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Opinion

Readers React: This is what happens when we publish pro-Trump letters to the editor

Donald Trump
President Trump speaks during a social media summit July 11 in the East Room of the White House.
(Evan Vucci / Associated Press)

If you regularly peruse the Los Angeles Times’ letters page, you’ve noticed by now that there’s a pretty wide gap in the number of submissions published that criticize President Trump and those that express support for him. The simplest explanation for this tilt is that we receive far more letters written in opposition to Trump.

The difference is noticeable enough that when reader opinion breaks in Trump’s favor, I tend to hear about it — both from surprised supporters of the president who sometimes lace their appreciation with derision of The Times, and from readers dismissive of pro-Trump arguments or who say they would rather not read letters defending the president in their newspaper.

That dynamic played out this week in response to two letters critical of columnist Virginia Heffernan’s recent piece lambasting the president’s “Tank Day.” My response, as it is always: I do my best to have the letters page reflect the mix of opinions expressed to us by readers.

Santa Barbara resident N.J. Hansl was grateful to read some pro-Trump letters:

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As a follow-up to the two great responses to Heffernan’s column printed in the July 9 paper, I want to thank the L.A. Times for two things.

First, thank you for publishing two rare letters expressing opinions other than the typical anger shared by readers who are easily influenced by liberal newspapers.

Second, thank you for writing articles and opinions promoting resentment and contempt day after day, with the apparent goal of destroying Trump, the beautiful first lady, their family and the president’s Cabinet.

No. 1 gives me hope there are still some people who can think objectively. As for No. 2, although at first I was not particularly impressed by Trump when he was a candidate, those articles give me a clear understanding of how masses of people can be misled and manipulated. Thanks to the L.A. Times, I became a big fan of Trump.

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Bill Blum of Studio City was on the other side:

I got a big kick out of the two letters that complained about Heffernan’s coverage of Trump’s Independence Day event.

The complainers said nothing about the moral, ethical and political outrages that the mean-spirited, narcissistic, bigoted, dictator-loving, lying, vulgar, money-grubbing, un-American president inflicts on us, our country and the world.

And the writers have a problem with Heffernan’s weekly screeds — that’s a gut-buster.

So was Bob Murtha of Santa Maria:

One of the two pro-Trump contributors to the July 9 letters page thinks Heffernan should be replaced because of her unceasing attacks on the president. “You need a new columnist who can do something besides bash the president every week,” she wrote.

According to this writer, Trump “did not boast about what a great president he is” during his Fourth of July speech. Really? We shouldn’t bash the king of bashers? The consummate narcissist?

The British ambassador to the United States just this week described Trump and the White House as inept, insecure, chaotic and dysfunctional, an assessment no doubt shared by many of our closest allies. He was immediately bashed by the president as a loser, a favorite term he uses to describe anyone who disagrees with him.

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When are these Trump defenders going to realize he is the loser and he’s becoming more and more dangerous?

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