MAY 23, 2002 · VOL. 11, NO. 36

by A. Birch Steen
Stranger Ombudsman & OSHA Board of Governors Member

Mr. Savage: Please excuse my departure from the standard "Critical Overview" format this week, but I have some pressing concerns I feel need to be addressed. First of all, as you are undoubtedly well aware, I have never liked The Stranger. As a newspaper, even an "alternative" one, your paper lacks both intelligence and a strong moral viewpoint--the two necessary ingredients of any respectable publication. The Stranger's weekly diatribes, usually ineptly produced, along with its continual assault upon its beleaguered readership (a readership, it should be noted, that has a number of alternatives from which to get its news, the Seattle Weekly--a rather fine publication--ranking first and foremost among them), never fail to leave an unsavory taste. Why your newspaper is popular is a mystery to me. Second, I still do not understand why you employee me as the paper's ombudsman when it is apparent that neither you nor your editorial staff have any intention of acting on my critiques. If you do not intend to act on my criticisms, why on earth do you bother to solicit my input? I have the sneaking suspicion that I am being held up as an object of ridicule. Indeed, I no longer believe that you were sincere in your stated desire, as per our phone conversations, to reform or improve your editorial product. In light of these facts, I am terminating my relationship with you and The Stranger. I wish I could say that I wish you luck in your endeavors, but I'm afraid that would be a lie.


A. Birch Steen