Opinion: The Letters Top Five

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He’s the columnist you love to hate! Last week, in what may be a first, two columns by Jonah Goldberg took two spots in the Letters Top Five -- er, make that the Letters Top Three.

(How is this possible? While Goldberg writes just once each week, in this case the letters responding to his columns were published in the same week, and therefore show up in the same Top Five tally.)


During the week ending March 14, The Times received 578 usable letters, 231 of which were in our Top Five Topics.

How the Top Five is tabulated: Each week, your letters maven receives thousands of e-mails, dozens of letters through the good old U.S. Postal Service, and even a few faxes here and there.

After she cuts out spam, obscene mail, letters addressed to more than one recipient, letters that seem to be the fruit of letter-writing campaigns and letters with attachments (which gum up our computer systems), she is usually left with several hundred eligible items, represented in the Letters Top Five tally. From these, she selects the somewhere around 100 that get published in the newspaper. Faxes and snail mail are not reflected in the chart.