A story — or, really, the tagline on that story — by Mike Straw brought some bristling feedback. “Unfair!” But was it? Let’s start with the story, from the 18 November 2012 issue:
After years and years on this distribution, Jeff in Virginia unsubscribed last week, complaining there were “too many ads for the premium edition — it like [sic] a never-ending pledge-week on PBS.”
This is True has tackled the issue of people choosing to be offended on a number of occasions (such as in the tagline of this story).
Most times, of course, the offended are complaining about a story, not embracing it. On most of those occasions, when someone is writing to complain how they’ve chosen to be offended by something I said (or, often, didn’t say!), I’ll often get an amusing response from other readers — the ones who don’t unsubscribe in protest.
I’ve made no secret that I’m pretty much 100 percent egalitarian. I’ve defended the religious, the non-religous, the “the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians,” and many others in True’s stories. I’m interested in whether people walk their talk, not whether they’re religious, gay, atheist, pagan, Muslim, employed, educated — whatever.
I ran a survey the past week asking what you wanted to see in True’s book compilations. Here are the results.
When readers unsubscribe from True they have the opportunity to send a comment. Many give the “reason” they’re unsubscribing, and some even apologize (not necessary — really!)
The two most-common reasons people give for unsubscribing is “I’ve upgraded to Premium” (woo hoo!) and “I’m just too busy to read it” (bummer! Life is too short not to have some fun!) This weekend, one woman put in a rather startling reason:
Both the Premium (paid) subscribers and the Free edition subscribers were asked:
I think a couple of stories this week will make some people’s heads explode. “Confound it, Randy! Are you a heartless Glenn Beck conservative, or a bleeding heart Barney Frank liberal?!”
A story last week brought a lot of objection from readers. Well, actually, the tagline did. Let’s start with the story, from the 25 September 2011 issue, by Alexander Cohen:
There were two main themes in reader comments this past week. The first: there are more and more thank-yous for “making me think” or “helping to provoke thought” and similar.
OK, I admit it: I knew the tagline on a story this week would make a lot of readers squirm. I have the story — and the guy’s mug shot — plus some reader comments. The story is from True’s 14 August 2011 issue:
I’ve had a couple of complaints about a story in the 7 August 2011 issue. Let’s start with the story:
Some interesting statistical analysis on True story locations from Premium subscriber Mark in (yep!) Florida:
Last week I did a harder-than-usual “push” for subscription upgrades. You might like to know the excellent result: 32 upgrades. Just 32 upgrades is “excellent”?! Yep. The week before, it was four. The week before that was better: 15.
It always fascinates me how readers perceive me and the business behind This is True. This is the story of one reader’s …well… “interesting” impression.
I write True to make a living, yes, and it’s gratifying that enough people support the publication to make that happen. But there’s another reason, too: I want to change the world just a little bit, on both a micro and a macro scale.
A reader has a very interesting point of view on True’s stories — from the perspective of a (recovering) alcoholic.
It happens once in awhile that someone really wants to whine at me for something, but doesn’t have the guts to sign their name. Normally, such complaints are summarily trashed: if they can’t even sign their name to their opinion, then really, what’s that opinion worth?