How Do We Know Letter Writers Were Really Planning Trips to Alaska?

Letters to the Editor / Anchorage Daily News / February 10, 2004

If I were an environmentalist and wanted to stop wolf hunting in Alaska, I might come up with some dirt-cheap ways to influence Alaskans without having anything more than a word processor and a bright idea. I would write some letters to the Daily News telling Alaska readers, some of whom are involved in tourism, that I had just canceled an expensive trip to Alaska this summer because they are destroying those beautiful wild animals.

I wouldn't need to have made any reservations. I might be a dedicated and ideological college student who couldn't afford bus fare to the next town, or a little old lady on Social Security, but I would think: "Do the Alaska papers have any way of knowing if I really booked a trip to Alaska? Do they check out sources for a letter written from someone on the East Coast? Probably not. I wonder why no one has thought of this."

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