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The Letters Top Five

April 6, 2009 |  5:00 am

Last week conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh not only dominated the airwaves, he conquered our mail.  (We'll run some of the letters about him next week.)

Ltopfive0406 During the week ending April 4, The Times received a larger-than-usual 857 usable letters, 432 of which were in our Top Five Topics.

  • Limbaugh challenge: 260 letters, reacting to this op-ed by Andrew Klavan daring liberals to listen to Rush's show;
  • Trouble in Detroit: 49 letters, discussing the latest developments in the auto industry bailout;
  • Mexico: 48 letters, reacting to news over (and about) the border;
  • Steve Lopez on teachers and the teachers' union: 38 letters, responding to this column about teacher seniority; and
  • Vaccines: 37 letters, commenting on this front page report about families who choose not to vaccinate their children and the schools they attend.

How the Top Five is tabulated: Each week, your letters maven receives thousands of e-mails, dozens of letters through the good old U.S. postal service, and even a few faxes here and there.

After she cuts out spam, obscene mail, letters addressed to more than one recipient, letters that seem to be the fruit of letter-writing campaigns and letters with attachments (which gum up our computer systems,) she is usually left with several hundred eligible items, represented in the Letters Top Five tally. From these, she selects the somewhere around 100 that get published in the newspaper. Faxes and snail mail are not reflected in the chart.

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