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Letters to the Editor: Conservatives feel left out of the L.A. Times’ commitment to diversity

Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong in front of The Times' building in El Segundo
Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong stands outside the new Los Angeles Times headquarters in El Segundo after he bought the newspaper in 2018.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: I had to laugh when I read the statement that the L.A. Times’ future depends on diversity in its staff and stories. (“The Times’ reckoning on race and our commitment to meaningful change,” Sept. 27)

The Times’ future — and that of its cohorts in the widely distrusted and reviled “mainstream media” — does indeed depend on diversity. But not the diversity The Times is talking about, a surface diversity of skin color, national origin and sexual orientation.

No, The Times’ future depends on ideological diversity, something it lacks entirely.

The Los Angeles Times of 2020 is a daily Democratic Party mailer, and a particularly vituperative one. More and more of the paper is devoted to opinion, and ostensible news stories themselves resemble op-ed articles. All of it, of course, leans in the same far-left direction.

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This does special disservice to the largely left-leaning readership of The Times, who still, four years after Donald Trump’s election, have no idea why much of the country holds them in contempt.

The Times should in fact commit itself to diversity — of thought. For every left-leaning columnist who appears in its pages, The Times should commit to hiring one conservative — and not never-Trump conservatives like Jonah Goldberg, but fierce, proudly pro-Trump conservatives who can expose your readers to facts and arguments they otherwise never have to confront.

Sure, some of these readers would threaten to cancel their subscriptions, and a few may. But The Times would become a must-read instead of the partisan rag it is today.

Jordan Chodorow, Los Angeles

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To the editor: Where did decent journalism go? I asked myself this question before deciding to cancel my subscription to The Times.

I’m 54, a native Southern Californian and a Republican. OK, so that’s not in line with the majority of Times readers. I can live with that in exchange for a decent Sports section.

That said, I can no longer tolerate a newspaper so one-sided that it cannot be trusted. You have become the voice for all things liberal, and this voice has weaved its way into many of the news articles that I have read this election season.

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The last straw for me was this Sunday’s print edition. For biotech billionaire and owner of The Times Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong to tell me that the “systemic racism in our country has been laid bare” is ludicrous. Many others in our country don’t agree with this statement.

For the newspaper owner to go on record saying something like that only confirms that real, unbiased journalism will never happen at the L.A. Times. I do not need the owner’s opinions on the front page. Keep them in the editorial section — or better yet, let your staff write them.

For this (and other reasons), I’m out. I know you don’t need me and certainly won’t miss me, but the feeling is mutual.

Greg Spicer, Newport Beach

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To the editor: Your special section promising to change is a rare example of a newspaper taking a close look at its history and seeking to atone for egregious past errors. You are to be strongly commended for your overdue mea culpa.

It is unfortunate you did not also examine a more recent error.

You acknowledge approvingly that Otis Chandler “reoriented the paper in a more politically neutral direction” when he took over as publisher in 1960 and justifiably chided his great-grandfather Harrison Gray Otis for trying to “shape and dominate the region instead of merely chronicling it.”

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Yet today, The Times has abandoned that more politically neutral direction by including its strongly held political opinions in its news stories rather than by only espousing them more appropriately in your excellent editorial pages.

Another mea culpa is overdue.

Daniel Douglass, Agoura Hills


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