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Ex reporter, Merc editor argue via e-mail

Merc editor Dave Butler (pictured) is making news in Southern California, at least on blogs such as LA Observed. LA Observed posted this exchange of e-mails between Butler, who is also head of editorial for MediaNews Group’s California papers, and Val Kuklenski, who left the company’s LA Daily News during that paper’s most recent round of layoffs.

Kuklenski called Butler “the worst newsman I’ve ever known. The one who ran Bush’s 2000 convention nomination acceptance speech on page 1 with a Bush byline.”

But the thrust of Kuklenski’s e-mail was the departure of LA Daily News editor Ron Kaye.

Instead of ignoring the disgruntled reporter, Butler takes the bait and responds that he doesn’t “control the fate of editors. The publisher of each newspaper does. You are making the worst mistake that a reporter can make — though that’s not surprising to me — in assuming what my role may or may not have been in terms of Ron.” It goes on from there.

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