I couldn’t get past Page 13 of your 3/21 issue. After reading a number of letters to the editor denouncing D.C.’s “inept” government (while denouncing Washington City Paper’s inept reporter), reading Loose Lips’ 1000-plus-word hatred of everything D.C., and then stumbling onto “Rent-Free D.C.,” where the last sentence states that Hudie Fleming has learned to never rent to a District employee, I had been insulted enough. I know that Fleming didn’t mean the underlying that the statement suggested, but of course that didn’t stop your reporter from misusing that line as an across-the-board character-bash against each and every District government employee.

I am a longtime D.C. resident and a five-year D.C. employee, and I am proud of both. Your rag does good D.C. employees a disservice every time you publish. To tell the truth, it’s not the shortage of supplies and looming threat of being RIFed that affects my and other D.C. employees’ morale, it’s the constant attacks from the press about how lazy and stupid we are. Yet everyday I do the best job I can, and whenever I take citizens’ calls who need assistance I go out of my way to help them out as quickly as possible, even calling back to make sure they’ve had a solution to their problem.

Every week I run into D.C. government employees who go beyond their job descriptions so they can do a superb job. I have a friend in the D.C. Board of Parole who has a cot in her office because she often stays overnight because they are so short-staffed. I speak to a gentlemen several times a week who says he takes work home every weekend because there is never enough time to get it finished in his office. People in my office look at you as if you’re crazy if you even think about leaving before 6:15 p.m., but oddly enough most of my friends who work in the private sector beat me home most days by almost an hour.

But the public does not know that employees like us exist because they believe the hype pumped up by inept journalists. You guys are a bunch of cowards. Loose Lips, who writes more trash than all of your writers put together, doesn’t even have the balls to sign his real name to his crap. How disrespectful he is to those MPD officers who have been killed in the line of duty. I don’t remember any one of them getting shot while snacking at Dunkin’ Donuts. He used to be half appealing when he had the facts straight, but now he’s too lazy even for that. I’ve attended many events that he’s written about and I am thoroughly convinced that all of his information is now just hearsay.

There is a part in the “Rent-Free” piece where Fleming says, “It seems like no one in the house has any conscience.” Ironically, many residents feel the same way about your writers. No other town would let such a biased (and that’s a euphemism for a much stronger word) rag belittle them

weekly the way you belittle District workers and residents. You take advantage of a very silent majority—many of whom are black and feel powerless to fight back against the daily barrage of negativity from the media, Congress, Maryland and Virginia suburbanites, and other “outsiders.”

You could learn a lot from that “Rent-Free” piece. You too are a parasite living off the misfortunes and shortcomings of this city, its residents, and workers. Your attempts to boost your popularity by being controversial is a scam. You make stories where there most often is no story. You shape quotes and articles to feed your tired, biased opinions about D.C., and it’s getting old.

Where would you be if you didn’t try to incite scandal with every line?

To be truthful, the only reason your paper ever finds its way into my office is because 1.) It’s free, 2.) it’s free, 3.) it’s got a movie directory, 4.) it’s got some good ads, and 5.) it’s free. As bitter a taste as your newspaper leaves in my mouth, I derive the sweetest of pleasure in knowing that without these five things, your paper would forever remain in its kiosks.

Metro Center

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