THURSDAY’S LETTERS: ‘NYT’ May be Crazy, But Neil Young Definitely Not Insane

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By: E&P Staff

In today’s letters, we have more feedback on TimesSelect as well as the New York Times Co.’s plans to cut its workforce by 500, plus confirmation that Neil Young is not crazy (still, we prefer him stomping his effects pedals to stomping newspapers).

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Someone Agrees With Neil Young

Re: Farm Aid and Chicago Tribune Article

I am an attorney and CPA who has written extensively on the charitable sector. John Wiley & Son is publishing my 750 Handbook for Non-Profit Boards, Executive Directors, and Advisors in February 2006. Part of that book includes a discussion of how to measure charitable effectiveness.

On this past Sunday I wrote a lengthy post for my blog taking the Tribune article apart. That article was one of the worst pieces of journalism I have ever seen. You will find that post here.

As a consumer of news, I found the Tribune story very disturbing. This is something I have expertise in so I can readily see the errors and faulty reasoning. What troubles me is whether the coverage of areas where I have no particular expertise (like Iraq, North Korea, and the War on Terror) is as inaccurate. It should trouble quite a few people. Neil Young had every right to very upset with the Tribune.

Jack B. Siegel
Charity Governance Consulting LLC
Auto Didactix LLC

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Re: TimesSelect Forces NYTNS Clients to Change Online Habits

I may not be a NY Times customer (I live in California) but I depended on access to their Op-Ed and contracted columnists for a “Reality Check.” The fact that the New York Times is now selling the only content of their paper that provides a creative and intelligent voice tells me that they are more interested in profit than credibility… sad comment.

I try to follow several writers from all over the country and if I had to subscribe to each newspaper that they are indentured to, then the only thing available would be the blogs and Rush Limbaugh… which triggers the observation that few if any conservative columns are being held ransom… Are they, in effect, telling us that the only aspect of their business that has any intrinsic value is the watch-dogs, voices of dissent and intelligent discourse?

It seems obvious that well trained graduates of expensive Business Schools are inflicting the world with their own version of reality, and that is, the only thing that matters is the Bottom Line and what really matters is that the Bottom Line had to show a profit yesterday… An impressive facade and the Ray-Ban slogan of; “You don’t have to be good if you look good,” is now the now creed of the people who are not only running our business but also running our country.

Pete Daggett

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This TimesSelect business is killing my interest in the New York Times.

I’m a freelance writer and scan half a dozen U.S. papers online, as well as a couple of foreign ones. Although I may still go to the NYT Web site, which is one of the best laid out and which still provides good international coverage, the real value of the Times is its columnists.

They are asking $49.95 a year for the privilege of reading their Op-Ed columns. That might be worth it, but to subscribe would only give other news outlets the same idea. This is not affordable.

I hope E&P monitors this closely, and lets readers know how the Times online readership is affected by TimesSelect.

Thank you for paying attention.

Robert Bruce
Ukiah, Calif.

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Glitch in TimesSelect?

Here’s a HUGE glitch at The New York Times. Their NY Times Select is not available to the thousands of home subscribers whose carriers are independent contractors. I am one such subscriber. I do not have an account number, so to the NY Times, I guess I do not exist — even though I have been a paid subscriber in Kansas City for more than a decade. Alas, no more.

Stephen Rose

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There’s joy in the White House tonight.

Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Rove couldn’t do it, but The Times has effectively silenced Thomas Friedman and Maureen Dowd by putting their columns on a “Pay to Read Basis.”

Bill Roddy
Mission Viejo, Calif.

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Re: ‘Boston Globe’ Publisher Explains Job Reduction Plan

If, as the publisher claims, the job cuts at The New York Times and Boston Globe won’t result in a reduction in the quality of either paper, why were these people being paid in the first place?

It seems to me that if somebody is employed, they must be contributing to the quality of the firm’s product, or am I just simple-minded?

I guess the Times and the Globe were just rife with cronyism and nepotism. Who would have thought so?

Jon R. Koppenhoefer
Springfield, Ohio

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Re: Our Sept. 7 Letters Column:

Claudia Lefevre-Lowry, while calling you idiots, rants in her letter about the incompetence of New Orleans and Louisiana government (read Democrats). She says it isn’t FEMA’s job to plan for incompetence on the part of first responders. But who trains first responders for disasters? he following is from FEMA’s web site:

http://www.fema.gov/about/

“FEMA’s continuing mission within the new department is to lead the effort to prepare the nation for all hazards and effectively manage federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates proactive mitigation activities, trains first responders, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration.”

I guess Ms. Lefevre-Lowry relies on right-wing blogs and Townhall.com for her news and opinion.

It’s interesting that the right wing uses the word “shrill” to describe someone from the other side who forcefully makes a case with which the right disagrees. Ms. Lefevre-Lowry personifies shrill. And ill-informed.

David Benson
McLean, Va.

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