South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

Broughton letters are similar to ones rejected by White House


Letter to the Editor

To the editor:

With all the daily hate-filled vitriol on today’s cable TV, do we really need to open our neighborhood papers and be exposed to the same kind of antagonistic, hostile verbiage that, like TV, is full of unbalanced, bellicose, truculent, angry language?

I had the privilege of working for five presidents in the White House, three gigs of which were in presidential correspondence.

There were over 100 mail readers in mail analysis, and there were strict guidelines on how to handle the 60,000-plus letters a week that came into the White House.

All letters from the public on legitimate issues and concerns were coded and answered on White House stationery.

However, the guidelines instructed mail readers to be on the lookout for incoming letters that exhibited off-balanced assertions.

We also looked for language that was contentious, provocative, racially charged, belligerent, antagonistic, bullying or menacing.

With the rule that writers of irrational mail should not receive a response on White House stationery, the guidelines said to tag religious or racially charged letters that contained vehement, vile or divisive language to be filed away in an unanswered bin.

Almost all of Green Park Ward 1 Alderman Michael Broughton’s letters to the Call would have fallen into this category.

P.S. Letters that went one small step further and contained overly provocative or threatening language against the president or federal government, particularly containing angry words with wild accusations of fascism or communism, were collected and sent to the Secret Service for further investigation.

Jan Burmeister
Sunset Hills

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