Friday, April 30, 2004

I'm Only in it for the Love

Some words of wisdom I remember from Dick McCord, my old editor at The Santa Fe Reporter 20 some years ago. I'd written a feature about a local author who happened to be Jewish, which prompted some anonymous slimewad to send a letter to the editor denouncing the author in the most hateful, anti-Semetic terms possible. McCord just shook his head.

"One thing you learn in this business, Steve. They're out there," he said.

A story I wrote for today's New Mexican prompted an e-mail that, while not nearly as bad as the one I described above, still proves McCord was right. They're out there.

Here's the e-mail -- published exactly as written -- and my reply. Not surprisingly, my response bounced back as undeliverable.

its easy to know which party your overzealous and overweight,and probably
beer drinking steve terrell is affiliated bad the new mexican
continues to keep this guy around.his articles are tastless and most high
school newspapers would not have them write for them.terrell should go back where he came from.where racism is still rapant and the gop are still
lynching people of color.

Dear (name withheld. It probably was phony anyway),

A few points,

1) I don’t drink beer any more. But I used to.

2) I’m not affiliated with any political party. As a political reporter I’ve
covered events put on by Democrats, Republicans and Greens. I covered a
Republican event last night. Tuesday I expect to cover John Kerry’s visit to

3) I am overweight.

4) I’ve lived in Santa Fe nearly 36 years, since I was 14. I moved here from
Oklahoma. I really don’t want to go back. When exactly am I entitled to
citizenship in New Mexico in your eyes?

5) There is racism in Oklahoma, but I don’t believe lynchings are rampant.

6) You imply that I’m a racist. Can you show me anything I’ve written that
would indicate that?

Thanks for reading The New Mexican,

Steve Terrell


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