Barbra Streisand wanted to make sure we all got to read the full text of her letter to the editor that ran—edited—in the L.A. Times on Nov. 28, protesting the cancellation of Robert Scheer's column. So she posted it at her website:
November 18, 2005
Editorial Page Editor
Los Angeles Times
202 W. 1st St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Dear Mr. Martinez,
This letter is to inform you that I am canceling my subscription to the LA Times, and here is the reason why:
The greater Southern California community is one that not only proudly embraces its diversity but demands it. Your publisher's decision to fire Robert Scheer is a great disservice to the spirit of our community.
I'm almost embarrassed for you in seeing the LA Times being referred to as the "Chicago LA Times" on the myriad of internet sites I've visited in the last few days. It seems, however, an aptly designated epithet, representing the feeling among many of your readers that your new leadership, especially that of Jeff Johnson, is entirely out of touch with them and their desire to be exposed to views that stretch them beyond their own paradigms. So although the number of contributors to your op-ed pages may have increased, in firing Robert Sheer and putting Jonah Goldberg in his place, the gamut of voices has undeniably been diluted, and I suspect this may ultimately decrease the number of readers of those same pages.
In light of the obvious step away from the principals of journalistic integrity, which would dictate that journalists be journalists, editors be editors and accountants be accountants, I am now forced to carefully reconsider which sources can be trusted to provide me with accurate, unbiased news and forthright opinions. Your new columnist, Jonah Goldberg, will not be one of those sources.
Robert Scheer's column, with its often singular voice of dissent and groundbreaking expositional content, has been among the most notable features that have sustained my interest in subscribing to the LA Times for many years now. Apparently, previous leadership at the LA Times had no trouble recognizing Mr. Scheer's journalistic prowess in that they nominated him for the Pulitzer Prize.
My greatest fear is that the underlying reason for Mr. Scheer's termination is part of a larger trend toward the corporatization of our media, a trend that we, as American citizens, must fervently battle for the sake of our swiftly diminishing free press.
Misspellings of "Sheer" and "principals" are hers, not mine. Her website includes the truncated version that ran in the paper.