A most amusing “Note to Our Readers” by Andres Martinzez:
“When a columnist misses his usual spot in the rotation, we normally run a short note explaining his absence. Today, Robert Scheer’s column will not appear. Consider this a longer-than-usual note of explanation.”
Oh its not that long, dear. As for the “explanation,” well that ain’t much neither.
“Scheer’s impassioned prose has graced these pages for 13 years. Last week we announced a new roster of 10 columnists that will appear on this page every week, and Scheer’s name was not on it. Hundreds of readers called and wrote to protest. We are grateful — humbled — that readers care so deeply about the content of these opinion pages and the columnists who appear on them.”
If the LAT truly believed Robert Scheer penned “impassioned prose,” would it so much as considered firing him? As for being “grateful” and “humbled,” Dickens’ immoral Uriah Heap comes quickly to mind. No, we don’t “care so deeply about the content of these pages.” What we care deeply about is the truth — which is of scant concern to the LAT.
“Assessing the merits of a column, like assessing the merits of a movie, is a subjective exercise, so readers can agree to disagree over the wisdom of our decision. “
Which movie are you talking about, dear ? Robert Scheer had a walk-on in Bulworth — a film of enormous import for politics in general and current California politics in particular, as the results of the last election have shown.
“It’s inaccurate, however, to ascribe ideological motives to our decision to stop running Scheer’s column.”
That’s right up there with “The check is in the mail”and “I promise not to cum in your mouth.”
Some readers have complained that The Times is conspiring to silence liberal voices on the Op-Ed page. Others have gone so far as to suggest that Scheer is being punished for opposing the war in Iraq. But that is hardly a badge of shame around here — the newspaper’s own editorial page opposed the decision to invade Iraq.
It’s the “We wuz wit you, boss, at Rigoletto’s” defense.
Pull the other leg — it’s got bells on.
What’s on your leg is a Boot named Max.
“The truth is that we now publish more Op-Ed columnists — early in 2004 we featured only three regular columnists — than ever before, including more liberal voices (and conservative ones) than ever before. It’s also true that some of our columnists are not easily labeled on either side of the ideological divide, which we think is healthy. The goal, as always, remains to offer readers a lively exchange of opinions from across the political spectrum.”
“Fair and Balanced.” Like FOX.
A lot like FOX.
“Several of the writers in the new lineup are familiar to you, as they have been appearing on our pages for a few months; others are brand new to the page. Together, they represent our commitment to inform and enlighten the public debate by offering a provocative mix of voices on local, national and foreign affairs.”
They represent nothing of the kind.
Monday: Niall Ferguson
Tuesday: Joel Stein
Wednesday: Max Boot,
Erin Aubry Kaplan (as of Dec. 7)
Thursday: Patt Morrison,
Friday: Rosa Brooks
Saturday: Meghan Daum
Sunday: Gregory Rodriguez,
Scribblers who take up space.
“You will be reading more about our columnists in the weeks ahead, and we urge you to develop a relationship with them. We appreciate the hurt and anger that many readers feel over Robert Scheer’s absence. We fervently hope to be inundated by a similar outpouring when one of our new columnists ends his or her run.”
But first the LAT has to deal with that mountain of cancelled subscriptions. Maybe you guys can hire Dr.Phil to help us “develop a relationship” with you and get over all that ” hurt and anger.”
Whatcha say Andres?