It's All Good
A few issues back, the Flyer published a rather gloomy story about The Commercial Appeal ("Paper Trail," May 6th issue). The piece alluded to labor difficulties, declining revenues, and staffing reductions. Unfortunately, that story recycled some outdated information. So, in the spirit of keeping your readers better informed I wanted to bring to your attention three very positive developments that speak to where the CA is today.
Just a few days ago, the Tennessee Press Association named The Commercial Appeal the best large newspaper and best news website in the state. The award came as a result of the number of wins our staffers had in the state press association journalism competition.
Earlier this summer, our company's labor negotiations with the Memphis Newspaper Guild were completed, and all editorial staffers will receive raises this year and the next two years — something many newspapers in the country cannot count on. This news comes on the announcement this week that Scripps newspapers have seen double-digit improvement in operating results this year compared to last.
This fall, three new reporters are joining the staff of the CA. One is coming from The Washington Post, one was most recently at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and the third was a contract/freelancer for The New York Times.
The newspaper industry continues to work through a transitional period that likely will lead to more digital delivery. At the CA, we're making that transition and holding true to our mission of providing the best news and information available about greater Memphis.
Chris Peck, Editor
The Commercial Appeal
Editor's note: We aren't sure what "outdated" information Mr. Peck is referring to. He declined to speak on the record for our story. We do appreciate his update.
I was born and raised in Memphis. My parents weren't wealthy, but I have made and spent fortunes and traveled all over this great globe, so I've seen both sides of the coin. Quite frankly, I think it is a sad person who is so miserable that they notice what people are buying with their food stamps (Letters, July 29th issue).
People on food stamps are generally the ones cleaning the toilet at your local grocery store, so maybe you should cut your fellow humans some slack. It's bad enough that people have to be scrutinized while they are trying to get some food. Who cares what they are eating? If food can give them a little happiness, you should be thankful a tiny bit of your tax dollars went to peace-making instead of murdering people overseas.
I have found that those claiming to be good Christian Southerners are often the ones hiding a seething dislike of all things different. The problem is not the lack of a tax on Twinkies but the soft, gooey filling that has covered up the compassion that dwells in people's hearts.
Tea Party leaders and their supporters in the media say they are not racists (The Rant, August 5th issue). I'll take them at their word, mainly because I was a Tea Party guy before there was a Tea Party. I was calling my federal representatives and writing letters to the editor. I started after President Bush allowed bin Laden to get away with killing 3,000 of our fellow citizens. Then he lied about WMDs in Iraq and started a war that sent our brave troops into combat without the proper gear. Allowing a bunch of neocon cowards to plan that war was not just a mistake but criminal.
During that time, Bush and a cowed Congress passed the so-called Patriot Act, which allowed the government to spy on Americans. On the home front, Dick Cheney was holding secret meetings with Big Oil and gave away billions in oil leases. Then, the Bush team decided it was time for a tax cut — one that heavily favored the top 2 percent of income-earners and big business. A treasury surplus was turned into a nine-trillion-dollar debt.
During all that, no Tea Party. Then, after Americans elected a mixed-race man as president, all hell breaks lose. Where were all these folks who are now at the Tea Party rallies? Asleep? I can only guess that losing their jobs and homes and paying for two of the longest wars in our history made them cranky. Now the Tea Party wants to return power to the party that designed and passed the plans that almost destroyed the greatest nation in the world. Please go back to sleep.