At a lot of newspapers, if the owner wants to give the readers his opinion, he can simply write an editorial or a column.

Apparently things are done a little differently at MediaNews Group. The Los Angeles Daily News on Tuesday ran a letter to the editor from the company’s 95-year-old chairman and co-owner Richard Scudder (pictured). Dean Singleton is frequently identified as the head of MediaNews Group, but Scudder is actually the chairman of the board. Singleton, 57, serves as vice chairman and chief executive officer.

Here’s Scudder’s letter, which was headlined “Patriotic ideals”:

    Sen. John McCain has made patriotism an issue in his campaign for the presidency. Patriotism is indeed a legitimate issue and McCain, shot down, captured and imprisoned for years, suffered greatly. Patriotism, however, must extend beyond military service. Of the dangers threatening our country today, one of the most subtle has been the erosion of standards of honorable behavior and failing ethics.

    We have had a president who has lied, given support to torture and whose enemy-combatant ploy can, at his whim, jail a citizen for years without evidence, without trial, with no appeal and with no explanation of the charges. This is fascism.

    The principal focus of patriotism today must be the defense and reaffirmation of the ideas and ideals that made our country great. Surely truthfulness is one of these ideals. How, then, can we support a candidate for the presidency whose campaign includes many lies – most recently, one falsely accusing Barack Obama of proposing sex education for tiny tots?

    Yes, this is politics, but should not political attacks be limited to the issues? McCain’s tactics are to divert attention from them and to focus instead on unrelated nonsense.

After Scudder’s name, there was a note identifying him as the chairman of the board of MediaNews Group, the paper’s parent company.

When it comes to politics, Scudder and Singleton are on opposite ends of the spectrum: Singleton was a supporter of President Bush while Scudder donates to Democrats.

SF Press Club News


  1. Except…Barack Obama did indeed support, with his vote, the sex education objectives of the Illinois legislation that failed to pass. It specifically stated that the education (age appropriate) was to begin in kindergarten. For a newsman not to know this suggests a problem with where he goes to get his information.

  2. It’s unfortunate that the face of MediaNews has been Dean Singleton instead of Richard Scudder. The country and the news industry need a strong dose of common sense and idealism these days. And maybe a little personal sacrifice for the common good?

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