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Dear Mr Keillor I've noticed

November 23, 2004 |

Dear Mr Keillor
I've noticed references to British newspapers in a couple of your recent responses (Sunday Times and Guardian). Do you read these regularly and if so why? Do you get something from them that you cannot get from US papers? Or am I barking up completely the wrong tree?

Susanne

PS Any chance of you bringing PHC back to the UK — we saw you in Edinburgh a few years ago and loved it.

Susanne,
I should have said the Sunday New York Times. It's our big national Sunday paper and it arrives in a blue plastic bag, about two pounds of newsprint, around 8 a.m. and we read the news and the book reviews before church and the arts section and the Sunday magazine in the afternoon. The Guardian I buy occasionally at Shinder's newsstand here in St. Paul and from it I get reporting on the world, especially the war in the Middle East, that can't be found in American newspapers. Mainly, you get reporters who dare to say what they see and what they think. In this country, newspapers tend to treat news as a perishable item, like celery, so they shovel a bunch of it into print and then shovel in a new batch the next day, assuming that everything is quickly forgotten. But reporting is writing, and a piece of conscientious and thoughtful writing is worth a trainload of celery.

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