TODAY'S LETTERS: Readers Respond to a Smaller 'NYT,' Rupert Murdoch and Ponder The Role of Bloggers

By: E&P Staff The New York Times became a little smaller today, and readers had plenty to say about it. Reactions to Rupert Murdoch buying The Wall Street Journal keep coming in as well. Another reader wrote in about the void that bloggers are filling when traditional media falls short.

Smaller 'NYT' Coming on Monday
As with The Wall Street Journal recently, when the paper, The New York Times, shrinks, it is inevitable font-size shrinkage will follow, thus making it more difficult for many of us to read.

While I have been a WSJ subscriber since college in 1957, I find that I read fewer and fewer features in the paper and more online. And not necessarily in the Journal. It's just a matter of time until the WSJ's smaller fonts will result in one fewer subscriber!

Preston Morrow

I have a great solution for the NYT?s size issues ? fire former ENRON Board member Paul Krugman and send Maureen Dowd on a leave of absence to a house of mirrors where she can continually take self-portraits.

Michael S. Byington
Signal Mountain, Tenn.

I agree with the decision. Small thoughts from small thinkers take less paper!

Roger C.
St. Louis, Mo.

Rupert Murdoch Seals Deal for The Wall Street Journal

From what I have read, Rupert Murdoch is a 76-year-old man with no super powers we know of. They have a committee and unions and no proof Murdoch has any plans to lower the value of the WSJ.

Indeed, after spending what he did on the papers he, more than anyone else, has a goal of keeping the paper operating profitable. Or perhaps what journalists are afraid of is his unwillingness to unquestionably spend money on the papers without making sure they are doing so productively.

David J Horchak

C'mon, guys. Everyone really knows 90% of the panic about Rupert Murdoch is ideologically-driven and has nothing to do with journalistic standards.

A. O. Sulzberger can impose a rigid program of political correctness on his news operations, and see his venerable, once-trusted institution repeatedly be made a fool of as a result (Jayson Blair, the campaign against the Augusta National golf club, the Duke/lacrosse case, the flawed polling on illegal immigration), but orthodox press critics do not deplore his ascension to power, though it was based on the coarsest rationale, i.e., bloodlines.

Evan Thomas can make a statement in regard to his magazine's coverage of the Duke case to the effect that 'the narrative' - that is, the vintage 1967 one about bad racist whites vs. oppressed blacks - was correct, but 'the facts' turned out to be wrong.

Yet no one suggests (outside of conservative circles) that Thomas' political ideology and that of his colleagues taints Newsweek's journalism on race and gender issues. I doubt if any consumer who is not already a true believer along those lines takes MSM reports on these subjects very seriously.

Eason Jordan has conceded that CNN pulled its punches in coverage of Iraq during the Saddam Hussein regime, the same charge that is made concerning Murdoch and China. But CNN is not grilled within MSM circles about an institutional culture that tolerates this kind of thing.

If Murdoch's operations went docilely along with the party-lining conventional wisdom of the MSM (encapsulated in Newsweek's snarky weekly column), there would be little protest against his aggregation of media power from within the industry, just as no one protested the ultimately unsuccessful merger - remember? - of the Time, Warner, AOL, and Ted Turner empires. Like I say - c'mon, guys.

Mark Richard
Columbus, Ohio

Bloggers Filling Void Left by Traditional Press
When I watch press conferences, I am always amazed at the hair trigger willingness of the press to laugh at Mr. Bushs' consistent middle school level jokes and insults directed at their own colleagues.

They are doing nothing more than enabling him to avoid questions that he otherwise will have to answer, not to mention consistently contributing to the disrespect of their profession.

It makes me think of the smart, but unpopular girl at the country club dance, who obediently waits with sweaty palms for a meaningless spin with a disgusted partner.

When the press has no respect for themselves, or their position, we the reader/viewer cannot be expected to give them credit for courage or integrity.

This is the void the blogger is filling. If the traditional press won't get serious about their job, in the sense that Helen Thomas is, it will become extinct.

Ann Mathers
St. Helens, Ore.


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