Thursday, January 22, 2009

Chron fires Scheer — and he's angry about it

The Chron has dropped columnist Robert Scheer and his space will be filled by New York Times columnists Paul Krugman, David Brooks and Thomas Friedman.

Editorial Page Editor John Diaz told the SF Weekly that he dropped Scheer because "we just wanted to work more columnists into the mix." Diaz said the decision to drop Scheer was his alone and that it wasn't related to any specific column he had written.

Scheer said Diaz told him that his columns had grown predictable and that nobody was reading them. Scheer notes that a column criticizing Israel's tactics in Gaza drew 565 comments and 80 e-mails. Scheer said he wonders if too many people were reading his columns — and that Diaz was pressured into firing him.

Despite being dropped by the Chron, Scheer will continue to write his syndicated column. He's also a lecturer at USC's Annenberg School of Communications and the editor of truthdig.com. (Photo credit: SF Weekly)

3 comments:

Steve S. said...

Diaz is exactly right. I stopped reading Scheer a long time ago, because he kept repeating the same rant. The new columnists are much more thoughtful.

Anonymous said...

It's a shame that so many journalists make this same claim when they're fired -- that the work they were doing was so controversial that the paper was forced to fire them. I've heard this so many times over the years I've begun to discount it. I figure it's usually a made-up story by a reporter who either wasn't working or doing a lousy job. Since I regularly see things in the Chronicle more controversial than criticism of Israel, I've got to think Scheer is pushing this story of censorship as a cover up.

Anonymous said...

I doubt this has anything to do with Scheer's reporting on Gaza and everything to do with cost-cutting.

The problem with the Chron adding more wire copy is that it reduces the value of the paper at the very time it should attempt to be more valuable to readers.