Just Ten Off

Really enjoyed this article (“The Rise and Fall of the Copley Press,” Cover Story, February 28). It was well-researched.

One minor edit. In the reference to the 1978 PSA air crash, which resulted in a Pulitzer Prize for the newspaper, the author refers to the PSA plane as a Boeing 737. It was actually a Boeing 727.

Henry Romero

via email

Daily Destruction

Re Matt Potter’s “The Rise and Fall of the Copley Press” (Cover Story, February 28).

Informative and amazing — the more things change, the more they stay the same — this history of San Diego’s only daily paper, the Union-Tribune, and the sad town it has run into the ground. I’ve lived here for 38 years but even now have learned new things from this story. I am glad to see Matt Potter has returned to writing cover articles. Thank you. I would cavil with Potter’s equating Mike Aguirre, our incumbent city attorney, who is as honest as the day is long, with fallen former mayor Roger Hedgecock, who was in cahoots with a Ponzi schemer. Also, I think the U-T's persecution of Aguirre on its editorial pages deserved a mention, not just U-T sportswriter Nick Canepa’s unseemly anti-Aguirre campaign.

Name Withheld

by Request

Under The Rocks

Enjoyed your article on the Copley Press drama (“The Rise and Fall of the Copley Press,” Cover Story, February 28). However, I believe there are a number of factual errors therein, to wit: (1) United States National Bank was “shut down” by the FDIC on October 17, 1973, versus as stated in the article as June 1973, (2) Cunningham was sentenced to eight years, four months in the slammer versus six years as stated, and (3) the PSA plane which crashed in North Park in 1978 was a Boeing 727 versus a 737 as stated.

Any reason why there is no mention of David Copley’s enormous yacht? Were those Illinois newspapers sold to also pay for this toy? Bill Kolender’s stint at Copley Press was overlooked — why? Ditto for Victor Krulak’s journey through the executive suite? Keep up the good work and keep turning over the rocks to report on what is not being reported elsewhere.

Lou Cumming

via email

From ABC To F

The cover story in the February 28 edition of the Reader, “The Rise and Fall of the Copley Press,” is very discouraging for those of us who still believe in a free press. I am a graduate of a journalism school that taught the ABCs of good journalism to include:

1. Accuracy. 2. Brevity. 3. Clearness. Matt Potter’s cover story suggests that our only San Diego daily, the San Diego Union-Tribune, flunks on all levels. When a newspaper has a monopoly in a large city like San Diego and then proceeds to use its power to establish its own private agenda (propaganda), we the public are the losers.

As Americans we pride ourselves in having a free press, freedom of religion, democratic elections, and equality for everyone. In San Diego, at least, free press is a sham. As for democratic elections, here is what Rosemary Radford Ruether, a speaker at UCSD’s Burke Lecture series, had to say last Monday evening in her talk, “American Empire and the War Against Evil”:

“The American Empire has been operated predominantly by the military-industrial complex almost continually since the days of Teddy Roosevelt; thus voting results that provide changes in Washington have very little impact on the power of the empire.”

What she is saying is that it doesn’t matter who we elect to Congress or the White House because the country (empire) is run by other forces. Election campaigns become a farce because “they dare not deal with the deeper issues underlying the most powerful empire in human history.”

How powerful is the U.S.? The military budget exceeds the military budgets of all the other nations in the world combined. The U.S. has military bases in most of the nations of the world, including dozens in Iraq alone. In a recent poll conducted among European nations, the question was asked, “Which nations of the world represent the greatest threats to world peace?” The unanimous answer — Israel and the U.S.

If we cannot count on a free press or free elections, how about freedom of religion? As some have answered, America is the most churched nation in the world, yet it has the highest incarceration rate, highest divorce rate, very high poverty rate (for a rich nation), etc.

Thanks again for the Copley Press article — it’s the reality that hurts the most.

Laurel Gray

El Cajon

Old Swine Better Than New Swine

In his otherwise perceptive review of that overrated fraud, Paul Thomas Anderson’s There Will Be Blood, the usually astute Duncan Shepherd correctly attacks Daniel Day-Lewis’s “John Huston rollercoaster cadences,” but then goes on to ask, “Why would this depraved money-grubber, we keep asking ourselves, be impersonating the director of The Maltese Falcon, Treasure of the Sierra Madre, whatever?”

Shepherd’s rhetorical question has a very easy answer for those of us who remember John Huston’s definitively evil portrayal of that far more depraved money-grubber Noah Cross in Roman Polanski’s magnificent Chinatown (which also boasts a far greater script by Robert Towne than Anderson’s psychologically one-dimensional adaptation of Upton Sinclair’s Oil!).

Brilliantly acted by Huston (surely one of the greatest, creepiest performances ever committed to celluloid), the Towne/Polanski capitalist robber baron is greedy even in his secret erotic life, ruthlessly impregnating his own daughter, whose husband he murders. After having this daughter gunned down by the Los Angeles Police Department, he is last seen whisking the adolescent granddaughter he has sired with his daughter off to meet the same fate: to be violently raped by this maniacally possessive, incestuous old bastard. Noah Cross, in short, makes the current film’s capitalist swine seem a dithering amateur.

Gerald Dugan

Pacific Beach

Blatant Power Grab

Don Bauder’s “City Light” (“Brash Cash,” February 21) refers to the threat of an initiative by the developers to give the mayor absolute power. Yesterday I was approached outside Ralphs and asked to sign an initiative to “audit the mayor.” It sounded good until I read it. The petition will give the mayor the power to choose the auditor who audits the mayor’s departments, which is virtually the whole city. A blatant power grab buttressed by signature solicitors who are trained to lie to the public.

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