Saturday, November 12, 2005

Shame On You, L.A.Times

My local paper, the Los Angeles Times, just fired Robert Scheer, left-wing columnist, and Michael Ramirez, right-wing editorial cartoonist. I have always looked forward to Robert Scheer's take on the state of the union, and read him faithfully for many years. While I'm completely opposed to Michael Ramirez' point of view, I am in awe of his talent as a cartoonist (having some interest in the field myself), and there are so few really good right-wing cartoonists (yes, I'm talking to you, Mallard Fillmore) that to get rid of arguably the best one in the country is crazy. I'm just as angry at Ramirez being let go as I am at Scheer's dismissal. I don't have any links to post about it yet, but there may be some later - I just heard it from my local progressive talk radio host Johnny Wendell. You may be sure I will be cancelling my subscription, effective immediately, and calling the paper to tell them why.

Well, I suppose it's par for the course. The traditional media are going to hell in a handbasket. Toothless and drooling, they are serving up bland, tasteless pabulum, completely devoid of any substance or nutrition whatsoever. Trying to save money by firing talent is killing the goose that lays the golden egg to save on the cost of goose food.

Even though I now get most of my news from the Internet, I still enjoy(ed) reading the newspaper. I am a reader by nature. I like print, paper, something to hold in my hand while I drink my coffee. But so many of my favorite columnists have died or retired; newspapers are not what they were. And I just have to face the sad fact that newspapers are on their way out. Circulation is down all over the country, and the media as an entity are either owned and controlled by a conglomerate which dictates editorial policy or terrified of stepping over the line and offending someone.

What a tragedy.


Yoga Korunta said...

Yes, Alicia, you are right in that numbers crunchers have steadily dumbed down our culture. Even NPR speaks in the vernacular.

Do you remamber Mike Royko?

Daniel Levesque said...

They're trying to address the concerns raides about the entire being left-wing, but it was a mistake to fire a cartoonist, right or left wing in the interests of rebalancing. Cartoons aren't supposed to be balanced.

Alicia Morgan said...

I do remember Mike Royko, and Jack Smith, and Jim Murray - I miss them all. And I don't notice the Wall Street Journal or the Washington Times firing any legendary right-wing columnists in the name of 'balance'.

As much as I see things differently from Ramirez, I always looked forward to his cartoon because it was good. As an artist and opinionator, that's what I look for. Do you portray your point of view in an original, thought-provoking manner? And his art skills are phenomenal.