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THE LEAD HEADLINE screaming “Washington City Paper Targeted for Destruction” (City Desk, 12/3), in a column written by an author unwilling to sign his name, is so overblown as to require no response, but the remainder does cry out for clarification.
First, after repeatedly ridiculing me as being “hyperfaxive” (your word) for faxing to the City Paper‘s widely promoted fax number several news releases which were in fact picked up by D.C.’s real newspapers, you now whine that I didn’t fax a news release to you about a legal complaint filed concerning your own paper’s ads promoting ladies’ nights. This is certainly a strange and schizophrenic “damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t” position to take.
You next criticized “the normally voluble Banzhaf” for not making any statement to your reporter, even though you know that as an attorney I am constrained not to discuss pending litigation with a nonlawyer representative of those involved in the complaint. It is also noteworthy that statements of your own paper’s publisher were far from definitive: “The publisher…hasn’t decided whether to fight a sexual bias complaint filed by George Washington University Professor John Banzhaf” [USA Today]; “We may draw a line in the sand and say, “Fuck you’ ” [City Paper].
I note that you apparently have stopped running the sexually discriminatory ad which triggered the legal complaint. Perhaps your paper does realize that it’s wrong as well as illegal to discriminate on the basis of sex (have you ever heard of African-American Night, Hispanic Night, or Catholic Night?). Alternatively, you may lack the guts to put your money where your mouth is and test the law by racking up increased penalties for willful violations. In any event, to City Paper‘s publisher, whose name strangely seems to be missing from the paper’s masthead: “Fax you!”