Debate has sparked among residents of the East Park area after the ruination of a “freshly painted” wall of an East Park Café. The editorial piece ‘The good, the bad and the ugly’ written by the editor, published in ‘The Daily Tribute’ 16th July 2009, is written in response to this “puerile cultural vandalism”. The editor slams council officials and the local government for “[dragging their] heels for months” and then “[refusing] to offer support” to local businesses and individuals. One day after the publication of this editorial piece, Michaela Whitehouse, a member of the East Park council, writes in response to the article. Whitehouse intends to set the facts straight and to “address [the editors] less enlightened remarks” through her angry yet controlled tone.
The editor presents his article with the bold, cliché title ‘The good, the bad and the ugly’ capturing the attention of ‘The Daily Tribute’ ...view middle of the document...
The editor not only raises sympathy for Patrick and his “heavily pregnant wife” who spent “their one day off that week restoring the wall”, but also encourages anger to be formed towards the graffiti artists for their acts of “selfishness”.
Whitehouse’s letter of response condemns the editor in a formal and sophisticated way. She critiques the issue of graffiti, just as the editor does, yet reserves her contempt for the editor. The denigration of the editors “less enlightened remarks” allows a sense of authority and provides strength for Whitehouse’s arguments. To ensure her authority and expert opinion, Whitehouse uses two very powerful rhetorical questions which are supported by the fact that she uses these immediately after her logical argument. The inclusion of local residents’ feelings in these rhetorical questions asking what they would think of “property rate [increasing]” as a result of “the blow-out to [the councils] budget” further shows that she has the best interests for everyone.
Whitehouse addresses the issue of graffiti in a compassionate and educated fashion. She uses inclusive language so that the audience is not alienated and it creates a sense of unanimity. Additionally saying that the council are aiming to “[provide] public spaces dedicated to the expression of this skill” signifies that she is not against graffiti in any way. Whitehouse’s professionalism in such a sensitive subject is effective in encouraging most of the audience to share her similar views for finding a mutual solution to the issue
Ultimately, both arguments are able to sway readers to either side of the fence. Although, through the formal and factual letter to the editor, Whitehouse allows readers to see how “narrow minded” the editorial is. The editor’s piece, although highly emotively constructed, would most likely appeal only to those who do not accept graffiti on any occasion. Furthermore, Whitehouse’s letter presents the audience with a logical and reasoned argument; attempting to find a mutual solution for the issue of graffiti. As a result, she is likely to persuade and gain the support of more tolerant readers and even some graffiti artists themselves.