During college, my newspaper editor frequently sat me down for pep talks. When I kept receiving hate mail for my opinion columns, I doubted my abilities and explained to my boss that I’d be better off steering clear of taboo topics. Every time I expressed these concerns to my fellow staffer, he said I would be making a huge mistake to water down my articles simply because other people disagreed with my messages. In short, he told me, “If you’re infuriating others, you’re doing something right. If not, you’re playing it safe.”
As of now, I could stand to take more risks, but I do get flak for my articles. Most of the time, I’m actually flattered by the insults that come my way. Most people don’t realize they’re complimenting me when they compare my work to tabloid pieces (someday I’d love to write for the New York Post, but I need to step up my pushiness before taking on the NYC celebrity world).
Anyway, as a tribute to the good advice I’ve been given, I’d like to share with you some of the funny emails/tweets I’ve received from readers. Some of these are meaner than others, but they’re memorable for one reason or another. They definitely give me a good laugh, so if I ever feel bummed out, I’ll just reread these rants and instantly crack up:
1. Apparently I write about the Palin family in a sexual way. Here’s an incoherent tweet from a reader: “Congrats. u actually wrote article on a Palin not wasn’t full of snark, innuendo. i didn’t know u were capable of that.”
2. Not too sure what this is about, but it’s hysterical nonetheless, “ALL WE EVER SEE IS NEARLY NAKED FEMALES. WHERE IS THE EQUALITY? OH, I GUESS MEN DON’T GET MELANOMA. MORE MEN ARE OUT THERE WITH LESS CLOTHING ON THAN WOMEN.”
3. This is corny but funny regardless, “Hi Laura, I liked your McCain-Snooki article! Senator McCain is the only one who’s office has tried to help my daughters and me, and I heard Snooki likes my last name, so that’s ‘koole’ :)”
4. I didn’t realize TMZ and Media Matters are sister sites, “You and [another Daily Caller writer] belong in the same league! Media Matters-TMZ Journos.”
5. I truly enjoy writing fun pieces, so getting paid is a plus: “what the fuck is this headline under the story that Bristol is in hot water? for earning a living? do you ever wonder why you get paid for your basically useless job of writing crap like this?”
6. “This was a sixteen minute interview and all you could find of value was her comments about Couric after being asked the question. Do you actually make any effort to write anything of substance concerning Palin?”
7. I don’t fully understand this, “Nice article on Bristol—will be the last I view the DC”
8. “Laura,Just read your piece on the the pig,kathy whats her name…as she has said about the Palins….she is retared,fat and I am sure ‘goes down’and has gone down on anything,(male or female)…Why you or anybody gives her work and space in columns,etc.,is beyond my understanding…Other then her ability to insult,does she have any talent worth watching or listening to…I feel the same way about bill maher except as much of a fool as I know him to be and much worse,he is funny….Bronxer in Arizona”
9. I can’t “taker” your suggestions seriously if you don’t use proper grammar, “Dear Ms. Donovan, Re your piece today on Ron Reagan’s Jr’s comments, I have one of my own..’Who cares?’ Please do not taker this as criticism of your work, it is not. I enjoy your pieces…Seriously, poll your readers. Ask them if they would think any less of the DC if you no longer reported on anything that Junior says..”
10. On my article about female dentists wearing skimpy clothes to calm down nervous patients, “Laura, Since when has the sight of breasts caused men to relax?”
If I’m a dude in my next life, I’ll get back to you on that one.