Faculty Author Receives Presidential Fan Mail

    When you co-author a book on radical right-wing fringe groupsí use of media, as Senior Lect. Michael Keith (Communication) has, you can expect to get a fair amount of mail from fans and detractors alike.
Keith has received both since he and Emerson College Professor of Mass Communication Robert Hilliard published Waves of Rancor: Tuning In The Radical Right last year. But one recent fan letter caught their eye: Its return address was 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, DC.

    Sure enough, the envelope contained a personal letter from President Clinton, who had read Waves of Rancor during his vacation on Marthaís Vineyard last summer. In his brief note to "Robert and Michael," Clinton thanked the authors for passing the book along to him through White House Chief of Staff John Podesta. He said he appreciated "your addressing this important issue" and was glad "you shared your work with me."

    Keith said he was not altogether surprised to receive a letter from the President, since First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton and Attorney General Janet Reno also had sent congratulatory notes.

    But when he first saw the envelope, Keith quipped, he half-wondered if it might be a prank or "a fund-raising letter." He and Hilliard also were advised to "get our tuxedoes out of mothballs," in case they might receive an invitation to visit the White House.
Michael Keith

    "That hasnít happened yet," said Keith. "If it does, great, but Iím just happy to have gotten the letter. We seem to have made a contribution with our efforts, and thatís always nice to know."

-Sean Smith

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