Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Patrick Goldstein's Column Should Run In LAT

Written from Ashland, Ore--

It was with considerable astonishment that I read that Patrick Goldstein's column suggesting a way the L.Å. Times might earn enough money selling music on its Web site to compensate for not putting ads on Page 1, had been killed by management.

How dumb is the Tribune Co., and its Los Angeles designate, publisher David Hiller!

It is obvious Tribune thinks Page 1 ads are great. Anything to stem the revenue losses caused by its own downsizing and denigration of the newspaper. These Chicago idiots have screwed around with the newspaper for seven years, and now they are fixing to disgrace it with yet another cheap, sleazy, classless innovation, the Page 1 ads.

And when Goldstein and other dedicated reporters try to find a way out for them, try to find ways of maintaining the paper's reputation, their efforts are promptly thrown in the trash can.

Just yesterday, before leaving on the train for Oregon, I raised in this blog the question of containing crises, and how difficult this is to do. Of the crises mentioned yesterday, -- sub-prime mortgages, Pakistan, Cardinal Mahony, Tribune Co. and Times management -- it might actually be easiest to put the Times on a different course. All it takes is brains, a willingness to invest a little in innovations such as Goldstein suggests, and it would happen. The downturn would be reversed.

And Hiller won't even run Goldstein's column in the newspaper. How shameful! This guy is so wedded to the directives he gets from Chicago that he can't think out of the box at all.

It is depressing indeed that the Times has fallen into such a mess.


It's remarkable what one good step can accomplish. We see that in Libya today with the release of the Bulgarian nurses who had been accused of responsibility for causing AIDS in several hundred of their patients. It always was a ridiculous accusation, but the nurses were convicted and sentenced to death. It then took years of pressure from the rest of the world to get the sentences commuted and everyone returned to Bulgaria. Cecilia Sarkozy, the wife of the president of France deserves special credit for flying to Libya to reach the final agreement.

Finally the Libyan government has done the right thing, and now it is sure to reap the benefits in the form of wider recognition, aid of all kinds, and the beginnings of a return to good repute as a country. The effects of this correct, if belated, decision may reverse years of bad feeling.

It gives us some hope that other seemingly intractible problems can be solved. If so, the world would be a far more pleasant place.



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