By: Dave Astor
Halloween was last month, but the newspaper world remains a scary place in certain ways. So the Qualmbudsman is back for a third time, still costumed as an allegedly credible advice columnist.
Your thoughts on the major layoffs at dailies such as Newsday and The Dallas Morning News?
? Cher Holder
With staffs shrinking so much, perhaps broadsheets should just skip switching to a tabloid format and become postage-sized instead.
Did newspapers devote too much space to the Peterson murder case in California?
? Dread Scott
Killing is wrong, but it wouldn’t have hurt editors to kill a few Peterson stories crowding out more important news.
When I cast my electronic vote for Kerry, it registered on-screen as a vote for Bush. Why didn’t more newspapers investigate this and other voting irregularities?
? Buck I. State
Citizens sent electronic messages to newspapers saying “please investigate voting irregularities,” but the words registered in most editors’ minds as “please DON’T investigate voting irregularities.”
What do you think of the now-famous Los Angeles Times photo of a U.S. soldier as Marlboro man with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth?
? M.P. Zeema
Some people call the picture iconic, but I call it ironic. If that soldier survives Iraq, his three-pack-a-day habit may kill him eventually.
Another photo, in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, showed Vice President Cheney with a large, um, first name. Do you want to discuss this?
? Part Attack
No, I have other priorities, not to mention family values. But it does give new meaning to the expression, ?large and in charge.?
Will the Tribune Co.’s plan to combine its newspapers’ Washington bureaus mean identical political stories in all the chain’s dailies?
? Les Ismore
Why stop there? The next time the Chicago Tribune runs a story about snow-shoveling tips, the piece can run in the Orlando Sentinel, too.
Should Seattle remain a two-newspaper town?
? Brenda Starrbucks
Yes. Shutting down bureaus in one Washington is enough.
Why isn’t Alberto Gonzales, Bush’s nominee for attorney general, a press-friendly kind of guy?
? Seals and Ashcroft
Maybe he feels the First Amendment, like the Geneva Convention, is “quaint.”
Don’t you think embedded reporters traveling with the military tended to offer too-rosy a view of the assault on Fallujah?
? Geneva A. Cord
Why should it be any different than being embedded at the White House and Pentagon press rooms?
Now that Jimmy Breslin and William Safire have announced their retirements, are there any younger columnists ready to take their place?
? R. Kayik
I’m not sure they’d give up their blogs.