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Journo’s Hate Mail Takes Amusing Twist

Like many Washington journalists, Roll Call Associate Editor Paul Singer gets his share of hate mail. A recent missive involves reaction to a story involving GOP Presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich coming to Congress “impoverished”  and leaving a rich man.  Singer explains, “The data we were working off was Newt’s 1979 financial disclosure showing $10,000 income the year before and bank debts of more than $15,000. By 1995 he had annual income of about $650,000 and no reportable liabilities.”

The annoyed reader wrote: “How can a collage professor…in 1979…be ‘impoverished’?  I don’t think that word means what you think it means. Don’t let your editor bully you into putting words into your work when you know it’s not true.  You’ll get a lot less hate-mail from the likes of me.”

Singer’s response: “It was my choice of words, and I guess a poor choice. I was trying to make the point that he had a small salary and bigger debts (i.e. very little wealth) and he went on the generate a 6-figure income (much greater wealth). My apologies for the ungraceful word choice. But thanks for reading.”

Several Newt fans complained to Singer about that word choice.  On the subject of hate mail, Singer reasons, “I respond to a lot of my hate mail, figuring it can’t hurt to explain why I wrote what I wrote, though it almost never helps.”

In this case, Singer was proven wrong. The angry reader wrote back, saying, “The fact that you would respond to some douche bag like myself, particularly after having a martini, gives you a lot of points. Well played my friend. I will say nothing but good things about you to all of my douche bag friends.”

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