changed. All the archives are exactly as they were originally published, so there's no reason short of incompetence why Goldstein shouldn't be able to find every single unkind word Sullivan wrote about him in its original form. We're not in the business of playing games with our content.

Every now and again Blogger's servers go down and temporarily take our archive links with them—a common Blogger problem—but after a short while all content reappears, always in its original unedited form.

I can only wonder if Goldstein's values include the belief that his ends justify even the most mendacious means? Or perhaps the explanation is even more depressing—maybe he's fallen to the point where he actually believes the ridiculous nonsense that cascades from his mouth.

Robert Cameron
Manhattan

Richard Goldstein replies: Sullivan has a history of altering or deleting embarrassing items from his Web site. (For a recent example, check out Joe Conason's Journal of July 26 at Salon.com). Now, after denying he ever Red-baited me, Sullivan has posted an item doing precisely that. At long last, has he no decency?


FURSUIT OF HAPPINESS

Regarding Dan Savage's column Savage Love [August 13] where he answers a letter questioning where to find a fursuit for use in sex: I admit that there are fetishists out there who fantasize about having sex in their fursuits, but they really are a minority among the fursuit community, and looked down upon when they fail to maintain discretion, like the few who have been featured in recent articles. That being the case, I still feel that Savage's article was very well written and will probably help the respondee find what she is looking for.

My beef, however, is that Savage made the same crucial mistake in his article that many members of the media have been making for a few years now—he did not acknowledge that there is a very distinct line between "furry fandom" and "furry fetishists."

I run the original furry convention, "ConFurence," and nothing at our event has anything to do with catering to Furry Fetishes. However, thanks to careless reporting by the media, people are afraid to come to my events. ConFurence 2003 (in April in Burbank, California) will even have a children's programming track, and I really don't like this fandom being tarnished with references to fursuit sex.

Darrel L. Exline,
Director
The ConFurence Group
Lemon Grove, California


UP-RISING

I have been faithfully reading and relying on the Voice for honest and irreverent reviews of new pop music for over 12 years now, but I have never been so offended and dismayed at the callousness and vicious cynicism expressed by Keith Harris in his review of The Rising ["Lift Every Voice," August 13]. Harris states, "If there hadn't been a September 11, Bruce Springsteen would have had to invent one." This is so depraved a comment that it does not fall within the purview of good record review, much less civilized dialogue.

A fan said it best when he told Springsteen a few days after 9-11, "We need you." What I understood the fan to have meant was that we needed him to put his talent for creating positive music to work to help us through a time of national grieving. Perhaps if Springsteen had not written The Rising, Harris would have had to invent a towering pile of positive songs to knock down.

Peter Walenta
Seaford, New York


BOSS NOT LOST

I disagree with Keith Harris's review. What he calls Springsteen's vagueness is what makes him such a great artist. The album is not a blow-by-blow account of September 11. It is a careful reflection from several points of view. The artistry is that at least 12 of the 15 songs on the album can be listened to outside the context of 9-11—it is simultaneously timeless and mindful of the times. That's why this album is a masterpiece and one of his best to date. An artist with Springsteen's authority and experience doesn't require a tragedy to make great music, but those attributes are what make him qualified to respond to one.

Eileen Wirsing
Euclid, Ohio


'LIE' DETECTOR PEST

I am appalled by the vitriol and lies of Geoffrey Gray's article "Ready, Willing & Under Fire" [August 6]. That the Voice would print such a story gives new meaning to the depths that a free press will sink in order to sell advertising.

Beyond the vilification of Doe Fund president George McDonald, several of Gray's facts are incorrect.

Gray states that "all environmental concerns were missing from the report [on the Porter Avenue property]," but a judge has already ruled in favor of the Doe Fund, finding that all environmental reviews were completed. Both J.P. Morgan Chase, which is financing the project, and the New York City Investment Fund, a project investor, verified the original appraisal through their own independent appraisal. Contrary to Gray's claims, Comptroller Alan Hevesi never found the Doe Fund unqualified to operate the facility. The New York Times (September 28, 2000) states that Hevesi said, "There was no evidence to suggest wrongdoing by the Doe Fund." In addition, the government report quoted by Gray and signed by Susie King, D.C.'s homeless services contract administrator, was never more than an unsent draft, rejected by King's superiors as false.

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