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Dennis Kucinich: Save Scheer

Newspaper editorial pages make suggestions about policy-making all the time. So I guess it’s fair play when policy-makers make suggestions to newspapers about how to run their editorial pages. But it still gives me a slightly creepy feeling. Case in point, Congressman / 2004 Democratic presidential primary candidate Dennis Kucinich has Huffington-posted an open letter to LAT publisher Jeffrey Johnson, urging him to reconsider the dismissal of Robert Scheer. It’s signed not only by Kucinich but by twenty-three other Democratic house members, including several Californians. Text apres le jump.


Jeffrey M. Johnson
Publisher
Los Angeles Times
202 West First Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Dear Mr. Johnson:

We, as Members of Congress, object to the dismissal of Robert Scheer, a 32-year veteran of the LA Times with a long history of excellence in reporting and op ed pieces. For example, over the last 10 years:

Scheer, in 1995, was a leading critic of the Gingrich plan to cut social spending to record low levels and he wrote adamantly about the need to save affirmative action.

In 1996, Scheer criticized welfare reform for its effect on the poor as soon as the economy turns south.

Scheer wrote in 1999 in defense of Wen Ho Lee, the nuclear weapons scientist accused by many of selling nuclear secrets, despite the lack of evidence.

In 200, Scheer preidcted the Bush/Cheney ticket’s close ties to the oil industry would ensure consumers would “feel the sting from the exhorbitant price of gas.”

In 2001, Scheer identified the dangerous precedent of the Patriot Act. He forecast the attack on our basic liberties.

In 2003, Scheer was already making a strong case for the U.S. getting out of Iraq.

Scheer’s final column highlighted military intelligence documents that suggested Iraqi intelligence was manipulated, as opposed to simply bad intelligence.

On Nov. 11th, the LA Times reported this dismissal along with other staff cuts. According to the article, a conservative contributing editor to the National Review has been hired to write for the op-ed pages. In effect the LA Times has hired a Bush Administration cheerleader to replace a leading critic of the Administration.

Your readers, and the nation, deserve better. We hope that you will reconsider your dismissal of Robert Scheer.

Sincerely,

Dennis Kucinich (D-OH)
Diane Watson (D-CA)
Barbara Lee (D-CA)
Lynn Woolsey (D-CA)
John Tierney (D-MA)
Neil Abercrombie (D-HI)
Lloyd Doggett (D-TX)
Richard Neal (D-MA)
Michael Honda (D-CA)
Raul Grijalva (D-AZ)
Patrick Kennedy (D-RI)
Juanita Millender-McDonald (D-CA)
Bob Filner (D-CA)
Maurice Hinchey (D-NY)
Marcy Kaptur (D-OH)
Gwen Moore (D-WI)
John Lewis (D-GA)
George Miller (D-CA)
Bill Clay (D-MO)
Donald Payne (D-NJ)
Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)
Hilda Solis (D-CA)
Sam Farr (D-CA)
Sherrod Brown (D-OH)

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