You really had better be careful in this day and age what and whom you write about.
"Brian Rostron is an ass," an anonymous reader wrote to us over the weekend, lodging a complaint at our From the Left Coast columnist's observations on the former "Hart to Hart" star (The Cal ballot maze, Nov. 17 AFP).
"Has he seen Stefanie Powers lately? I believe she's aged very well, and for him to attack her like that without provocation, well, just makes him an ass."
To characterize the line in Rostron's column referring to Powers and her physical appearance ("Stefanie Powers told me that I should vote for the Indian casinos. I think that she used to be on 'Hart to Hart' and hasn’t aged well. Actually, I'm positive she hasn't aged well.") as an attack would be to overstate things quite a bit.
But that isn't a concern to Powers' fans.
"Why does The Augusta Free Press feel compelled to have this idiot as a regular contributor?" asked a reader named Diana Rawlings. "Surely there are more intelligent and capable writers out there. This stuff is dribble at best.
"If Mr. Rostron is so ignorant as to our political process and details of relevant initiatives, and is so obsessed with celebrity bashing and football, he needs to admit his limitiations, stick to writing a home diary and get a more appropriate job for his skill level," Rawlings wrote.
So here's the scorecard here - Rostron pokes fun at the California elections, lobs a line at Powers (other celebrity targets in the missive included Dave Matthews and Arnold Schwarzenegger, neither of whose fans felt compelled to defend their honor, it should be noted), and is called an idiot and an ass for his efforts.
This seems about right for the day and age in which we live. A writer makes a comment about something, and people fight amongst themselves for the right to be the first to say that the writer has gone over the line while themselves going over the line in the course of making their point.
The Top Five People That You Don't Want To Poke Fun At, Because Their Fans Will Get Really, Really Made At You:
5. Rush Limbaugh.
4. The guy who played Urkel.
3. Katie Couric.
2. Donald Trump.
And The Number One Person That You Don't Want To Poke Fun At, Because Their Fans Will Get Really, Really Made At You:
1. The guy who lost to Ruben Studdard on "American Idol."