No, the Rheinberger Email Was Not 'Satire'! It's REAL!
The other day I received a phone call from a Stillwater resident who wanted to know if the Margot Rheinberger email that appears on this blog was merely a product of my fecund imagination--a work of satire.
No, it was not. It's real. My editor received the Rheinberger email and forwarded me a copy just before the Gazette terminated me as a regular columnist.
The confusion is understandable. The frantic and panicked tone of the Rheinberger email (alternately threatening and fawning) might lead a reasonable person to believe that it was a work of fantasy. So far as I know, Ms. Rheinberger did not wish the email to be published in the pages of the Gazette--so I reproduce it here, for the edification of the voters.
(I have also been told that Ms. Rheinberger sent a copy of the same email at about the same time to our other local paper, The Stillwater Courier. I do not know why she did this, since the Courier never carried my column or expressed any interest in doing so. I theorize that Ms. Rheinberger was attempting some sort of "pre-emptive strike," cutting off any possibility of my retreat to another publishing venue.)
Ms. Rheinberger's email provides a rare and fascinating glimpse into the threatening sort of politics that goes on behind the scenes in our small town. I agree that it's funny (in a dark and negative sort of way) but I cannot take credit for writing it.