Molly Ivins

By David Rubien

By Letters to the Editor

Published December 14, 2000 8:26AM (EST)

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Thank you, David Rubien, for an eloquent piece on one of America's least-covered writers. I moved from Texas to Pennsylvania in 1997 and enjoy life in these rolling hills. But I made sure I bookmarked Molly Ivins. That is one of the connections to Texas I will not do without.

-- Denise Heap

It is reassuring to know that people like Ivins can exist in today's crushing conservative climate. Most are extinguished before they have a chance to bloom. The radio waves have been completely dominated by right-wing extremists. Thank God that Ivins can continue. Perhaps the print media and the Internet will restore a reasonable balance

-- Hal Flanagan

Thank you for publishing your insightful profile of Molly Ivins. She makes me proud to be from Texas, and in these Dubya days that's a rare feeling indeed.

The national news media didn't seem especially interested in Ivins' revelations about Dubya during the election; I wish you had published this article six months ago. Still, it's a delight to read. Thank you, Salon.

-- Rachel Barenblat

David Rubien's "Brilliant Careers" article on Molly Ivins made me grin from ear to ear. As a 20-year-old writing major, I can honestly say that the dreamy prospect of achieving Ivins' level of excellence keeps me going through dull lectures on AP style and lengthy grammar quizzes. She is a great role model and a kickass humorist. Right on for featuring her, Salon!

-- Sara Donnelly

Why is it that the people who make the most valuable contributions to society are more often the most underpaid? I was shocked to read that Ivins makes under $100,000. Why is it that we can pay a baseball player $25 million a year for what seems to be such trivial pursuit while Ivins makes less than 1 percent as much for the infinitely more valuable insight that she provides to undoubtedly millions who read her columns every week? I personally would rather pay a dollar more a year for Ivins' services, which, when multiplied by the rest of her subscribers should raise her salary in line with her value to society. I agree that the loss of Ivins would be a great one and we all wish her a full recovery. Keep up the good work.

-- Mark Rex

With all due respect to Molly Ivins, I did want to take issue with one statement the author made: "Columnist Dave Barry, for example -- he beat Ivins to a Pulitzer Prize in 1988 -- is funny, but you don't get the sense that he cares particularly deeply about anything." If you read one of the columns that won him that Pulitzer, the one about losing his mother, I suspect you will find not only that Dave Barry cares about something but that that care has informed much of what he has written before and since.

One other example: His 1996 column about Phillip Morris' "Dave" brand of cigarette. Copyright law forbids my reprinting it here, but the gist was that if a murdering tobacco company was going to use Barry's first name, without his permission, to try to convey an image of sincerity and authenticity, then he was going to use that company's chairman's name to convey ... well, you can look it up.

-- Lex Alexander

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