I took a call a couple of weeks ago from a reader who was livid. As she spoke she grew louder and angrier, I had difficulty understanding exactly what had caused her to become so upset. It didn’t sound like it had to do with the news report.
And it didn’t. The reader was mad about an emailed promotion she received from the Union-Tribune about a book titled “Our Dishonest President” by the Los Angeles Times Editorial Board. The promotion read, “The immensely popular series of editorials by the Los Angeles Times Editorial Board delivers a formidable and indispensable critique of our nation’s current leader.”
It offered a price of 20 percent off for subscribers.
Reader Rick Marrone of Scripps Ranch also received the email. “Are you seriously thinking that a sizable portion of your readership wouldn’t be insulted and outraged at such an offer? Stunning,” Marrone wrote in an email to the Readers’ Rep.
“I do not like to be offered an opinion book by my newspaper which is disrespectful of OUR president,” he wrote in a follow-up email to me. “For the record, I am not thrilled by the president’s unprofessionalism and lack of presidential bearing/manner. However, I do agree with many of his objectives.”
The promotion came from a tronc corporate marketing group and sent “unwisely,” U-T Editor and Publisher Jeff Light said, to all tronc markets. Tronc, formerly Tribune Publishing, owns the U-T, the L.A. Times, Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun and other media outlets.
“Basically a screw up,” Light wrote to another reader who complained. “It’s fine for the L.A. Times to have an editorial opinion, and I’m sure many of their readers might appreciate this sort of rhetoric. But that’s not our approach here.“Whomever our editorial board supports today or in the future, it is important to me that people of every persuasion feel that their perspectives are understood and respected,” he wrote…