Our favorite character from The Paper (and personal hero), Amanda Lorber, is awesome for a multitude of reasons, not the least of which is her ability to handle herself in a classy way despite stupid high school drama. Unfortunately for Amanda, drama has also followed her in the form of a Columbia University reporter who called her “overbearing and annoying,” among other insults. Amanda fired back with the most eloquent e-mail ever written by a 17-year-old.

From: Amanda Lorber
Date: Tue, Apr 15, 2008 at 9:44 PM
Subject: RE: “On MTV, The Paper Beats Rock???Sort Of”
To: “editor@columbiaspectator.com”

Ms. Symonds,

I’m writing to communicate my (quite understandable) disgust with your piece. In case you hadn’t caught the hint from my email address (apparently, blatant sarcasm isn’t your forte either, because I’m not interested in becoming president and it’s quite clear from the show
that I’m cracking an, admittedly corny, joke), this is Amanda Lorber, editor-in-chief of the Cypress Bay “Circuit,” character on the MTV docu-series “The Paper,” and impassioned writer.

I found it quite strange that a journalist would unnecessarily decide to attack her own. For years, all I’ve wanted is to graduate and make something of myself. To become a successful journalist, one who makes a difference in society. Of course, those ambitions apparently strike
you as “annoying” and as “grating” as my personality. I didn’t know wit was crime, either.

I’m baffled by the way you degrade what I do, by your cruel, vain, unfounded descriptions of what I’m truly like. “This is a fundamentally lonely girl. Sure, she’s overbearing and annoying, but
it’s obvious that it all stems from crippling self-consciousness and a terminally unfulfilled desire to be liked.” Oh, you know me so well. You neglected to mention that the show only focuses on SEVEN CHARACTERS, one of whom is my best friend, the others being simply uncooperative coworkers. So, let’s see. Six people out of 5500. You’re right. I’m lonely. Sarcasm again, in case you missed it. I’m involved in a variety of clubs, including Drama, musical theater, and the national honor society, in which I hold other titles of position and a
lead in the school production of “Grease.” From an objective standpoint, I’d say I’m well-liked outside of my competitive editorial board. This isn’t the “self-delusion,” speaking. I base it off of the affectionate way other students respond to me.

I’m not saying I don’t have enemies, obviously I do. You seem to be one of them, but as I write now, I’m starting to see where it’s coming from. It’s a different kind of jealousy. The type spewed from young women who resent teenage girls that get their names out there. You,
Ms. Symonds, are obviously a fundamentally bitter woman. You degrade the work ethic and academic values of a 17-year-old in order to cure your self-consciousness and upset at perhaps never being recognized for your work when you’re through with “The Specator.” In fact, if my staff hadn’t been excitedly ‘googling’ every article written about our (national television) show, I would never had come across your disgusting piece.

You should be ashamed, sincerely (and I do mean that), Amanda Lorber

postscript: I might have been “too young to subject” myself to doing this television show, but apparently, I’m not too young to be disparaged and intensely criticized by you.


Jun 3, 2008 · posted by Whitney · Link · 23 Responses
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Comments (23)

No. 1 SnackySmores says:

Pure awesome. Does anyone know if I can print this? I want to show it to my 7th graders and tell them that’s how you write a letter. Go girl.

Posted: Jun 3, 2008 at 3:44 pm
No. 2 deimos says:

i have a new person to add to my list of kick ass people.

Posted: Jun 3, 2008 at 3:44 pm
No. 3 rumour has it says:

I think Amanda’s awesome too!

Posted: Jun 3, 2008 at 3:45 pm
No. 4 Mariposa says:

You go girl!!! i have never watched this show, but now i might have to…………

Posted: Jun 3, 2008 at 3:46 pm
No. 5 Bucky says:

SnackySmores - You’re a teacher and you don’t know how to print this article? If it’s a question of ‘can’, then yes - it’s the internet dude.

Posted: Jun 3, 2008 at 3:55 pm
No. 6 Stoney says:

GO AMANDA, you hot bitch!!!!!

Posted: Jun 3, 2008 at 3:57 pm
No. 7 SnackySmores says:

Bucky, I don’t want to get some kind of crazy lawsuit slapped on me for using someone else’s “intellectual property”. With all the music I’ve downloaded over the years, I’ve become paranoid about this sort of thing.

Posted: Jun 3, 2008 at 4:58 pm
No. 8 Iris says:

does “oh SNAP” even begin to cover it? nope. not even close.

sheer unadulterated awesomeness.

Posted: Jun 3, 2008 at 5:07 pm
No. 9 Thecookie says:

Oh no she di-int!
Rock ON Amanda!!


Posted: Jun 3, 2008 at 6:31 pm
No. 10 Erica says:

Snacky, unless you are going to publish the article, then you don’t have to worry.

As someone who watched the show, I must say, Amanda may seem awesome by this letter, but she was a bit, well, hard to take. I chalk it up to editing, though. They turn everyone into a stereotype or character on those shows.

Posted: Jun 3, 2008 at 7:05 pm
No. 11 Luuk says:

SnackySmores, a detailed analysis would just be boring, but rest assured that fair use covers what you want to do. In short, you’re free to use the letter for educational purposes as long as you don’t charge for it or claim anyone but Amanda wrote it.

Posted: Jun 3, 2008 at 7:45 pm
No. 12 SnackySmores says:

Awesome. Thank you for the help, Erica and Luuk.

Posted: Jun 3, 2008 at 8:30 pm
No. 13 e says:

The Spec isn’t exactly the best paper in the world - so i found it hard to believe that they were criticizing (especially from what I know of what goes on behind the scenes there - I’m an alumna and the spectator has more drama than a whole high school worth of people.)

Posted: Jun 3, 2008 at 11:07 pm
No. 14 jill says:

I never watched this show but I like this girl anyways. What a classy way to respond and I’m sure she made that woman feel like a dope. Even if she did come off annoying on the show let’s give her some credit, she’s a high school girl. Who wasn’t annoying back then?

Posted: Jun 4, 2008 at 1:12 am
No. 15 Alex says:

“In fact, if my staff hadn???t been excitedly ???googling??? every article written about our (national television) show, I would never had come across your disgusting piece.”
The “had” should have been “have”. Sorry to be narky, but I’m not giving props to anyone who gets that wrong (however articulate otherwise).

Posted: Jun 4, 2008 at 3:51 am
No. 16 bedbugsandballyhoo says:

Having read the article in question in it’s entirety, I must state, in all fairness, that Ms. Symonds made the same assessments of the show that other reviewers have made. Does Miss Lorber plan on addressing each one of these individually? Is she just trying to make an “example” of this woman? Or is this just another reality series publicity stunt, perpetrated in order to to set up a new sequence of events? Only time, and MTV, will tell.
Anyways, I’m with e. Who reads The Spec when you have The Fed?

Posted: Jun 4, 2008 at 7:48 am
No. 17 Kow says:

Sorry, I don’t agree on this one. There is too much seething and anger in the letter. A good rebuttal would have kept a civil tone, attempted to placate the attacker, and made the desired points at the same time. This would have made Ms. Symonds look unbalanced in contrast to such a tempered response. Instead Ms. Lorber counters with her own ‘bitter’ character assassination and sounds like a snotty, snarky, self-righteous, and not terribly bright teen.

Posted: Jun 4, 2008 at 9:49 am
No. 18 Phat girl says:

Oh Kow, Why so harsh. Such judgement on a teenager. Geesh, when I was a ‘teen” a total stranger said “move it fat ass” when I was coming out of the food court at the mall. I didn’t eat for a week thinking it was true. Stupid, I know, who cares what some stranger thinks, but at 16 I was so immature I became self conscious over it. So the fact that a 17 yr. old is both self confident and literate enough to stand up to critisism like that makes me say “go girl”. I mean come on, it’s not congress it’s MTV the original teenage wasteland. The fact that she can spell sarcasm much less understand it’s meaning ups the intelligence quotient on that channel all together. Or would that be altogether? Alex?

Posted: Jun 4, 2008 at 11:44 am
No. 19 fred mertz says:

This young lady has probably just cemented her career. Any modern print editor would be impressed with a 17-year-old who stands up to a college bully with wit and grace and almost correct spelling (one typo but who’s grading?) Attention must be paid to Amanda Lorber.

Posted: Jun 4, 2008 at 12:33 pm
No. 20 Kow says:

Sorry Phat girl, but I don’t think encouraging teens to fight catty and snarky with more catty and snarky is a great idea. The average teen girl is already well-practiced. Allowing someone else to set the tone of your response, by fighting fire with fire or snark with snark, is giving a great deal of power to anyone who chooses to pick on you. They get to decide how you respond.

Posted: Jun 4, 2008 at 12:46 pm
No. 21 cerebratious says:

If you read the article that chick wrote: http://www.columbiaspectator.com/node/30428

She mentions that the girl was working on an application while the rest of the cast was playing beer pong… and how this means she’s lonely. Call me crazy, but isn’t working towards a goal in high school better than puking in Greg’s girlfriend’s mom’s hydrangeas?

Posted: Jun 4, 2008 at 1:33 pm
No. 22 tom says:

Wonderful. I hope that this kind of letter/email inspires kids everywhere to try to communicate as eloquently as she.

Posted: Jun 4, 2008 at 8:04 pm
No. 23 JP Colter says:

Kow, I’m with Phat Girl. You apparently didn’t actually read the review the letter is in response to because Amanda’s letter WAS far more tempered than the reporters article was. Catty? Please, at least look at both sides first. This is a 17 year old girl - her defense is extremely articulate and well modulated.

Posted: Jun 4, 2008 at 11:14 pm
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