Richard Todaro (The Mail, 2/7) can’t seem to make up his mind whether Eddie Dean should treat his subjects with respect or chastise them for their pursuits. Dean is one of the few Washington City Paper writers who seems not to belong to Washington’s prevailing social class—the sneerocrats. And it would have been easy to do a hatchet job on a man whose hobby is, shall we say, less than mainstream (“The Library of Sexual Congress,” 1/24). Todaro wishes that Dean had pressed Ralph Whittington on porn’s reputed ill effects, but that’s the beauty of Dean’s style: illuminate the subject as clearly as possible and leave it to the reader to render judgment.

Accept Ralph or reject him, but don’t call him a hypocrite; if his own mother knows what he’s up to, Ralph is the only man in the city who can’t be blackmailed. The First Amendment protects Whittington’s right to be a hard-core voluptuary. And what does Todaro expect? Hey, it’s a free country, and for that matter, a free paper.

Dupont Circle

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