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I would like to respond to the degrading, disgusting and ludicrous article on me in your ANNIVERSARY ISSUE!!! (Greg Stacy's "Up Against the Wally," Sept. 8). How in the world did a rag like yours stay in business so long when you have such inept reporters and feature writers, not to mention the sickening liberal sleaze on every page? The article is riddled with statements and observations that are totally untrue. He admits that he has had a "sick fascination with Wally ever since I was a kid" and yet reveals it is his lifetime ambition to "maul me in print." All he really did was reveal his obvious ignorance in the art of reporting. He states that he came to see me at a club where I was making an appearance . . . saying that there were a handful of men there, "none of whom were there to see Wally." Then in the next paragraph, he reveals that I was sitting in a booth "signing autographs." Obviously, some were there to "see Wally." Then Stacy even says that he came up to my booth and had his picture taken with me. He describes me as looking terribly ill—"knocking at death's door." What kind of reporter is this nitwit? There he was sitting beside me, getting his picture taken with me, and yet he doesn't even ask me if I am indeed ill and if so, what is wrong with me. He says nothing. Like a teenage groupie, he grabs my autographed photos and "fled into the night." He admits this was two or three years ago. Actually, it was FOUR. And I probably did look a little weak and sickly. If he had the guts to talk to me, I would have told him that this was my first personal appearance following brain surgery, following an almost fatal fall down some metal stairs, and I had to have blood clots removed. This is a serious operation that takes a lot out of you! Eight years ago, I had prostate-cancer surgery, and six years ago, I was in a near-fatal automobile accident when some jerk ran a red light. But the "living legend" has survived and is now in great shape and continuing my nightly broadcasts on KDOC-TV at 12:30 a.m. I do LIVE commentaries, interview LIVE guests and then show some highlights from the past 18 years. E! Channel saw fit to contact me some months ago to tell me they had read my autobiography and wanted to do a one-hour biography themselves on their popular "Hollywood True Story." E! tells me ratings for the show were better than others they have presented. So I am glad to know that after 18 years on the air with my "HOT SEAT" show, people still have an interest and give me great support! I thank the many, many people who stop me every day (all ages) to tell me they've been watching me for years and still enjoy the show.
Garden Grove Greg Stacy responds: Wally, please calm down already. At this point, you've only got so many tantrums left in you, and this article wasn't worth one of them.PICTURE THIS
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Re: Jack Gould's "Next Time, I Will Wear a Suit," Sept. 8: I am the widow of the late Harold Ezell. Is your conscience totally dead or what? Can't you even imagine what it is like for the family of this precious man to see him—two years later—pictured in your publication in a casket? It is inconceivable to me that you are an editor who would request a photographer to do what you did. You commissioned this charlatan to enter the private viewing of the body of a man who suffered and died with cancer, sneak in among the mourners, and take this eerie photograph. Then you used it to slander this deceased man. Even now—two years after my husband's death—you still give this fraud full-page publicity. In addition, you have the audacity to print this mortuary picture again? Unimaginable.
In the article, the photographer admits, "I certainly wouldn't want someone like me to intrude upon my private family matters." Don't you get it? But because you have validated his sinister act, he says he will do it again but "will wear a suit." What if it is your wife's viewing next time?
This is lowlife journalism at its worst. Move over, National Enquirer. I am in the process of deciding how I will deal with this slanderous invasion of my privacy. I expect an apology from OC Weekly.
Newport Beach Editor Will Swaim responds: Yes, Mrs. Ezell, I am a very bad man. But while I am alive, there is still hope of my redemption. Your husband, on the other hand, died unreconciled with the many millions of Americans who, like me, recall him not as a loving husband but as Ronald Reagan's hatchet man in the Immigration and Naturalization Service. I can understand that to you, Harold Ezell was a "precious man"; please understand that to me, he was a public official who embodied the worst instincts in American political life: he defended racists, promulgated policies that made many new Americans feel unworthy of their citizenship, and spent much of his time manufacturing a threat that simply didn't exist. Next to Robert K. Dornan, Harold Ezell may yet go down in history as Orange County's loudest mouth. To take but one example from many: in the 1980s, while working for the Reagan administration, Harold Ezell said that immigrants crossing our southern border illegally ought to be skinned and fried and shipped back to Mexico; later, he said that he meant only those Mexicans who were felons. The best that might be said of such an official is that he said what was on his mind; the worst, that his mind was too narrow for the broad requirements of public life. P.S. If my wife's public viewing should be intruded upon by a photographer, I can only hope that his reasons are as good as Jack Gould's. And that he dresses better.