The Washington Times - September 27, 2009, 05:37PM

In the October issue of Field & Stream magazine a reader takes issue with staff writer David E. Petzal’s assumption that every F&S reader is well heeled enough to pay up to $3,000 for a good pair of binoculars.

After Petzal recently wrote a column entitled “Crystal Clear,” which dealt with high-end quality binoculars, he neglected to also provide advice for the readers concerning binoculars that common mortals might be able to afford. For that alone, Petzal ought to be taken to the woodshed.


Field & Stream subscriber Ken Arnold, of Knoxville, Tenn., penned a letter to the editor.

“The advice in ‘Crystal Clear’ is not appropriate for the majority of your readers,” wrote Arnold. “I don’t know anyone who could afford binoculars in the $1,500 to $3,000 range. I believe that featuring equipment this expensive is doing a disservice to most of us. As a longtime reader of F&S this continues to be my biggest criticism.”

Having complained in such a way, you’d think the magazine editors would at least tell Petzal to follow his glamor binocular piece with one that might show the readers how they can get by with glasses as cheap as $100. He could have provided some run-of-the-mill names of products that the local WalMart and K-mart sells; products that most certainly will allow the user to see if a deer 100 yards away has antlers between its ears or just hair.

Instead, they let Petzal go off on the letter writer in such an arrogant manner that, were I the boss, Petzal would be looking for a job.

Petzal chastised the letter writer, responding, “I would love to have a Ferrari. I can’t afford one. That doesn’t mean I don’t like to read about them. Also, if you had read a little more carefully you could have seen how to get a first-class glass for a lot less than the prices that have you hyperventilating.”

What arrogance.

What a pity.