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The Weblog at The View from the Core - Thu. 12/08/05 07:03:40 AM

Streisand the Unconscious

The blogosphere is abuzz over the full text of Barbra Streisand's letter to the editor of the Los Angeles Times, available now at her website (italics in original).

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Posted on November 28, 2005

This is the original letter I wrote to the LA Times regarding their firing of Robert Scheer:

November 18, 2005

Andres Martinez
Editorial Page Editor
Los Angeles Times
202 W. 1st St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Dear Mr. Martinez,

This letter is to inform you that I am canceling my subscription to the LA Times, and here is the reason why:

The greater Southern California community is one that not only proudly embraces its diversity but demands it. Your publisher's decision to fire Robert Scheer is a great disservice to the spirit of our community.

I'm almost embarrassed for you in seeing the LA Times being referred to as the "Chicago LA Times" on the myriad of internet sites I've visited in the last few days. It seems, however, an aptly designated epithet, representing the feeling among many of your readers that your new leadership, especially that of Jeff Johnson, is entirely out of touch with them and their desire to be exposed to views that stretch them beyond their own paradigms. So although the number of contributors to your op-ed pages may have increased, in firing Robert Sheer and putting Jonah Goldberg in his place, the gamut of voices has undeniably been diluted, and I suspect this may ultimately decrease the number of readers of those same pages.

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.

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.


Barbra Streisand

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Please, Faithful Reader, if I ever embarrass myself like that, slap me upside the head. (If it's too late... well... never mind.)

B.S. seems to be living in a profound unconsciousness; by which I mean, she is clueless as to what kind of person she really is, and she's oblivious to what's really happening around her.

By any reasonable measure, removing Robert Scheer from the op-ed page at LAT, and adding Jonah Goldberg, will reward their left-coast readership's "desire to be exposed to views that stretch them beyond their own paradigms". Shouldn't B.S. be applauding?

As to the "corporatization of our media" — hasn't B.S. gotten fabulously wealthy and famous from the corporations in media that produced & distributed her albums & movies?

Finally, "our free press", far from "swiftly diminishing", is actually expanding apace. Long gone are the days when Walter Cronkite, acting alone, could change the course of a war with an early-evening, off-the-cuff pronouncement. The rise of talk radio, conservative cable news, and the Internet, has provided outlets for points of view quite at odds with those who share the paradigms of B.S.

It may very well be that a diagnosis of unconsciousness is far too generous. The last thing (really, the last thing) B.S. wants is anything that challenges her paradigms. That LAT's readership will be getting more diversity is what she is really objecting to, not a dilution of the "gamut of voices" presented therein. Indeed, if she wants "forthright opinions", Goldberg ought to be just who she wants to read. She expresses a desire for "accurate, unbiased news"; what she really wants is news carefully selected and slanted to fit her paradigms — which is evidenced by the very cause of, and nature of, her letter. She says she worries about "our swiftly diminishing free press"; what she really fears is the final and complete collapse of mainstream media's monopoly on the dissemination of information and opinion.

Psychosis might be a better diagnostic fit.

Lane Core Jr. CIW P — Thu. 12/08/05 07:03:40 AM
Categorized as Media.


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