Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019 | 2 a.m.
Editor’s note: When the Las Vegas Review-Journal announced legal action last month to break the Joint Operating Agreement under which the Las Vegas Sun and the R-J have operated for 30 years, readers of the publications took notice.
In the weeks since, the Sun has received an outpouring of phone calls, emails and letters to the editor. Today, we offer a sampling of the letters.
For context, the R-J is basing its attempt to exit the JOA without the Sun’s consent on a claim that the Sun does not produce high-quality content. The Sun contends the R-J’s true motive is to silence the Sun so the R-J can dictate the agenda of community conversation while controlling whose voices are heard — and whose are not heard.
Here’s what some readers had to say about the matter:
What is the Review-Journal thinking in threatening to stop publishing the Sun? To the Sun, please know you have a lot of support from us, your loyal readers. There are many subscribers, like myself, who welcome the Sun’s progressive views as a counterpoint to the far-right conservative viewpoint of the R-J. They go to great lengths to make a case for why the Sun is not living up to its contractual agreement, but given what is happening to the world of newspapers, they should look at themselves and what they’ve had to do to continue to survive. They’ve penalized their subscribers by drastically increasing subscription rates, relying heavily on news services, and now having more advertising than ever.
They say the Sun does not write its own stories, borrowing heavily from the New York Times, and utilizing guest columnists, but I find these articles informative and refreshing. In fact, I have been privileged to have a couple of op-eds I’ve written published; the R-J would never do that! Besides the op-eds, I really enjoy the Sun’s editorials, the science page and the photos from all over. Perhaps, unlike the R-J with its cash support from Sheldon Adelson, the Sun does not have equivalent resources to hire a big staff of journalists; the paper should not be penalized for that.
I’ve encouraged the R-J to think twice about alienating an entire group of its subscribers. If they cease to publish the Sun, I for one, will cancel my subscription to the R-J.
Rita Ransom, Las Vegas
To the Review-Journal:
I just read your “explanation” as to why you want to cancel your agreement to deliver the Las Vegas Sun.
First, it is a political decision so your paper can ensure only the viewpoints of Donald Trump and his supporters get published.
Second, just like Trump, you like to renege on anything you “just don’t want to do /pay for anything that does spew your line.”
Third, if this is allowed, only the conservative candidates will get positive coverage and the other negative, if any at all.
Fourth, some of your comments and editorials are so outlandish that they embarrass me. Your paper doesn’t pursue the truth in its opinions.
I skim through the R-J and READ the SUN.
So, if you do cancel this contract, then I will cancel my subscription to the Review-Journal. And I am urging others to do the same.
Finally, please tell us on the front page of the Review-Journal where subscribers can write to the court protesting this breaking of your contract. During this political season it is very important for the community to hear both sides of the political debate.
Sharolyn Craft, North Las Vegas
My primary reason for subscribing to the Review-Journal is the inclusion of the Sun. Should the R-J’s relationship with the Sun cease, I will cancel my R-J subscription and obtain news via CNN, “PBS NewsHour” and local TV news as well as consider subscribing to the Wall Street Journal or New York Times.
Mary Teague, Henderson
We moved here just over four years ago. I am old-school and read a newspaper while I am eating dinner. My wife will tell you that at least three times a week, I tell her I am going to stop the R-J because of them having a whole section — the Sun — which is nothing but stories with New York Times taglines and writers from the Atlantic bashing President Trump and Republicans.
When I saw the R-J’s front page editorial tonight I was ecstatic! I actually read the whole thing to my wife. It is way overdue. Let the local chapter of the Democratic National Committee fund the Sun’s one-sided publication.
Thomas Sled, Henderson
The reason I have enjoyed my subscription to the R-J/Sun is exactly the reason the R-J wants to stop the collaboration.
I read through the pages of (necessary) advertisements and mostly biased reporting in the R-J just as I enjoy the various national contributors and local reporting of general interest in the Sun. Why would I want to read duplicates of stories, be it local, national or international news which the R-J covers to my satisfaction?
I never thought that the two papers were in competition, but rather saw it as a balanced and smart business deal.
We, the readers, have a choice to read what we want, and this format has given us all the news in a timely manner along with very interesting and informative features.
I would urge you to work out your differences, which I imagine are either financial or politically motivated.
Helga Lott, Las Vegas
Although I seldom agree with any of the Sun’s political opinions, I’ve had enough of this ridiculous dispute between the Sun and the Review-Journal. Below is a letter I sent to the R-J:
I’ve written to you before about terminating your agreement with the Sun. It’s distressing that I have to do so again.
Let’s get right to the heart of the matter. You journalists on all positions of the political spectrum are always blabbering about freedom of speech and freedom of the press, when, in fact, you will use any opportunity to suppress the opinions of the opposition. Where is your vaunted “journalistic integrity” when it comes to expression of ideas with which you disagree?
We’ve already had enough of this garbage with colleges that ban conservative speakers. We don’t need to see the same evil perpetrated against liberals, even though they actively support censorship in places where freedom of speech should be the most sacred of principles.
Try to rise above the rabble and live up to the ideal that the free exposition of ideas is the best way to preserve human rights.
However, if this argument carries no weight with you, try this one: The Sun is probably your best ally in furthering your political objectives. Their unceasing ad hominem attacks on Trump are the most telling clue that they have no substantive argument to present to the American people. They’re simply preaching to the choir.
I didn’t vote for Trump because I wanted him to be my friend or my daddy or to give me free stuff. I don’t like him personally and I’d never invite him to my house, but I’ll vote for him again and again because he has a better grasp of how to run our country’s business than all the Democrats combined.
You should be thankful that the Sun constantly reveals its lack of a grasp of economics. Finally, politics aside, the Sun frequently has informative and useful articles that might not otherwise get any exposure at all. I urge you to reconsider your attack on the Sun and quit acting like children in a schoolyard brawl. Start thinking about the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and your obligation to your readers.
Mike Rusch, Las Vegas
I read with interest and incredulity the Aug. 30 Review-Journal editorial, “Why we want to stop printing the Sun,” in which the Review-Journal argued its unsupportable position as to why it should be able to rescind a 1990 contract entered into between the Sun and not the present owner of Review-Journal but its prior owners, Donald Reynolds and Donrey Media.
Casino mogul/magnate Sheldon Adelson and Stephens Media argue that even though they did not purchase the Review-Journal until 2015, the Sun has not met its contractual agreement under the 1990 contract and that contract is obsolete in the 21st century.
While I’m a retired attorney and know the dangers of rendering an opinion without all the facts, why didn’t the prior owners of the Review-Journal dating back to 1990 (a period of almost 30 years) take similar legal action and why shouldn’t a contracting party (either the original or the succeeding party) be bound by contractual obligations simply because they unilaterally believe terms have become obsolete? Persons should be bound by their contracts and the terms agreed upon therein.
Finally, I fear this legal action may prevent the Sun from continuing to provide a beacon of light and truth in reporting the news compared to the darkness and untruths spun and espoused by the Review-Journal.
The last paragraph of the editorial promises that the Review-Journal will continue to meet the highest standards of journalism. Really? Like spinning the news and burying important new items critical of President Trump deep within the newspaper?
Tom Harper, Las Vegas
The R-J’s legal action is disturbing to say the least. In our view, it is nothing more than an attempt to suppress the views of the Sun because they differ with the R-J’s.
What truly makes our country great is the ability to express our views, have thoughtful discussions with those who disagree, and, most important, the embracement and celebration of our differences.
When publications such as the R-J try to stifle or snuff out contrary opinions and other accurate news articles, it will join the “fake news” outlets. It is a sad day for freedom of the press and for all of our Las Vegas citizens. When the R-J stops printing the Sun, we will stop our subscription to the newspaper.
The Lewis family, Las Vegas
Your newspaper is a liberal rag and should be removed from the R-J.
The R-J desperately needs the Las Vegas Sun to help balance its narrowing right-wing editorials.
The Sun provides local readers (especially the majority of voters, whom the Review-Journal discounts) with national editorials by conservatives David Brooks, Bret Stephens and George Will who aren’t blinded by our current president’s strange behavior. These men are not “liberals” or Democrats. They are thoughtful commentators, aware of the dangers to our democracy.
The Sun provides us with Democrats and liberals — widely respected national writers Eugene Robinson, Paul Krugman, Nicholas Kristof, E.J. Dionne, Charles Blow, Maureen Dowd and many others. (The Sun also gives us Dilbert, Pearls Before Swine, the NYT crossword and Sudoku!)
These opposing opinions are the reasons the R-J doesn’t want to publish the Sun. Adelson’s newspaper wants to promote its brand of conservatism and denigrate any opposition. (Really … Wayne Allyn Root on the oped!)
I had been paying my subscription quarterly, anticipating this move to stop printing the Sun. After nine years, I recently canceled because of the slant of opinions expressed. I resubscribed when offered a much lower subscription rate but most likely will cancel again if the Sun no longer balances the paper. I appreciate the news coverage in the R-J, but find most editorials difficult to stomach.
Patrick E. Ryan, Mesquite
I have been requesting for years to take the Sun section out of my subscription. I have written Brian Greenspun several times about the pathetic garbage he puts out about our President Trump and saying Trump has never done anything right as his president — yes, his president, as we live in America and we elect our presidents here.
I don’t think he realizes how the columns he reproduces from ignorant columnists like prejudiced, Obama-loving Eugene Robinson and others who think just like Greenspun and his ilk make us common-sense Americans know we don’t need the rhetoric and lies they put in the paper we pay for.
I think we should actually sue them for trying to brainwash normal people.
So, R-J, if you need a witness to help you in your endeavor to appease you and your readers, I am willing to testify on your behalf. I don’t need to read the garbage they put out.
And if Greenspun is so intelligent, he can put up some of his money and expertise as a newspaper person to figure a way to distribute his pathetic newspaper on his own.
I do remember years ago I subscribed for a short period and then saw how pathetic it was and canceled.
Eliminating the Sun also will alleviate me having to fill my recycle container, and it will help save the planet and trees. That will make the green fools happy.
Vern Steinhoff, Las Vegas
I’m surprised and disappointed the R-J assumed the role of judge and jury of the Sun’s editorial content. Clearly, they have forgotten which paper won a Pulitzer Prize for its investigation of the local story regarding construction deaths on the Strip.
I have encouraged the R-J,
rather than throwing potshots at fellow journalists, to mind their own store, particularly their recently reenergized investigative reporting, which is a good direction for their news pages.
As for the R-J’s persistent right-wing perspectives on today’s politics, I have asked that they please continue to balance that out with the progressive news and varied opinions that you at the Sun deliver.
Please know that we depend on the Sun’s selections from the New York Times and Washington Post, especially the columnists (Thomas Friedman, Michelle Goldberg, E.J. Dionne, David Brooks, Eugene Robinson, George Will, to name just a few); local news presented within the national and international context; and the always fascinating “News from the World of Science” on Fridays.
Please don’t desert us. Rather, do everything you can to continue the JOA as is, with both liberal and conservative perspectives. Our community will be poorer if the R-J succeeds in dumping the Sun, and we will lose a vital voice in our community.
Ann Marshall, Las Vegas
I subscribe to the R-J for two reasons: the Las Vegas Sun and the comics page.
If the R-J were to quit publishing the Sun, I think I could find my funnies elsewhere.
Weekly, I am subject to the insults of that toady, Wayne Allyn Root. If it weren’t for the Sun, I would have stopped my subscription the second time his column appeared.
I hope the R-J fails at trying to stop printing the Sun.
A Gandara, Las Vegas
I was very sad to hear that the R-J wants to stop including the Sun with the daily newspaper package.
Newspapers should be balanced and fair. Unfortunately, Adelson has been chipping away at the R-J. The TV Guide is now a quarter-page buried in the classified section, and the stocks are now a postage stamp size list of “local interest” stocks only.
Did you know that Tesla has offices here and many local employees? I used to follow the company’s stock in the paper, but can’t do that anymore. Then the price of my delivered subscription went up.
And now the R-J wants to get rid of the Sun? The R-J has become more right-wing, conservative and pro-Trump. Did you know that there are more registered Democrats in Las Vegas than Republicans?
We need the Sun now more than ever. You need to have a balanced conversation, not all one-sided! When the day comes that the Sun is no longer a part of the R-J, that’s the day I am canceling my subscription.
Chris Sappraicone, Henderson
I have to say the recent actions of Sheldon Adelson and his newspaper staff are not surprising many people.
We stopped our subscription to the R-J not long after Adelson purchased it. It is so far to the right it is ridiculous, and with the addition of Mr. Full of Himself, Wayne Allyn Root, it’s become a joke to many people.
When we have picked up a copy, it’s because of my husband’s interest in sports. I read the Las Vegas Sun because I want honest news, not Adelson’s version or Trump’s. I find it amazing that the Salt Lake Tribune is a much better newspaper considering it’s from a very conservative state. Sheldon, you’re not fooling anyone!
Paula Jaramillo Stewart, Las Vegas
I read with amusement the opinion recently concerning the attempt by the R-J to remove the Las Vegas Sun from its daily publication because the Sun was not up to the Review-Journal’s journalistic standards.
Today, I read Victor Joecks’ column concerning Trump’s Sharpie and his politicizing of the science of the NOAA, and compared it to research explaining why people become transgender. Yes, Mr. Joecks compared the science of weather to the research of why people become transgender! Just to be clear, he also wrote that the research was peer reviewed and needed more research.
By Victor’s logic, Trump can use the NOAA for political purposes because one researcher at a university wrote a paper on transgender that was not scientifically accurate!
That is a stretch at best and ridiculous and dangerous at its worst.
It is hard to believe the editors let such rubbish be published. The R-J is showing its true colors!
John Pauli, Las Vegas
The day my paper arrives on my driveway and I open it and there’s no Sun in it, is the day that I (and hopefully many others) cancel my subscription.
Terry Knapp, Henderson
Wow, the Review-Journal wants to eliminate the Las Vegas Sun from its newspaper.
I know that my two cents are not important, but I enjoy the Las Vegas Sun section better than any other part of the Review-Journal/Sun package.
George Loveday, Pahrump