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WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG with you? Is everything a joke, or are you just a joke masquerading as a newspaper? I’ve been reading Washington City Paper for years now, and I’ve never understood the need for all the gratuitous put-downs and smirking remarks in your “Loose Lips” column. What is it, a young, liberal, Jewish thang? Sign language for the comfort class?

I bet you guys think of yourselves as urban print-media pioneers, when what you really are is closer to thinly disguised urban racists, hence your desperate advertising for “minority” writers to give your babble the veneer of—what?—fairness, evenhandedness?

Why, if you are a newspaper prepared to give us the truth, don’t you just come right out and say what every “Loose Lips” column insinuates: that what’s really wrong with this city is that it’s administered by black folks? Because that subliminal opinion inconveniently overlooks everything west of the park, Foggy Bottom, Dupont Circle, downtown, and the “new U Street,” redlined into existence for the pleasure of people who look like you?

Instead we get the sendups, distortions, and outright fabrications. Kelly is a failure, Ray is a loser, Wilson is only wise now that he’s dead, cabinet members are buffoons, and Barry is your private urinal. Why can’t we get just the facts? Nobody gives a shit about your opinions except you. When you insist, after all this time, on referring to Marion Barry as “mayor-for-life,” you may think it’s cute, but for many of us it conjures up an image of the front page of Regardie’s. It’s just as tasteless, and it’s beyond a statement of what you feel about that one person. It’s a tired, racially tinged, inside joke. For us, it is a confirmation of what we believe you feel about the sincerity, efforts, and abilities of all blacks in the District of Columbia.

Giving political/governmental information that otherwise would be unknown to the public is a positive thing. Giving that information with your own sarcastic, pseudo-racist slant renders it useless. Newspapers are like children in the sense that they take their cue for maturation from readers’ reactions to what they say. Grow up, City Paper!

Adams Morgan