Letters to the Editor


April 23, 2009


To the editor:

Regarding the article written by Associated Press reporter Ben McConville about Scotland’s Susan Boyle (Journal-World, April 17): The miracle of this woman’s effect on millions of people worldwide renders her worthy of our deepest respect. The combination of talent, courage and humility that allowed her to step on stage and perform to a skeptical audience who were openly laughing at her is a model of character for all of us.

McConville’s lack of sensitivity in describing Ms. Boyle was as stunning to this reader as was Ms. Boyle’s performance to Simon Cowell. The “AP writer” following the reporter’s name does not give him license to further demean his subject. Using words like “frumpy,” “chubby,” “wiggling … her hips awkwardly,” discredit the writer and the Associated Press. He is either very young, new to the business or both.

I’m old-fashioned when it comes to the quality of writing I expect from the national press. McConville is just one example of the deterioration in the quality of newspaper writing as a whole — perhaps also of the degree to which our society’s acceptance of the ridicule of others has become entrenched.

Bravo, Susan Boyle, for awaking us from our stupor!



Mixolydian 9 years, 1 month ago

Good grief, there are plenty of political articles to get hyper-partisan over. This LTE isn't one of those.

Good points on the coverage of Susan Boyle. Great voice. Reminds me of Paul Potts a couple years back on the same show. Came out of nowhere with Puccini and brought tears to everyone listening.

funkdog1 9 years, 1 month ago

But she WAS frumpy, chubby, and awkwardly wiggling her hips. In my book, that kind of writing comes from a good reporter.

The idea that people can't wrap their heads around the fact that a non-attractive person can be intelligent or talented speaks volumes about how generally stupid we can all be.

smarty_pants 9 years, 1 month ago

do you have too much time on your hands, marilyn?

Leslie Swearingen 9 years, 1 month ago

Let it go, let it go, let it slide right off your shoulders, is the mantra of Susan Boyle as she calmly goes about her life and others argue endlessly about her.

Jersey_Girl 9 years, 1 month ago

Someone please send the men in the white coats with the butterfly nets out to collect Nancy Boy. He really needs to be medicated for that paranoia.

I do agree that adjectives and adverbs really don't have a lot of place in reporting as most are subjective. I personally would have described her hip-wiggling as suggestive, not awkward.

purplesage 9 years, 1 month ago

May I ask you to consider the tragic impact of a single reporter's comment about Karen Carpenter appearing chubby? Obviously, there are factors in anorexia that are beyond the comment, but the story I remember is that she became obsessive after the review of the performance and ultimately lost her life in a battle against eating disorders.

We try to teach our children not to stare, point, or say things that unduly call attention to a person we may meet. This reporter could use some lessons in manners and a shred of common consideration of others.

Linda Aikins 9 years, 1 month ago

Her singing brings me to tears, she is so amazing. I don't care how she looks - that lady has more talent than Snickers has bars. And good point-out on Karen Carpenter. I was listening to Monica Seles and the same thing happened to her, causing eating disorders.

What a voice. There are so many songs I want to hear her sing now!

Dan Edwards 9 years, 1 month ago

You guys do realize that this whole thing was crafted deliberately to evoke this kind of reaction from the audience (both in-person and via YouTube). Obviously the show's people knew that Ms. Boyle was a good singer because she would have had to audition before being allowed on the stage. I have no doubt they had her "dress down" for the occasion so as to evoke maximum response (thus maximizing "intrigue", thus maximizing viewership, thus maximizing £££) . You're naive if you don't think that all the judges were in on it. There is nothing genuine about reality TV.

And I wasn't surprised at all when she turned out to have a pretty good voice, because there's no correlation between physical attractiveness and the ability to sing. There are tons of so-called ugly people with fantastic voices. The fact that it was a revelation for people shows that video really did kill the radio star.

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