Reader Marilyn Mackett writes:
What a terrible injustice you do to your readers with your article on Dr. Heck.
In the middle of his expensive campaign to convince the Nevadans he is a good representative, you help him along to get re-elected with your Ralston piece.
 
Heck is known for his constant comments that he wants to help people, and then ALWAYS votes opposite the people. He doesn't deserve a place in your magazine. He is anti-minority, anti-military (voted against reinstating their pay), anti-immigrant (talks like he wants the bill and always has a reason to vote against this issue), anti-women (against birth control), anti-gay, and anti-education.
 
Heck has done nothing for our country except be at the "trough" to get his education as a doctor and then leap into Congress as a "do nothing" representative.
 
HE HAS EVEN VOTED AGAINST PBS AND NPR FUNDING. Why in the world would you support
a creature who works for your death? Amazing?
Andrew Kiraly responds:
Thanks for writing, Marilyn. I’m sorry you interpreted the piece as an endorsement of Rep. Joe Heck. That wasn’t the intention of Jon Ralston’s article; instead, the idea was to create a character study on a politician -- regardless of his political stripes -- trying to fly by his principles in a highly charged, highly partisan environment that doesn't exactly nourish deepthink on the issues.
 
I’m not sure where you got the notion that we’re endorsing him or helping him get re-elected — maybe because we approached the subject of his personality and career with some even-handedness and nuance? Your charge that he doesn’t “deserve” a place in the magazine suggests there’s some mysterious threshold for meriting coverage in the publication beyond newsworthiness — I’m not sure whether that imagined threshold involves a political stance or party affiliation — but his profile and stature (and the not insignificant fact that he’s up for re-election, a fact that we assumed to be of interest to readers) were more compelling elements for the basis of the story.
 
That said, our “Open Topic” column, which will feature a rotating roster of writers in the valley, aims in part to provoke dialogue like this. So you’re, like, proof: It’s working! I hope you keep reading.

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