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Savage response 

No contest: CL readers want some Love

Maybe Dan Savage should consider running for Charlotte mayor. If our own polls are any indication, he would win in a landslide.

When we recently asked readers whether Creative Loafing should keep the controversial writer's Savage Love column, the results were unanimous: Out of the countless replies we received, not one was a vote to drop him. Not one. Well, there was the guy who wrote that we should dump him because of "his liberal attitude toward gays and their sexual life," but even he changed his mind and urged that we keep him since "the quicker modern society turns on itself, the better." But that's about it for the naysayers. And not only did readers want to keep him, many were outraged that we would even ask such a question. For the record, not a single member of the editorial staff wanted him dropped, but it's nice to know that our readers are of the same mind. In fact, we'll soon be bringing you Savage Love on a weekly basis.

Here, then, is a sampling of the comments we received:

• C'mon, this should be a no-brainer. Creative Loafing is supposed to cater to the creative, free-thinking and "alternative lifestyle" segments of Charlotte culture. Whiny, easily offended conservatives have the Observer.

• This is a fantastic town for his column because (as CL showed in a wonderful cover story a while back) this town is chock full of kinks! I was proud of y'all for bringing him on board -- it was a big risk, I'll grant you, but I think it is well worth the reward!

• I am a conservative Republican. I read Creative Loafing to get a sense of what is considered normal to some of the people I don't encounter in my daily routine. Dan Savage and the people who write to him are people I rarely meet.

• I'd like to know what businesses want to remove his column, so I can stop using their services if I should currently be doing so.

• What a fabulous break from the typical Ann Landers-esque droll that most periodicals run; how refreshing to have someone who has the chutzpa to tell the whiny misbegotten masses what we're all really thinking.

• It's extremely important to have sex-positive sex education in the media -- especially at a time of destructive "abstinence-only" sex-ed in the schools. Why even consider pandering to sex-negative people?

• Anyone who reads that far is already in the personal and escort ads anyway, so they should know what they're getting into. I have to admit, I want to think this is more a shameless play for readership than a serious question of whether or not to continue Savage Love ... I want to think that the staff at CL is more forward-thinking and self-assured than to actually cancel the column over a few complaints.

• Admittedly, his column is on the edge, but it is honest (not sensational) and it is in keeping with the CL vibe.

• I live in Charlotte, but I am currently working in France, and I read CL on the Internet. One of my favorite columns is Savage Love because I feel like Charlotte, being the up-and-coming city that it is, needs the honesty, wit and humor of Dan Savage.

• If people can't handle Savage Love, perhaps they are not Creative Loafing's target readership or advertisers. As a former magazine editor, I know that most people who complain over things such as this are also the type of people who want something for nothing. Not even worth wasting your time trying to deal with them.

• I would be interested in knowing which advertisers complain. Do offended readers go to them and say, "I will not buy your product because you advertise in a paper with Dan Savage in it?"

• I am a native Detroiter and have read Savage Love in Detroit's Metro Times for years. I was very happy to see it in Creative Loafing and the column is one of the main reasons I visit the Web site. That being said, if it wasn't in CL, I would just go back to the Detroit paper and your Web site hits and readership would go down.

• Pissed off advertisers are not a good reason for stopping anything at any time. Savage isn't always to my taste, but he certainly belongs in a paper like Creative Loafing. And he's often very, very funny.

• I am a Southern belle through and through who absolutely loves Dan Savage! It would be a travesty to lose him now. You do not give Southerners enough credit! We are all not so easily offended! I am thrilled to have the opportunity to enjoy the rants of such a funny, smart and real human being! Please don't screw this up!

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Creative Loafing encourages a healthy discussion on its website from all sides of the conversation, but we reserve the right to delete any comments that detract from that. Violence, racism and personal attacks that go beyond the pale will not be tolerated.

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