For journalists, hate mail comes with the territory. And it can come at any moment, with critics instantly shooting off emails when someone ticks them off on a blog or on the air.
Fox News host Greta Van Susteren has surely received audience complaints before but a recent email exchange irked her enough to take issue with it on her own blog
. And in a move that Fox executives probably would have tried to discourage had they been consulted, Van Susteren also urged her blog readers to weigh in on the central point raised by her correspondent: that she is, well, rather dimly lit.
It all started when Brian of Tahlequah, Okla., told Van Susteren she had a "mind like a seive" (yes, it should be "sieve"). Brian didn't stop there: He also wanted the host to know that her "brain is empty."
"Matter of fact, it is so empty, if you put a pea in your skull it would rattle around like a BB in a boxcar," he wrote.
In her blog post, Van Susteren responded with a few questions and several question marks. "Why does Brian watch if he thinks I am so stupid?" she wrote. "How stupid is that????"
Perhaps expecting fans to rally around her, Van Susteren polled the audience as to who's dumber: Van Susteren or the guy watching a show he doesn't like. As of this writing, after more than 12,000 votes, the results aren't in the host's favor: 67 percent of respondents say Van Susteren is dumber.
Still, she can probably take comfort in the performance that a Fox colleague, Clayton Morris, turned in on Friday's "Fox and Friends" broadcast. Reading an unrevised cue card in faithful Ron Burgundy
style, Morris twice referred to himself as co-host Steve Doocy
, at the beginning and end of a segment he was announcing. Perhaps the next poll on Van Susteren's blog will invite readers to pit Morris' intellectual heft against her own.