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It seems your writer Jason Cherkis graduated from the personal-insult school of journalism.

Let me get this straight: He writes in one small article (“Queen of Mean,” 6/18) that attorney Barbara Rice: “can’t fake politeness”; has a face full of “big, big teeth”; is “a bitch”; shouldn’t “wear Lycra”; won’t “win any beauty contests”; is a “dork,” a “great evictor,” an “alienated outsider,” “abrupt,” “mean,” and a “jerk”; and lacks “the personality gene.”

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I’ve read many a tough article in the Washington City Paper, but this blatant hack job on one person was outrageous. Because one lawyer has agreed to take on a really tough job that involves making people follow through with their agreements (to pay rent), somehow she’s the “Queen of Mean”? Uh, Jason, hello? What planet are you from? Over here in Virginia, if you don’t pay rent, you get evicted. Sickness or being poor won’t get you any sympathy from landlords.

Cherkis doesn’t provide any info on other landlord attorneys or the number of cases the court processes or any other useful information in his personality profile disguised as an article. Surely there are more than just one attorney in D.C. with a lot of court cases who also don’t measure up to Cherkis’ beauty and congeniality standards.

I’m glad Ms. Rice didn’t say much during what I suspect was a short and unimaginative interview. It seems clear that Cherkis wasn’t interested in facts—just image. I went to law school with Ms. Rice. Some of us liked her (and nicknamed her “Babs”). And, yes, she was different from the usual law student, thank God. She’s an interesting person. She overcame a lot of roadblocks on her way to attorneyhood. She worked very hard in law school and worked even harder to pass the bar and get a job. Cherkis breezed past all of that.

Instead of making fun of her big laugh and “oversized red-rimmed glasses,” Cherkis should have done a little reporting. He would have found out that he was writing about something we all need to hear about more and more—an honest, hardworking attorney who isn’t stealing client money or violating rules.

I wonder how Cherkis would do if we wrapped him in Lycra and invited others to anonymously comment on his physique? As for his job skills, all of us have seen how he performs in his chosen profession.

The real “Queen of Mean” in the last issue of the City Paper was Jason Cherkis.

Rosslyn, Va.

via the Internet