With a hat tip to the Drudge Report, here is a November 28, 2005 posting by Barbra Streisand at her blog. It is a letter to Andres Martinez, the editorial page editor of the Los Angeles Times, informing him of her decision to cancel her subscription. Babs' beef? Well, the Times, in an effort to stem declining subscription rates, has replaced liberal op-ed columnist Robert Scheer with conservative columnist Jonah Goldberg. Babs isn’t happy:
“In light of the obvious step away from the principals of journalistic integrity, which would dictate that journalists be journalists, editors be editors and accountants be accountants, I am now forced to carefully reconsider which sources can be trusted to provide me with accurate, unbiased news and forthright opinions. Your new columnist, Jonah Goldberg, will not be one of those sources.
“Robert Scheer's column, with its often singular voice of dissent and groundbreaking expositional content, has been among the most notable features that have sustained my interest in subscribing to the LA Times for many years now. Apparently, previous leadership at the LA Times had no trouble recognizing Mr. Scheer's journalistic prowess in that they nominated him for the Pulitzer Prize.”
Babs continued: “My greatest fear is that the underlying reason for Mr. Scheer's termination is part of a larger trend toward the corporatization of our media, a trend that we, as American citizens, must fervently battle for the sake of our swiftly diminishing free press.”
Actually, Babs, this is part of a larger trend of declining subscription rates around the country as the nation rebels against papers that offer exclusively liberal commentary. In fact, as reported by Editor and Publisher on November 7: "The Los Angeles Times is down about 3.7% to 843,432 daily copies. On Sunday the paper reported a decrease of roughly 3.4% to 1,247,588 copies."
Far be it for the owners of the Times to want to arrest this declining rate, and give the public what it appears to want so that the Times can be more profitable.
*****Update from the Wall Street Journal: “Tribune Co.'s Los Angeles Times newspaper will cut about 110 positions from across its production facilities as part of a consolidation of three facilities and the closure of one plant.”