Tuesday, December 1, 2009

I recently cancelled the daily subscription to my local newspaper, The San Diego Union Tribune. Local newspapers are dying and they blame their demise on the Internet and other news sources. While I agree with their conclusions, I added my own concerns. If you share the same concerns, you may want to send a similar letter to your local newspaper.

To Whom It May Concern:

When I called to cancel my subscription, I was asked to give a reason. I would like to explain my decision. Frankly, you no longer publish the news. I have been a faithful reader of the San Diego Union for more than 40 years and formerly I counted on you to tell me what was happening in our community, city, state, and country. I can no longer count on your perspective. I understand that covering the "news" is like studying "history." What a student learns about history depends on what the teacher believes to be important and what the reader learns about the news depends on what the editorial staff believes to be important.

You are no longer covering what is important to me and so many of my fellow citizens of San Diego. Let me explain - in no particular order.

1. A few weeks ago, our president went to China, in part, to encourage the Chinese government to continue to invest in our bonds. I didn't realize how much trouble our dollar was in because of our debt. It is on the brink of collapse. THAT'S IMPORTANT TO ME! I haven't heard one word from you about our desperate situation. I had to read it on Drudge. I would think it would be important to you.

2. To add to my concern, key governments around the world are considering dropping the dollar as the exchange currency for a more stable currency. If this happens, the value of our dollar will hit a death spiral that will cause national inflation making the Carter years seem pleasant by comparison. THAT'S IMPORTANT TO ME! It will affect all your readers, shouldn't we hear about this from our trusted newspaper?

3. Last week I heard from friends who live in Visalia, a city in our Central Valley, that thousands of acres of pristine farm land in their area are now a dustbowl because the main water supply has been turned off. Environmentalists claim the water pumps may be harmful to a 2-inch sardine. Why didn't I hear about the farming situation from you? THAT'S IMPORTANT TO ME! The central valley of California is our nation's breadbasket. If the farmers are unable to grow crops, where will our country get much of its food? And what will that do to the cost of our food? This issue concerns all of America, but not one word from the San Diego Union. Why not? This is a national crisis, but I had to hear it from someone who lives in our Central Valley, not from you.

4. We now have a national debt approaching 12 trillion dollars. In less than 10 years it is projected by official government figures to be more than 24 trillion. It is foolish to keep spending when we don't have money. Families can't do it and neither should our government. It will catch up with us. Our children, grandchildren, and future generations will be paying the interest on this debt forever. It will never be paid. Despite this unbelievable burden on our economy, our government leaders now want to impose a government healthcare on us that will cost at least an extra trillion dollars each year. The CATO Institute has shown the extra trillion will actually be closer to an extra 3.5 trillion. Medical costs will be increased to the majority of Americans as well as rationed care to all. You can't add 30 to 50 million new patients and no program to add new doctors without rationing care. THAT'S IMPORTANT TO ME! The majority of Americans are against this bill, but you have chosen to simply repeat Obama's talking points. You are not representing your readers.

5. A whistleblower from the UK's Hadley Centre, one of the world's leading climate change research centers, has proven the Centre has been lying about their research. They have been using false data for years. Since the world governments, including the United States, have been relying on Hadley Centre as a main source to validate global warming, THAT'S IMPORTANT TO ME! The climate is NOT getting warmer. It was and is a hoax. Their temperature data was being forged to prove alleged "manmade global warming." But I had to read about this on the Internet from newspapers in Britain. My newspaper is deadly silent on this issue. Newspapers in England are calling this situation "climate-gate," but the San Diego Union has chosen not to report it. Are you beginning to understand my concern??

6. The global warming "crisis" is a myth; now not even Al Gore calls it global warming. It is has been renamed to "climate change." Our government is getting ready to impose another tax on us called "cap and trade" that is supposed to "help stop global warming." Experts from all parts of the political spectrum admit this tax is not needed and would be nothing more than an added tax on an already struggling economy. Why haven’t you bothered to explain this complicated situation to your readers? Most don't even know what "cap and trade" means. THAT'S IMPORTANT TO ME! You are supposed to be our advocate but not one word from the San Diego Union.

7. One of the best characteristics of our system of government is the system of checks and balances. The judicial, legislative, and executive system of government has worked well for more than 200 years. Then why do we need 35 czars to run a free country? What is a czar? Why do we need them? Why did Obama appoint them if he already has a Senate vetted Cabinet? If these czars are making major policy decisions, shouldn’t they also be vetted? Maybe this is why so many of Obama's czars are Marxists, communists, and revolutionaries. If someone answered these questions in an investigation exposé, he/she could receive a Pulitzer. Isn't anyone on your staff interested? One would think your readers would want to know who and what czars are, what they stand for and how they got there. THAT'S IMPORTANT TO ME.

8. Your coverage of the ACORN scandal was superficial at best. You had a small article without detail even though one of the many ACORN offices caught on tape encouraging underage prostitution was from San Diego. You chose not to dig into the evidence even though BigGovernment.com was giving their evidence to any newspaper that was willing to watch the tapes and ask questions. Since our president has close ties with ACORN, I thought you would be interested. THAT IS IMPORTANT TO ME.

9. California's GNP is larger than every country in the world except for seven. That's huge! With our state's economy on the verge of collapse, again you have chosen not to ask the hard questions. How did we get into this precarious situation? What are your suggestions for getting out of it? What happens to us if the state goes bankrupt? Will the national government take us over? What then? THAT'S IMPORTANT TO ME.

10. These are not partisan political concerns. I am expressing concerns that can potentially affect the future of our city, state, and nation. I expect a newspaper that wants more readers would investigate and cover these issues.

6 comments:

  1. Dear Mr Menconi,

    I write a reply to your blog as an interested outsider. I will start by saying that I am an Australian, although I have spent some significant time in your country. I have subscribed to your newsletter for a while now as I find your opinions on the media interesting and not lacking in value. However your above comments cause me some concern as an outsider.

    While I agree with you in general about the general degradation of local newspapers due in large part to the proliferation of Internet outlets and to a large extent recognise your issue with the San Diego Union I take issue with the opinion expressed in this blog. While you state that "what the reader learns about the news depends on what the editorial staff believes to be important", what you appear to believe is important is not just factual based news, but in fact opinion.

    Paragraphs 1 and 2 discuss the state of your dollar. While the US Dollar is the current currency of choice for international business there is no correlation between this fact and your feared death spiral should a change take place. You will note for example that in history the British Pound was the currency of world affairs, it has since been superseded by the dollar but remains a stable and viable currency.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Paragraph 4 indicates your worry over national debt. It displays an ignorance for what debt entails in regard to a nations interest. For example under Ronald Regan the US ran up a massive debt, and by doing so was able to send the Soviet Union into meltdown. Where you say 'families cannot run up that kind of debt' you are incorrect. Families can and do run up large debts, often based on substantial collateral such as houses. Mortgages commonly help families and the economy at large by freeing capital for investment. This is similarly true of national debt. Your nation's health care issues are your own and I will not stray where I am not qualified to comment.

    On the issue of climate change I shall not wade into the argument over whether it is true or false, I shall simply point out that you seem to be requesting that the San Diego Union Tribune preach one side of an argument. Please also note that the argument you are putting forward is currently being aired by Fox News with most other new sources (both left and right) seeing it as a side note to the bigger issue of the Copenhagen conference. Further it has been shown empirically that this has been the hottest decade on record (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8400905.stm an English site no less!!).

    Paragraph 7 is another internal question for your country and I can see why you are so concerned that your local newspaper is not covering it sufficiently. However I would request that you do research on what 'Marxists, communists and revolutionaries' are before making such sweeping comments in this regard. These three groups are firstly not mutually exclusive, secondly extreme points of view that in no way are reflected under any US administration past or present and finally are being used by you in an incendiary and radicalised fashion. Until your 'Czars' are actively preaching collectivisation and a dictatorship of the proletariat I think you can assume that you are safe from 'Marxism' and its offshoots.

    The last few paragraphs of your article are once more internal US affairs that I would be hypocritical to comment upon.

    I generally find your articles thought provoking. While not an active Christian I do find that the Media does tend to lean toward a lowest common denominator to obtain a market. As a result I generally read your articles and opinions with interest. However, in this case I felt compelled to comment. I hope you will not find this offensive in any way, it was certainly not meant as such. It is simply a request that you observe your own teachings in regard to your blogs. The Media should not pander to what an audience 'wants' to see, but process information in a fair manner. This is as true for the plethora of sex and violence on MTV as it is for factual and complete coverage by news outlets.

    Kind Regards,

    Bruce

    ReplyDelete
  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I can't agree more. I cancelled my subscription to the SD Union years ago - after not being able to live without it the first 40 years of my life. I read the obituaries online - the only real news :-D

    ReplyDelete
  5. PS - I really recommend the Wall Street Journal - either on paper or on-line. Lots less junk news and more real news!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I usually don't respond to comments, but I really feel a need to help Bruce from "Down Under." My opening comments were meant to show that everyone has a bias. As a history teacher will "feature" the points of history he believes to be important and simply not mention issues that do not reach his level of importance. For example, he may teach about the president of the US but the president of the 6th grade of the school down the street isn't important for his class to learn. The same is true of a newspaper. The editorial staff is constantly evaluating news that is important enough to put in their newspaper. I listed a number of issues that concern ALL of AMERICA, yet the San Diego Union didn't see fit to cover any of them in their newspaper. Therefore, I cancelled my subscription because they are not covering news that is affecting our nation.

    As for my concern about the dollar, it is valid. A nation cannot simply print money without collateral to back it such as gold without inflation. Our country has increased its debt to such a scale that our children and grandchildren will be taxed heavily just to pay the interest!! That is imposing slavery on our future generations. You said a family could spend themselves into debt and use their homes as collateral. Our county no longer has collateral and our monetary is about to collapse. We are broke, yet we continue to print money and spend it as if we had the gold to back it. I suggest you do your homework before making foolish statements.

    By the way, our czars are are actively preaching and practicing collectivization. Our president is bypassing congress with his czars. We are not safe from becoming taken over by dictator Obama.

    The bottom line is my former newspaper IS taking sides by what they leave out of their publication.

    ReplyDelete