A letter to the editor of the Star Tribune

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Dear Editor,


We at City Pages were shocked to read the following passage in Cheri Pierson Yecke's op-ed, "Attacked for their looks":

"The hateful barbs being hurled at Star Tribune columnist Kathy Kersten from sources such as City Pages fall right into this genre: 'Her online mugshot vaguely reassembles the witch from the Wizard of Oz.'"

First of all, we never claimed that Kersten "reassembled" the witch from the Wizard of Oz. In fact, we are pretty sure that a) this would be impossible, since she was melted rather than disassembled, and b) to conjure or reconstitute such a dangerous figure would almost certainly be a violation of the Patriot Act, and we meant to accuse Kersten of being a dull, nasty writer, not a criminal.

Second, Yecke has an undisclosed conflict of interest in this matter, since our first reference to the Kersten/Wizard of Oz connection was as follows: "Poor Katherine, her author photo looks like Margaret Hamilton after a visit to Cheri Pierson Yecke's hairdresser."

Third, in impugning the "looks" of Kersten and Yecke, we do not refer to their physical beauty--we at CP are quite a homely bunch ourselves--but to the worldview their prim, austere press photos suggest, which was captured best in William S. Burroughs' 1986 "Thanksgiving Prayer": "Thanks... for decent, church-going women with their mean, pinched, bitter, evil faces."

Steve Perry
City Pages


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