Finally after all these years, I’ve cracked the bitter, grey, rotten chestnut that is the New York Times editorial staff and I have had my views, or at least a fascimile of my imaginary views, published by the Newspaper of Record as a Letter to the Editor. I can also tell anyone who asks that I will never publicly recapitulate the contents of the letter, nor will I discuss the name under which it was sent.
So don’t ask.
For the purposes of this post, however, I will say that it has been published and I am prepared to tell everyone how to do the same thing:
1) Do not write as yourself if you live outside New York City.
2) Do not write as yourself if you are a Republican.
3) Do not write anything that would sound like yourself unless you imagined you lived on the Upper East Side, or the Upper West Side, or some side of Manhattan where there are wealthy philanthropists, and/or have spent an inordinate and excruciating amount of time in Manhattan in the past ten years. That could be as little as an hour, but it depends on how perceptive you are.
4) Adopt a style of writing that lends itself to less than 200 words and harmonizes with people who understand flyover country from 30,000 feet or more.
Of course these rules guarantee that you will have to write something that comports with what the editors of the New York Times think their readers want to read, so don’t expect miracles in terms of changing the essential mien of the newspaper with these tactics. Still, as an intellectual exercise, it’s a lot of fun to see it happen.
Get writing! The New York Times’ editorial staff is paid handsomely to winnow and parse, and my feeling is that they should earn their money.