Just noted today that one of the victims of the mass layoffs at the Express-News was the weekly column by Mansour El-Kikhia, which was the closest thing they had to a politically liberal opinion from a local source. I wasn't a big fan of El-Kikhia, but he did on occasion provide a badly needed counterpoint to the GeorgeWillCalThomasRichLowryAustinBayJonathanGurwitzKathleenParkerRubenNavaretteMonaCharen neocon worldview so amply on display at the E-N.
But at least El-Kikhia still has his day job at the university. Not so for John Branch, the local editorial cartoonist who got a pink slip as well.
Now that this idological purge of liberal contributors to the op-ed page is complete, I wonder what they will do next?
And now I see that the next thing they will do is make the newspaper even narrower, shrinking it from 12.5 inches across to just under 11 inches. Essentially, it's going to get to the point where the newspaper will look like a really long magazine.
To accomplish this next level of shrinkage, they are going to dump several advice columns and puzzles out of the lifestyles section. It remains to be seen whether they will drop any more comics.
And last week they made yet another cut of the editorial pages, shrinking the Sunday Op-ed pages, which used to have its own section, from 3 pages to 2. That means that Jonathan Gurwitz' weekly wrap-up of interesting quotes is no more. Even though his choices irritated me on many occasions, it was still a section of the paper that I would read each week without fail. Also, it seems like Robert Selzer's column slot is now eliminated so what do they still need him for?
It's really sad that the paper has been forced into this position. Thanks for the sucky economy President Bush. Heckuva job!