This letter is quite different from any we've ever sent to you. For years we wrote to you about WETA's great programs and the need they filled in your life. Today, I must write to you about WETA's needs. And if friends like you don't respond to them, there will be far less programs to enjoy.There is something wrong with this letter: I have gotten the exact same letter from them for about 4 years now. Hence the statement This letter is quite different from any we've send to you is not just false but verifiably false.
While I expect letters to exaggerate I do not expect to have easily verifiable lies that do not even help their cause. So why did they do this? I do not know. But whatever the reason, it is sheer incompetency. Hence I will not give to them. This raises the following question:
If a charity (or whatever Public TV is) asks for money they can exaggerate how much they need it. Should they?
- Some readers will say GOSH, they really need the money! I better give!
- Some readers will say They always need money. I am not going to bother.
How can they get out of this trap? I do not know. However, the least they can do is to not say things that are obviously false. There may be a well defined Game Theory or EC problem here. Or it may be a public policy problem. We won't know until its solved.
UPDATE IN May 2016: I keep getting these letters and got one today.
UPDATE IN July 2017: Got another letter today
UPDATE IN Sept 2017: Got another letter today