Your article "Mourning in America" was fantastic and so correct (BW, Opinion, Ted Rall, Jan. 26, 2011). You hit the nail on the head. My only addition would be under "Etiquette After a Massacre." Item No. 7: Don't close Congress for a week.
--Jean B. Smith, Boise
Kickin' Up SNUS Dust
Recently, there has been discussion of why BW ran Camel SNUS ads. Some are outraged, and I can't understand it. An advertisement is just that, an advertisement. It does not force you to buy anything, it merely lets you know that a product is available. If you do not wish to purchase said product, you do not have to, and the people who paid to run their ad will not be coming to your home to make you buy their product. I am not a fan of Jersey Shore, so I don't watch. I am not a fan of Justin Bieber, so I don't listen to his music. Could I complain about him? Sure. Will it accomplish anything? No.
I agree that we should all be allowed to voice our opinions and complaints, but I also feel that to attack a newspaper for running an advertisement that you do not approve of is unnecessary. BW has just as much a right to make money as any other business in America, and for anyone who doesn't work for them to tell them what they should and shouldn't run is preposterous. The newspaper is made available to the public, for free, every week. We should be thanking them, not tearing them down.
Of course, this is only one man's opinion, so feel free to disagree. If you do choose to disagree, don't take it up with the BW, take it up with me, and we can have a conversation.
--Eric Cole, Boise
Evidently running SNUS advertisements has offended your readership's delicate sensibilities. Probably not raking it in from the cover price, I'm guessing. This just in from reality-ville: Turns out your money doesn't just fall from the sky no matter how much you whine, or perhaps David T. and Lucy can put their money where their mouth is. It occurred to me that BW has some other things that may offend other readers, so I have taken up their cause and celebrate our American right to complain about everything. Beer ads. Alcohol is bad. Shunned by Mormons and Muslims alike. And what about all the recovering alcoholics? Just think what they must go through as they thumb through the pages of tripe written by overzealous do-gooders.
So, I really appreciate you assuming that I can't think for myself. You'll probably find a job with great bennies working as a state/federal employee. Hey, when you're not busy trying to impose your will on everyone else, you should slap yourselves. Then think about what you're saying and the implications it has. Hey, didn't the Third Reich have a moral and ethical obligation to protect the Germans from all the Jews? That worked out pretty well I think. Good work guys, I'll be sure to consult you before I do anything so it's not bad.
--Jared Hamlin, Nampa
My issue with the SNUS ads is not with content but rather concept. As an alternative news weekly, BW should not be coddling to the establishment. Within the pages of BW, Ted Rall rails against "the man." Bill Cope alludes to politicians forming policy based on the amount corporations donate to their campaigns, food reviews are limited to local establishments and the BW Card only takes local eateries as clients. These are the reasons that I support BW. You are the voice of the local movement.
I went through a recent BW and found 60 ads of Idaho businesses--or at the very least businesses with a local presence--to only three ads for businesses with no presence in Idaho. Of those three, SNUS stands out since it is part of an international corporation. I understand the need to meet the bottom line, but it seems contradictory for BW to accept money from the very establishment that is ostracized in every other aspect of the business. I would hope that the community could--and should--support BW. If we are not, let us know so that we can pitch in. The last thing I'd want to see is a full page ad for McDonald's or Coca-Cola in upcoming issues simply because you cannot meet the bottom line.
I'm not going to picket your offices or even stop reading BW because of SNUS, but I would like to ask you to reconsider your acceptance of corporate dollars. Please step up and stay true to the local community.
--Michael Rupp, Boise
: The incorrect illustration appeared in last week's Citizen.