Los Angeles author Howard Rosenberg (the former LAT critic) and his co-author Charles Feldman were booked on KRON TV in San Francisco on Jan. 3 to talk about their new book, "No Time to Think: The Menace of Media Speed and the 24-hour News Cycle." Then host Jan Wahl called with the news that she had to cancel: format change, so no more interviews. Well, there is no format change. The authors were dropped because their book zings television news. KRON news director Aaron Pero admitted it to the boys' publicist via email:
The format hasn't changed. We still do guests. But I am not all that interested in a book that is going to be critical of what we do as a business. So I am going to pass on this one.
The authors, duly pissed now, sent Pero an outraged email that's after the jump.
* That was fast: Shortly after the post went up, Feldman was interviewed by a Bay Area media outlet and KRON offered through a news producer to interview the authors this weekend. "We will pass," Rosenberg emails.
Dear Mr. Pero---
I spent much of my early reporting career covering Mayor Ed Koch of New York City who, when confronted by a truly stupid question or dumb comment, would simply say to the person: "you ought to be ashamed of yourself!"
Well, Aaron, you ought to be ashamed of yourself. That we were un-invited to appear on Jan Wahl's show because you are--and I quote--"not interested in a book that is going to be critical of what we do as a business," is not only unconscionable but displays shocking contempt for the intelligence of your viewers. Do you really think their trust in your station will crumble if they listen to some critical comments about the television news industry? If so, I would suggest strongly that the foundation upon which your station is built is a weak one.
The issue is far bigger than our book.
Government censorship is not nearly as bad as is corporate censorship--especially by a company that serves the public---or ought to.
You also show contempt toward Ms. Wahl by your actions.
The public will learn--it always does remember--of such actions and when it does, I hope you will have ready a far better excuse than not being interested in a book critical of "what we do as a business."
Charles S. Feldman