By Hillel Aron
By Joseph Tsidulko
By Patrick Range McDonald
By David Futch
By Hillel Aron
By Dennis Romero
By Jill Stewart
By Dennis Romero
SYMPHONY OF SLAMS
The L.A. Weekly’s constant rationalizing and minimizing of its outrageous left-wing bias is nothing new, but how can Harold Meyerson actually make such an insupportable argument as “A hunt for ideologically driven or monomaniacal newspapers in America will turn up more dailies than weeklies” [“Hold the Politics,” Powerlines, January 24–30] and still expect to be published? Oh, that’s right. It’s the Weekly. You guys can say anything you want, and anyone who disagrees with you even slightly receives the standard barrage of liberal epithets: reactionary, racist, homophobe and, your worst insult of all, Valleyite. The irony is your disdain for the Valley and its middle-class denizens reveals the elitism inherent in your snooty Westside iconoclastic attitudes. To justify the Weekly’s stultifyingly narrow view, Meyerson points to “a soupçon of ideological tilt in the talk-radio market and its TV counterpart, the Fox News Channel.” Is he kidding? At least Fox hires avowed leftists like Geraldo Rivera and Alan Colmes to balance the so-called rightists. Who does the Weekly have to balance its gaggle of aging hippies, dilettante academicians and “special interest” advocates? Nobody, that’s who. And despite Meyerson’s claim that the New Times was somehow “classically neocon,” Jill Stewart was the lone voice of centrist ideas in that otherwise standard-issue Lenin/Lennonist rag. But I guess even one dissenter is too much for the delicate sensibilities of L.A.’s “people of conscience” (or whatever fatuous, intellectually masturbatory name they have for themselves these days).
Anyway, if the Department of Justice investigation was the result of Machiavellian machinations engineered by the Bush White House, maybe it’s time for you all to stop dismissing him as so stupid. After his so-called “theft” of the White House in ’00 and his wrangling of both houses of Congress in the next cycle, it seems he’s got all you liberals flummoxed. L.A. may have a boundless and inflexible appetite for the Weekly’s brand of softheaded utopian piety, but the whole rest of the country obviously prefers Bush’s down-home populism.
—Tony Blass Winnetka
The suggestion that alternative weeklies aren’t far more politically opinionated than any major daily (the Daily News included) is such contrarian nonsense that it’s hardly worth commenting on. And the categorization of the New Times as neoconservative only proves how myopic Meyerson’s world-view has become. If anything, New Times gave Democrats an easier pass than the Weekly did, but at least some attempt was made to dish out praise and blame evenly to both sides (clearly not the case at the Weekly, notwithstanding Harold’s second-to-last paragraph, where he trots out the two nice things his paper has said about Republicans in the last 10 years as evidence of its evenhandedness).
Basically, two large corporations (Village Voice Media and New Times) have conspired to slash this city’s political dialogue in half for the sake of boosting profits. If Meyerson didn’t happen to work for one of them, he’d be camped out on the Justice Department’s steps demanding an investigation. What a fucking hypocrite.
—Steven Kedrowski Los Feliz
Harold Meyerson fails to identify — let alone analyze — the responsibilities of the U.S. Department of Justice. The various examples of media homogenization he cites are certainly lamentable, but if anyone should remedy this problem, it is our elected representatives. By contrast, the role of the DOJ is to enforce existing laws. Mr. Meyerson cites no examples of the U.S. government’s failure to prosecute illegal behavior. With regard to the New Times/Village Voice Media case, the DOJ’s interest in promoting diversity is mandated by statutes that are already on the books. DOJ lawyers are not promoting — and should not be promoting — diversity in any other context.
—Jeff Norman Los Angeles
Shortly after reading Harold Meyerson’s article about the alleged collusion between Village Voice Media and the New Times company (Jesus, talk about good riddance), I flipped the page to the Night Music column, where Alan Rich, per his usual, was finding nothing good in L.A. Opera — he hates them, the Philharmonic, everybody. In fact, I’m almost as sick of reading him as I was of reading the New Times. Anyway, the thought struck me — if thedeal between New Times and Village Voice has to be revisited, maybe you could send Alan Rich to Cleveland and find someone to cover classical music in L.A. who isn’t predisposed to think it’s all shit. Plus, I’d be interested to see if the world-renowned Cleveland Orchestra might possibly measure up to Mr. Rich’s standards, or if he’s just congenitally hostile to live music.
OILY, BUT SUBTLE
Marc Cooper is right about the sloppiness of the film Power and Terror, but he misses the point in his analysis of Chomsky’s views [“Left-Footed,” January 24–30]. Just because Chinese and Russian regimes murdered more of their own people than we did doesn’t mean we aren’t, as Chomsky says, “one of the worst” when it comes to 2 million to 3 million dead in Vietnam, our brutal behavior in Central America (which Cooper knows all about), not to mention a long history of violent expansionism, gunboat diplomacy, imperialism. We may be subtler than the commies, but once you cross a certain line — say, inviting a death-squad leader to dance at the inaugural ball, as Guatemalan thug Mario Sandoval Alacan did at Reagan’s second — what’s the difference, morally speaking?