Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio and former L.A. Times columnist and reporter Robert Scheer have been pals a long time—at least since Scheer interviewed the "boy mayor" of Cleveland for Playboy in 1979. Kucinich began writing his autobiography in Scheer's Los Angeles apartment. He blurbed for Scheer's recent book on President Bush ("will become the required text for the coming wave of campus teach-ins and mass protests over US policy in Iraq.") Scheer has donated at least $2,500 to Kucinich's congressional campaigns.
That's some of the background to the weekend's news that Kucinich organized two dozen Democrats in Congress (including Californians Diane Watson, Hilda Solis, George Miller and others) to sign a letter to the Times' publisher demanding that Scheer's axed column be kept on the op-ed page. Kucinich posted it Saturday at the Huffington Post, where blogger Jeff Jarvis follows up by calling the politicos out of line for addressing the letter from "we, as Members of Congress..."
Meanwhile, as Scheer prepares to launch Truthdig tomorow, I received a pass-along email alleging that a Times circulation operator told an unhappy caller that Scheer is a "registered communist." Hard to believe that some random operator would go there, but it cost the Times at least two long-time subscribers—even though one of them claims she was offered the paper for free.