January 2006 Letters to the Editor
Comments from readers regarding the last issue of Minnesota Monthly
I enjoyed Tim Gihring’s pizza article in your Restaurant Issue (“Pie in the Sky,” November). Although I am gluten- and lactose-intolerant, I still know what I’m missing, pizza-wise. You should check out Bilotti’s Italian Village in Rochester, a family favorite when I was growing up in that area. If you ordered extra cheese, the waitress would attempt to talk you out of it—there was so much cheese on their pizzas already that adding more might have been fatal.
Consider writing a story about Minnesota’s celiacs (persons who are gluten-intolerant). From blood-pool screening, the Red Cross estimates that 1 in 250 people in the United States has celiac disease. We’re out there, and we’re looking for dining options. And we don’t necessarily want to interrogate the wait staff or get a food-science degree to determine whether we can eat something safely.
I have spent the past few months excitedly anticipating the publication of this year’s Tamarack Award–winning story, only to be immeasurably disappointed. I find “The Turtle Catcher” (November), an adults-only fiction piece, to be nothing short of offensive and unfit for a family-oriented periodical, especially one of the caliber of Minnesota Monthly.
If I (or any other of your devoted readers) wanted to peruse X-rated fiction, which I do not, I presume any adults-only magazine would suffice. Is this the level of quality to which your publication has stooped?
KATHLEEN LYNOTT COX
I was shocked and disgusted to page through your November issue and find sensationalistic graphics. For a similar reason, I canceled my subscription with a competing publication that covers local interests.
Specifically, I object to the full-color close-up of a dead deer hung from a tree limb (“Game Show”). It is a picture of distress. In “Daring Dishes,” you show a skinned and recognizable guinea pig served on a bed of rice. Equally distasteful are the descriptions of other daring dishes by body part, such as face meat. I find this disturbing and repugnant.
Surely, life in all aspects has a story. Not all of it is pleasant or readily palatable. However, we have the ability to handle such things with sensitivity. I no more want to see a detail of a skinned animal than I want to see a close-up of a bullet wound.
I believe your handling of this material was not in good taste. Therein lies the irony of your Restaurant Issue.
I found several articles and pictures in your November issue quite distasteful and disturbing. I consider Minnesota Monthly to be a magazine I can leave on my family-room reading table to be seen by adults and children. Never before have I had to think about ripping out pages that are disturbing to me and some of my friends, as well as children.
I was appalled as I read the editor’s note at the beginning of “The Turtle Catcher,” the award-winning Tamarack story. I skipped that and continued to read the magazine until I reached the full-page photo of a dead deer hanging from a tree (“Game Show”). In the dining coverage, I was disgusted once more, this time by the picture of the roasted rodent (“Daring Dishes”).
I did not look at or read another page and immediately put the magazine into the recycle bin. I probably would have burned it if I had an outdoor fire pit.
V. A. MERCK
Kate Parry, the Star Tribune’s reader representative, made a really stupid remark when she said that publishing corrections “helps build our credibility” (Q&A, October). I think that publishing all those corrections only shows how inept the newspaper staff is. In the old days, seeing a correction in the Tribune or the Star was as rare as a hen’s tooth. Were errors really so rare? Or did newspapers simply not acknowledge their mistakes?
I think today it is simply ignorance or sloppiness on the part of the news staff, most of whom are overpaid. Do any of them—reporters, copyeditors, or the higher-ups—ever suffer a penalty of any sort for making an error? It should be a huge embarrassment to Kate Parry and her superiors, as well as their underlings, that a corrections column is a daily feature.