MONDAY’S LETTERS: E&P’s Use of ‘Righties,’ Content Is the Problem, a New Orleans Thank You to APME

By: E&P Staff

In today’s letters, one reader thinks we reveal our lefty bias by our use of the word “righties” in the headline of a previous letters column, another reader surmises that the woes in the newspaper industry are related more to content than to delivery media, and the owner of a guest house in New Orleans thanks the APME for not moving its convention this year in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

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Reader Doesn’t Like E&P’s Use of ‘Righties’

During a break in the newsroom Friday (Oct. 20), I noticed with great interest that you ran two letters from conservative readers under the rubric “Righties on ‘NYT’ profits.”

I took a few minutes to crack open the ol’ Associated Press stylebook on my desk to determine when, if ever, the term “righty” is appropriate to use to describe a political conservative. Suffice it to say, it’s not in there. Anywhere.

I find it oddly humorous that E&P wishes to use such a pejorative while continually perpetuating the Big Lie that the ship of American journalism is sailing straight down the middle rather than hard to port.

Just print the news, and keep your political opinions and smart remarks to yourselves. If more people in our credibility-strained business took that to heart, maybe we wouldn’t be in the current situation in which every other E&P or Poynter story is about a newsroom layoff.

Kevin Craver
Crystal Lake, Ill.

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Newspaper industry’s Woes Because of Content

I read the recent articles about the decline in circulation, profits, and employment in the traditional media with a sense of sadness. I am a former Bostonian who read the Globe, and, now a Californian who read the San Jose Mercury News. Four years ago, I cancelled my subscription to the Mercury News because the paper’s quality had gone into the same kind of tailspin which is affecting the Globe, and the New York Times, and most large daily newspapers and TV networks.

I was not expecting to hear anything from the Mercury News, but, I was wrong. I was offered the newspaper for less than the published rate, and, somehow got onto the free subscription system which resulted in the receipt of the paper for free for many months. I understood perfectly that these free papers buoyed up the circulation and maintained the Mercury News? advertising rates based on circulation audits.

Now, I wrote a series of letters to the Mercury News, asking them the following questions:

Since our national elections show that a majority of voters have elected a Republican President, a Republican Congress and a plurality of Republicans at the state level, did they not understand that their unrelenting drumbeat of anti-Republican editorials and the transformation of the news into thinly vieled left-wing propaganda pieces were offensive to the majority of readers? …

I asked why, in the face of facts like the Fox News Network, coming from nowhere, and having passed CNN in viewership, did they not realize that the problem was that they had abandoned their niche in news reporting to those who addressed the interests of the majority. Now the Internet is, flat out, doing a much better job of reporting the news, and the Fox News motto “we report, you decide” hits a responsive chord with the public. When I read the juvenile pap on the traditional news media’s websites and compare it to the WSJ, the NRO, Powerline, Pajamas media, and many others, I realize that the day of the traditional newspaper is over, whether in newsprint or on the Web.

The problem is not in the delivery medium, it is in the content. And, as long as the New York Times keeps revealing classified intelligence information, hurting our public interest and helping our enemies; and as long as CNN keeps running propaganda clips from the terrorists, and avoids telling a balanced story about Iraq; and as long as all our newspapers, TV and wire services keep publishing phony polls calculated to shift voters to the Democrats, (and never revealing that the polls were mostly wrong, and all biased in the same direction); then, the American public will collectively realize that the traditional press are a bunch of liars and incompetents. …

Arthur LeMay

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APME and New Orleans

Thank you so much to the APME and Executive Director Mark Middelstadt for standing by their commitment to hold their 2006 meeting in New Orleans. … The return of a vigorous convention schedule (which in reality is mostly in fall and spring — far away from the threat of bad weather) is absolutely crucial to our economic recovery. There are so many small businesses that depend on these guests that any cancellation is like a knife through our hearts. As the owner of a small hotel (New Orleans has more small hotels than any other city its size — according to a Cornell study) I know we cannot long survive without these guests. We are all hanging on by a thread right now.

When the APME comes to New Orleans and sees that we are ready, willing, and able to host the large meetings we’ve always handled, I hope THIS is the overriding message the members carry home with them, and publish. Surely they will see that much of our residential and outlying commercial is in ruins. Of that there is no doubt. But frankly, that is old news. The mechanism is in place, and working, to restore those areas. It is difficult and time consuming work, but it is happening. The bigger story is that the New Orleans that is loved around the world is “ready for its close up,” and the best thing anybody can do for us now is just to come on down.

Thank you to your industry for honoring your commitment, and if you get a chance, please recommend to other industries that they do the same.

Joanne Hilton
St. Charles Guest House
New Orleans, La.

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