The independant organ 'The Lizbek Sentinel', Editor-in-Chief : Roger Cohen,

To : Son Altesse Royale Liz
From : Roger Cohen, editor-in-chief, Lizbek Sentinel

Stirlinabad, November 6, 1996

Your Altesse,

During the recent audience you accorded me you seemed open to the idea of an independent organ -The Lizbek Sentinel- publishing on the entire virtuality of your territory.

In any free society an independent organ is a necessary thing, as you so begrudgingly acknowledged. However, my unhappy experience since our meeting suggests that the freedom of Lizbekistan and it's citizens may not be the first of your concerns.

That there was no property to rent in Stirlinabad was understandable. Your enlightened guidance has turned it into a boom town. But that in the virtually limitless expanse there should not exist a square metre of office space to house the Sentinel (*Virtual Truth is Better than no Truth at All*) was baffling. When I contacted your minister of Dis-Information about this problem, he suggested we could reprint in Kabul and and air-freight a few copies into the Queendom every day - a fatuous suggestion, if you will permit me to say so. In the end, I opted to attempt publication from my own home in upper Stirlinabad (close to Elizian Fields), only to find that my telephone line had been cut. When I called your minister of the Post and Embarrassing situations about this, he muttered some thing about Taliban raids, a virtual state of war and his upcoming game of tennis. I have not been able to use my phone for a week. My growing suspicions that the Sentinel, project was the object of some form of virtual censorship were reinforced when the state owned Lizliz paper mill informed me of a sudden shortage of newsprint and the first journalist I had hired, Amanda Earnest, was found dead in the back of a truck belonging to the state-owned Royalweave textile conglomerate. (Naturally, the Sentinel, were it in business, would have reported on this heinous crime, but, in the current state of things, the vast majority of Lizbek citizens remain ignorant of Ms. Earnest's end).

I know that your attachment to liberty and a free press is sincere and am sure that my problems must arise from a succession of misunderstandings. I would welcome a further meeting that might open up the way to publication. Vive Lizbekistan! Vive SARL! Vive le Lizbekistan

Yours in calculated but absolute devotion,

Roger Cohen

P.S. Where's my passport?


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