Does Erik Wemple (the dunce who degraded the Loose Lips column to a dreary parody of the brilliance demonstrated by Ken Cummins) have a grudge against the U.S. News and World Report and the magazine’s “2 million subscribers” making him

feel within his rights to call it a “stodgy newsweekly” with a “crusty audience,” or does he just enjoy taking shots at people he thinks are in trouble or kicking them when he thinks they’re down (“Week In, Week Out,” 8/30)? As I would expect, his dumb derogative, “What happens if you don’t publish your magazine and nobody notices?” relies on an “unscientific poll” plus “anecdotage” for facts.

No, “not all of [U.S. News’] stories are fluff,” but the Washington City Paper’s stories under Wemple’s editorship become fluffier and less readable week by week. Witness the latest, “At the End of Our World” (8/30), with its dismal description of the beach. Wemple obviously wants to make the City Paper like the Washington Post, which he sees as the home of “the media elite.” If he succeeds he will do to the whole City Paper what he did to the Loose Lips column.

U Street/Cardozo