This letter is regarding your article of 4/13/17, written by Tim Henney, about the Follies. Well, the Follies are not my cup of tea, but I guess it’s fun to let go once in a while. However, your “report of the Follies” was a bit less than funny or entertaining; in fact it convinced me that I would never want to take part in it or see it.
Why? I will tell you why. 1. The gleeful report of some disgusting old man, who seemed to suffer with an enlarged imagination, flying through early years of movie star pals and then the mysterious “Val.” And then, we suddenly return to what must be the present. And then, (are we confused yet?) I quote: “I thought possibly I was hitting not on cheerleader Val but on some stranger … Then I spied someone imitating Sandpoint celebrity Fiddlin’ Red.” Now, are we still in dreamland? Or suddenly back to the present? What does the real-life Fiddlin’ Red have to do with any of this? Absolutely nothing.
Does anyone have the right to name some ridiculous part of this man’s dream by someone else’s name?
And how are the casual readers supposed to interpret this? Pulled into this unknowingly, is a person who has absolutlely nothing to do with this, who has fallen into this nonsense without his knowledge or permission? Particularly when the story includes sex and violence.
How would you like, one of you, to be thought of as a crossdresser and a smasher of one of your beloved musical instrument? How would you like all your eager music students and customers to wonder, just to wonder, when there is violence and sex hinted about, as that paragraph seemed to imply.
I don’t want to read a newspaper that puts people down—accidentally or not. There better be some apologies around this. I for one will think twice before I decide to buy another Reader. Especially with Tim Henney’s writings.
Janet L. Merril, Ph.D
This article was intended as satire. Your offense, in this seemingly solicited letter, confounds us here at the Reader office. I believe this has been blown completely out of proportion, and I will state now that I fully support our writer Tim Henney. He is a kind, intelligent, witty man who was writing humor in this piece. Furthermore, the piece is not making fun of Fiddlin’ Red, but of the lecherous persona Tim adopts for satirical purposes. There was no malicious intent. I think if you polled 100 people that read the article, 100 would think it was a satirical article, that none of the “events” actually happened. It was humor in the same style as the Follies, in which Fiddlin’ Red was a participant. Had he known Red would’ve taken his writing this way, Tim would have never included him in his piece.
We have apologized to Red, and we have run a retraction. I consider this matter closed. By the way, the Reader is free, so don’t worry about ever “buying” a copy. Furthermore, if you can’t recognize satire, perhaps this newspaper is not for you.
-Ben Olson, Publisher