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Letters

Division of opinion on Op-Ed changes

November 12, 2005

Re "Times Plans New Op-Ed Lineup," Nov. 11

I am outraged at your decision to drop columnist Robert Scheer and cartoonist Michael Ramirez from the Op-Ed page. They are two of the foremost exponents of their respective views.

Scheer is a brilliant exponent of the liberal agenda, and Ramirez is a gifted artist with a biting wit. I often disagree with both of them, but I never fail to read them. The Times will be a much more inferior paper with their absence.

DAVID BERMAN

Tarzana

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It seems a remarkable piece of irony that Scheer is being dropped now that every liberal word he has written about the Bush administration has turned out to be true.

Ramirez has long been too spiteful for my taste, but he, along with the masterly Scheer, have provided sometimes biting but always thought-provoking and legitimate points of view that added depth and distinction to the editorial pages.

The sacking of these two gentlemen tells me that the once-mighty Los Angeles Times is rapidly becoming just another newspaper.

WANDA M. KUENZLI

Eagle Rock

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I remember very well the first copy of The Times I saw. The headline concerned the Soviet invasion of Hungary in 1956. Because you fired Scheer, Friday's edition shall be the last I read.

STEVEN SPEAR

Carlsbad

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Is the demise of Scheer as a Times columnist a positive direction for journalism? I would hope so! Scheer's commentary was mean-spirited and destructive. In fact, journalism and political commentary have failed us; bomb throwing prevails. Ann Coulter, Maureen Dowd and many others pursue shock journalism. Critical, constructive analysis is absent.

I would hope that The Times is beginning a renaissance. The world is at a pivotal point. The editorial pages must be constructive while presenting diverse opinions. We are a divided nation facing menacing problems. The editors need to establish a universal criterion for commentary: Be constructive.

BOB PAUL

Chino

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Scheer's firing is a disgrace and yet another move by the Tribune Co. to put its stamp on the direction of its possession, the Los Angeles Times. The turn to the right is not disguised by the dismissal of Ramirez but further illustrates The Times' disregard of its leadership position in the community.

If The Times intends to publish "all points of view and the broadest range of opinion," then reinstate Scheer and permit him to continue to do what he does best -- provoke public opinion.

JIM LETZEL

Mission Viejo

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The Times' management just made my day. To drop (I would use "throw out") Scheer and Ramirez is the beginning of getting this newspaper back onto news and events, and not a media that know only how to degrade and insult people they don't like.

JOHN A. BING

Laguna Beach

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Did Dodger owner Frank McCourt buy The Times?

MICHAEL HELWIG

Canoga Park

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Since the introduction of Sunday Current, I don't get to think and wrestle with issues as much by reading The Times. The issues are dumbed down in both appearance and content: larger print, meaningless graphics and less depth. On Friday, I read of the departures of Scheer and Ramirez. By eliminating some of the tension on the editorial pages, The Times is becoming metaphorically more like Muzak than like an original composition.

Although the number of people who read newspapers is decreasing, those of us who still read the paper do so by choice. Give us something worth choosing, or pretty soon you'll have a paper that is as fluffy and light as that other paper we have down here in Orange County.

KRISTI GOLDEN

Mission Viejo

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Ramirez says more in one cartoon than most writers can in a three-page article. Too bad -- you lose. We can go somewhere else for his cartoons.

JEAN TANNY

Simi Valley

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What? You're dumping Ramirez, a voice that gives your paper balance? Can you please leave my editorial pages blank and send me a box of Crayolas?

IRENE DEBLASIO

Studio City

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You're dropping Scheer, one of the bravest voices of reason around, and keeping the powers-that-be-apologist Max Boot? After 30 years of reading The Times, I am canceling my home subscription as well as the free copies I receive for my high school students. Something very troubling is happening at The Times.

DOUG LASKEN

Woodland Hills

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I applaud the addition of Jonah Goldberg to your Op-Ed lineup. He is a superb writer and a marvelous conservative thinker. Nice job. However, I am disappointed that you let go of Ramirez, not only because I think he is a great cartoonist but because I enjoy political cartoons in general. Please reconsider your decision on this matter.

JEFFERY SMITH

Westminster

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