As an almost weekly target of a distortion of the truth by letter or editorial, I know how vexing it can be. The poem directed at Mrs. House and Mrs. Barovsky represents a new high in nastiness.
I was 6,000 miles away for several weeks before and during the week the poem appeared, so I was unaware of it until the following week. Your editorial, as well as several letters to the editor, implied this may be early election 2000 politics. As anyone who has had any political experience knows, the poem is either the work of a truly disgruntled constituent or of an individual very nave in political strategy. This type of anonymous attack almost always generates sympathy for the target.
It’s very unfortunate that holding or running for office in Malibu brings with it such abuse; elections seem to get worse each time. Unfortunately we are now seeing phone misinformation campaigns occurring regarding council meeting agenda items, as well as during election campaigns.
I wish I knew the solution; as they say, you cannot legislate morality. Perhaps if the readers make clear that they will ignore unsubstantiated claims and accusations, those tactics will not be effective and be abandoned as a means of influencing the public.