1. Welcome to SportsJournalists.com, a friendly forum for discussing all things sports and journalism.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register for a free account to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Access to private conversations with other members.
    • Fewer ads.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Response to nasty emails

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by hackhack, Sep 28, 2006.

  1. hackhack

    hackhack New Member

    How do you handle readers who send nasty emails?
    Would you ever send a reply like the following by Neil Steinberg, a Chicago Sun-Times (non sports) columnist ?

    Dear Reader:
    I received your e-mail message. Sadly, I no longer permit myself the pleasure of personally responding to snide remarks from dissatisfied individuals, as doing so inevitably leads to time-wasting arguments and annoying exchanges of insults. Since such encounters often end with the reader complaining to my boss, it seems that this is what rude writers really want to do all along -- to provoke me so they can satisfy some inner schoolyard desire to squeal. You may do so now by e-mailing the editor in chief, Michael Cooke, at mcooke@suntimes.com, though I should point out this is a form letter, so his reaction probably won't have the sense of fresh outrage you desire.

    Otherwise, I would like to point out -- since so many fail to grasp this point -- that the piece of writing that upset you is a column of opinion, that the opinion being expressed is mine alone, and the fact that you disagree with or were insulted by my opinion really is not important, at least not to me. This is not a dialogue, this is a lecture, and you are supposed to sit in your seat and listen, or leave, not stand up and heckle.

    I do not write the column for people who disagree with me, nor am I concerned with trying to convince them of the falsity of their worldview at a one-on-one level. I've done that for years, and it's a waste of time, both mine and theirs, since such readers are not typically open to ideas other than their own, and cannot even entertain the notion that they may be wrong.

    Not that I am pleased to have upset you. Believe me, I would have preferred your letter to have been one of praise -- most are -- but that doesn't seem to have been the case.

    If you have cancelled your subscription, I am sorry for that too, though I am also confident, as you wade through the arid world of the competition and the barren void of television, that you will eventually soften and start reading the Sun-Times again, and would remind you that you can always skip my column; that's why it always has my name and picture on the top, as a subtle clue.

    While I cannot sincerely thank you for writing, I do hope that, as your life progresses, you eventually come to realize just how wrong you were in disagreeing with me in such a rude fashion. If there were a shred of politeness or sense in your e-mail you would not be receiving this letter, but as you are, I would urge you to re-examine your life, and suggest that you reach out to all the people you have no doubt hurt with your brusque and offensive manner and beg their forgiveness. Though utterly indifferent to your taunts, I will myself set a good example by forgiving you now. It can be a terrible world, and I'm sure you have reasons for being the way you are.

    Best regards, Neil Steinberg
  2. lono

    lono Active Member

    Dear Reader:

    I'm so sorry to learn your parents are first cousins.


    Your Sports Scribe
  3. tyler durden 71351

    tyler durden 71351 Active Member

    Fuck, I ignore 'em. No way you want to get in an argument with a reader. And in this day and age, your comments will end up on somebody's blog. There was a case in Florida recently where an editor got into a pissing match with a reader over coverage of Katherine Harris, the comments ended up on the 'net, and the editor ended up out of a job. That Steinberg form letter...most places, that shit would get you canned. No way in hell would I send someone that.
  4. sartrean

    sartrean Member

    Yeah, tyler's right.

    I just email 'em that I'm terribly sorry for displeasing them. That's it. Sometimes I add thanks for reading along with it.

    But I have to commend the emailers for emailing me first. What I really hate about the complainers are the people that go right to the editor and don't even consider talking to me. The editor doesn't always know why I did something the way I did it. Shit, he's too freaking busy to worry about sports. He has me there so he doesn't have to worry about it.
  5. joe

    joe Active Member

    Fuck 'em if they can't take a joke.
  6. BillySixty

    BillySixty Member

    Dear Reader,

    Thanks for reading!

    - Your name here
  7. HoopsMcCann

    HoopsMcCann Active Member

    billy, that's actually what i've started doing. unless they have a legitimate point, then i respond. but i always end with, 'thanks for reading'
  8. You mean you guys actually get e-mails from readers? Further proof to me that nobody is ready the paper I work for.
  9. indiansnetwork

    indiansnetwork Active Member

    I should change the e-mail portion and just post that anytime some people on the board want to disagree, argue or disparage me for any given reason.
  10. Pi

    Pi Member

    I usually use the response solely to promote some upcoming special section or web tie-in that is unrelated to the topic at hand. And a 'thank you for reading.'
  11. BYH

    BYH Active Member

    I have Starman draft my replies.

    Usually manages to work something in about malardious swill, Larry Brown and how nobody reads the right way anymore. :D :D
  12. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    Dear (Name),
    Perhaps you are unaware of this, but someone has obviously hacked into your e-mail account and sent mindless gibberish under your name.
    Perhaps a good firewall and changing your password will help.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page