Letter to Tony Ridder
Dear Mr. Ridder—
I’m sure you remember me—my name is Joseph Arrieta, I’m the guy who knifed your (then new) editor Reyerson right after you hired him. He solicited community writers, stole three of my ideas when I submitted, used them in the next day’s paper, and then ignored me.
At the request of my wife we kept our subscription to your paper, but after she saw that huge front page picture of Bush in that ridiculous uniform in San Diego (pep talk for the troops!) even she was willing to give up what paltry local news the Mercury provides just so she wouldn’t see this nauseating idolatry to war felons with her breakfast.
For the first time in my life while living in the United States a daily paper will not be chucked into my driveway. I read three papers a day growing up, but gave up on the Hearst Chronicle and milktoast Tri Valley Herald long ago. I won’t miss your paper, but I will miss the concept that journalism, in theory, could arrive at one’s house every day.
It hasn’t escaped my notice that your best writers are in an entertainment section (sports). It hasn’t escaped my notice that you gutted a fine staff simply to gin up more money when you were making a profit already, or that you hired one of the most clownish Republican editors I have ever seen--in a heavily Democratic area. Now that's business acumen.
You’re a lousy publisher with a disgrace of an editor in a profession in utter tatters. My next bill will arrive in February and it will go unpaid, and soon that offensive fishwrap you deliver will stop being thrown in the recycle bin unread. That will be a very good day.
Congratulations, Mr. Ridder. After a lifetime of effort all you’ve done is greatly participate in the trashing of a profession and actively help the worst President this country has ever seen. Watch your subscription rates for the next 12 months—they’ll be just as much a failure as the San Jose Mercury News currently is.