It has been my daily habit for 35 years to read everything in The Los Angeles Times. Some of the ways in which the news is presented and some of the opinions put forth I agree with, some I do not agree with. Nevertheless, since I have an open mind I want all sides presented and all opinions expressed.
I enjoy the new Valley Edition very much with one exception. In my opinion, columnist Al Martinez comes across as an asinine, opinionated, macho, uninformed individual who adds nothing to the stature of The Times. If you are going to settle for the mediocre, at least have someone with a modicum of writing talent. The Times has really scraped the bottom of the barrel to come up with the likes of Al Martinez.
The only thing his column on Jan. 10 made me grateful for is the fact that he declared himself not to be a Republican. He said he would drop his pants rather than become a Republican. As a Republican I would drop my pants just to keep him from becoming one.
Al Martinez's column is one of the bright spots in the L.A. Times. For a long time my wife and I have been reading his columns. She does not feel threatened by anything he has written. We both admire his skill as an essayist. We see in his writing a deep understanding of people and a great tolerance for their foibles. We see in his critics a variety of deficiencies. Some seem to be narrow-minded. Some seem to be defensive. Some seem to be unable to read.
This letter of appreciation has been a bit tardy, but it has been in our heads for a long time.
PAUL and MARCEIL FERGUSON
As a longtime Times subscriber, I am dismayed that you have chosen Al Martinez as a member of your staff. His position regarding women is offensive and trivializes not only important subject areas but your paper's credibility as well. You could do so much better.