I also want to mention a really cogent point that MUGGER makes in that piece. MUGGER writes that the New York Post's "Page Six" can't be right-wing, because the paper stole the page's format from Michael Musto's work in the Village Voice. Brilliant! How could anyone have thought that it might be possible to give a column a right-wing bias after lifting its format from a left-wing source? How silly of us!
Billy Abbott, Manhattan
Claire de Loon MUGGER: I enjoyed your most recent column. It was very funny (although I'm guessing that was not your intention).
Your complaints about London cabbies surprised me, because I'd swear you're begging for increased regulation, or no deregulation, which does not jibe at all with your Republican/libertarian philosophy whatsoever. Are you softening up? It reminds me of our crazy Mayor, who one minute lambastes the bureaucracy of government, and then the next minute demands that 20 or more people in a park must get a permit first. If you don't like a cabdriver's skills, you are very welcome to go to his competitors. Isn't that the GOP/libertarian ideal? Don't get all wishy-washy on us now, tough guy.
I also got a hoot out of your claims that Al Gore is a "crook." I'm assuming you're referring to his fundraising scandals. So why is it that you've never taken Rudy Giuliani to task for his fundraising scandals? He did pay one of the highest fines in New York City history, didn't he? And he ridiculously claimed that his people interpreted the fundraising laws differently than everyone else did! If that isn't a Slick Willie imitation, then I don't know what is.
And in keeping with your dubious politics, you later insult the Clintons as "power-hungry ciphers who don't care about anybody but themselves," which also sounds like a description of our megalomaniac Mayor, don't you think?
And why do you hate John McCain so much? Your hatred makes it sound like he beat you up in elementary school! I'll take him over George Bush any day. I think a vote for Bush is probably going to be a vote for Al Gore in the end. Please tell us again why you like Bush so much.
Lastly, what else do you do besides shop and eat? I dread the day you put out your autobiography. London is a lot more interesting than you make it sound.
Claire Francis, Brooklyn
World's Bravest Centrist Twinkie Let me get this straight. The humorless wealthy heir who proudly anoints himself "MUGGER" calls Eric Alterman an "asshole" (3/29), and "affluent" to boot! As a friendly nonrelative who is not George Stephanopoulos and not even from Scarsdale High, I can tell you there are many people who think ERA is not an asshole, but rather smart as hell, wickedly funny and brave. He is actually a really nice guy most of the time.
Laurel Cook, Manhattan
Russ Smith replies: I may be humorl