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Dropping section is applauded

March 24, 2007

Re "Times' opinion chief quits," March 23

Former Editorial Page Editor Andres Martinez, with respect to his resignation from The Times, states: "[Publisher David] Hiller's decision amounts to a vote of no confidence in my continued leadership." Martinez had selected Hollywood producer Brian Grazer to be "guest editor" of this Sunday's Current section. Grazer, as Martinez would have us believe, is just coincidently a client of the company that Martinez's girlfriend works for. Martinez assured us that relationship did not factor into his selection of Grazer.

The Times' editorial page rails constantly over not only actual conflicts of interest in politics but also excoriates businesspersons and politicians for the appearance of conflicts of interest -- try the Getty and Eli Broad's Brentwood property purchase, or Harry Reid's dealings in Nevada real estate, for example. That Martinez would even consider the undertaking makes him unqualified for the job.

More alarming is the implied double standard of his colleagues who take umbrage to the criticisms of Martinez's conduct. They should find another line of work and, if they remain, The Times should take special care to ensure that they have adult supervision.

KIP DELLINGER

West Los Angeles

*

The fact that Martinez calls it the "Brian Grazer section" is enough reason for his quitting the paper. The idea of having a non-Times staffer edit the Current section was stupid. As a subscriber, I want my Times to be edited by the best journalists. If I want to see a great movie produced by Grazer, I will buy a movie ticket. But my subscription does not give Martinez or any other Times editor carte blanche to have Pete Rose edit the Sports section or George Bush edit the news section.

ROGER KRANZ

Tustin

*

Cancellation of the Grazer Current section isn't about outsiders "trumping" local control. It's about doing the right thing. Especially in this town -- where perception is reality -- The Times had no choice. The paper's decisive action and transparent decision-making are to be commended, not criticized.

MICHAEL BRUCE

ABELSON

Pasadena

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