Here’s an interesting situation out of Jefferson City, Missouri regarding the rhetoric of political letters, i.e. public letters written by one politician to another for the purpose of…what?
I think it’s clear the purpose has little to do with changing the heart and mind of the recipient (who often doesn’t hear about said letter until it is made public).
Are such letters news? I think it is clear they are attempts to manipulate the news. How should reporters respond? One suggestion: Ignore them until actually sent to, and received by, the politician in question. And, further, report the political/rhetorical intention of said letter as a normal part of the article.
Tony Messenger also takes a look at this.