I think that it’s a shameful waste of the public trust for the Glendale News-Press to dignify a wisecrack, in this case by Francis Adams (“A Halloween mask inspires political fear,” Mailbag, Oct. 31). I am astonished that the News-Press is so starved for content that it feels somehow justified in the need to print two sentences from Adams that are simply insubstantial character slurs without any value outside of a crude joke. I find it offensive to journalism and irresponsible on behalf of the paper. I sincerely hope you put in place a policy and better judgment to guide your staff and yourselves in the selection of community commentary that promotes a fair discourse, instead of cheap sniping.

If Adams wants to write commentary on national politics, it should be addressed to the editorial section of the L.A. Times. I see no reason for letters regarding the office of the U.S. president to be relevant in the News-Press. If Adams has something substantive to say about the president, it should be welcome in the larger forum.

I think that topics that stimulate a relevant discourse on community issues are valuable, even if I disagree. Irrelevant personal jokes of poor taste are not part of constructive community conversation.

Even though you run full-page ads soliciting letters, I think we can live without that kind of junk. It just cheapens the paper's reputation. I'm sure you can do better.

Kurt Sawitskas
Glendale