To the Publisher of the LA Times

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)