One of the guilty pleasures of editing letters to the editor is occasionally reading novel, colorful insults included in submissions that do not make it into print. Almost all of the time, the rhetorical flourish in these letters cannot make up for the lack of a substantive argument, so they get left out.
That's not the case for the responses to an article Saturday on the two Los Angeles-area twentysomethings behind the Donald Trump-friendly fake news site LibertyWritersNews. The two letters published Thursday were the softest of the roughly two dozen submissions that expressed nothing but scorn. Sprinkled among the barbs were earnest points about maintaining an informed citizenry.
Ernie Orfila of Spring Valley, Calif., puts the two "journalists" into Hillary Clinton's basket of deplorables:
Kudos to the real-life journalist who turned over the brain-dead rock to shed light on Tweedledee and Tweedledum of the alt-right, fake news-dispensing site LibertyWritersNews. Like two poorly adjusted adolescents who get their kicks shouting "fire" in a crowded theatre, they have found the key to making money without regard to facts, ethics or morals.
Hillary Clinton, here are your deplorables.
Tustin resident Mike Greene encourages the two writers to find a different line of work:
Words fail me. There is so much wrong, on so many levels, with the shamelessness personified by these two young guys. I wonder who raised them; even if they were raised by wolves, the wolves should be ashamed.
That they have no problem with their faces being shown and their names and backgrounds being printed only amplifies just how big a problem this whole fake news thing is.
The most ironic line of the story is buried right in the middle, when one of them utters, "You have to trick people into reading the news." The stuff they're putting out isn't news, and to call it that is beyond ridiculous.
Guys, get an honest job.
Jeffrey Peter Bates of Toluca Lake parodies a fake-news headline:
"FAKE NEWS TROLLS RIG ELECTION OUTCOME!" Hopefully The Times will not resort to headlines like this to increase its readership, leaving it instead to fake journalists Paris Wade and Ben Goldman, who are enthusiastically tapping into people's fears, prejudices and ignorance.
While I applaud their entrepreneurial guile, I abhor the glee with which they practice their "click bait" tactics. They have made it much more difficult for readers to distinguish between reliable and yellow journalism.
And to answer their question about being complicit should one of their readers "take out" a fellow human being: The answer is yes.
Allen F. Dziuk of Carlsbad wonders about LibertyWriters News' audience:
I worry less about Trump being our president than I do about the voters who put him in the White House.