Write or wrong: Readers debate the firing of reporter Todd Smith, who was shot at Kirkwood City Hall

 FEATURE, APRIL 23, 2009
HYBRID HORROR
Pruis fears: I feel that Toyota needs to examine the car's electronic feedback and computer systems to find the problem before it kills someone ["Wild Rides," Paul Knight]. I had an Opel years ago that had the carburetor stick open on me at a low speed. Opel gave me a new carburetor after the Buick dealer found a defective part upon tearing it apart. If Toyota won't fix this, Consumer Reports needs to put a boot up the Fed's arses and make Toyota find and fix the problem before someone dies.
Bob O'Hara, Belleville, Illinois, via the Internet

NEWS REAL, APRIL 23, 2009
WEDDING VENDOR'S DREAM
Marry days are ahead: I hope for the day when people don't have to drive to another state to marry the person they love, be it in Missouri or any of the other 47 states that haven't heard ["Iowa or Bust," Keegan Hamilton]. Equality is coming. As a wedding vendor, I eagerly await the day I can offer my services to anyone who would choose to marry.
Raquita, St. Louis, via the Internet

NEWS REAL, APRIL 23, 2009
A PRAYER FOR DENNIS LONG
Sadness lingers: I knew Dennis Long for more than ten years ["Diary of a Mad Man," Keegan Hamilton]. In fact, he would at times spend the weekend at my residence. Dennis had a lot of issues that he was dealing with, but honestly, he was a very intelligent individual. My wife and I enjoyed conversing with him. My friend was crying out for help for a very long time, and I truly miss him. I do not condone what he's done; I am just saddened by the fact that Dennis and his family did not have a chance to reconcile and unite as a family unit. I am praying for his mother and the entire family.
Rev. Everett L. James, St. Louis, via the Internet

DAILY RFT, APRIL 21, 2009
THEY'VE GOTTA BE KIDDING
No gratitude: You would think from a P.R. perspective alone they wouldn't do something like this — not to mention what's right ["Suburban Journals Fires Reporter Who Took Bullet During Kirkwood Shootings," Kristen Hinman]. This guy should have a job for life if he wants it. I guess the health insurance paying for work on his shattered hand is gone now, too.
Nancy, via the Internet

He took a bullet, and for what?: Forget public relations. How about from a moral perspective? If they had an ounce of humanity, they wouldn't lay off a guy who took a bullet while working on their behalf. I'm not unsympathetic to newspapers that need to cut staff to weather this considerable shitstorm, but this is cruel.
Tom Feeney, via the Internet

No one is layoff-proof: Are you people suggesting he should have a lifetime pass from being laid off? Do any of you have such a pass? I don't. I suggest he learn a new question, one that is being learned by many newsprint journalists. The new question is, "Do you want apple pie with your coffee?"
Jim, via the Internet

So very wrong: I wonder if the fact that he had some expensive medical bills because of the shooting injury happened to cloud management's decision. It's funny in a very pathetic, sad, morally repugnant way that the top corporate dogs making these brilliant ideas are not cutting their exorbitant salaries and those of other members of upper management. Their "company-saving" decisions are to cut the workforce that's actually making the product they are getting rich off of. It's not just morally wrong, but economically wrong.
Just me, via the Internet

An ex-P-D reporter weighs in: I am surprised, and not surprised, that Lee, given the opportunity to pick and choose who they lay off at the Journals, would choose to lay off a soldier in the trenches such as Todd Smith. I'm surprised, because why would they lay off their best? And not surprised, because it's obvious that good journalism does not figure into Lee's decisions. (In the interest of full disclosure, I was a Post-Dispatch reporter for 27 years and unit chair of the Newspaper Guild for 4 years. I left before Lee took over.)
Virginia Gilbert, via the Internet

A to Z, APRIL 17, 2009
CRY ME A SUSAN BOYLE
A love fest ensues: Don't change a single thing ["More Susan Boyle: 'Cry Me A River,'" Aimee Levitt]! It's who you are and why we love you — and your voice is so sensational. We're dazzled!
Kate Begien, via the Internet

Boyled over: Susan is heaven-sent. What an amazing voice and an amazing story. She's just what we need at the moment. A lovely lady with no agenda. No micro-skinny models with tombstone teeth, no hideous frocks. OK, she looked like she was in her grandmother's dress, but hey, what a day for her. I do hope she is not ripped off by the greedy Simon Cowells of this world. Please make sure she is protected and not turned into something she is not.
Boojay, via the Internet

 
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