Hotelier Doug Manchester, who recently bought the San Diego Union-Tribune, tells his readers that “I pray that ownership of the U-T will provide me the opportunity to support our community, promote the economic strength of the region and improve the lives of all San Diegans.” He adds:
I take the stewardship of San Diego’s primary and most significant media very seriously. We will adhere to the highest standard of journalistic integrity and objectivity. We will do our part to be a positive force in our diverse community as we create a superior newspaper and a complement of digital information sources.
Manchester wishes San Diego residents a merry Christmas and prosperous new year, but they aren’t able to return good wishes because, oddly, “comments on this story are closed.” I’ve inquired why.
UPDATE: Union-Tribune editor Jeff Light sends this email:
We turned off the comments on that piece because I didn’t like the way it was going. The publisher’s letter brought together his thoughts about San Diego and his new stewardship of the Union-Tribune with his personal feelings of faith on the occasion of a religious holiday. I think it was written from the heart, as a sincere message of good will.
In the early comments, you could tell that some people took it that way, and others did not. Soon there was a debate heating up about competing religious dogma, the historical accuracy of Catholic doctrine, and the virtues of the writer.
I thought all of that was way off base. My reaction was, hey, it’s Christmas, let it go. Someone tried, in their own way, to say something nice, and now we’re headed for acrimony and debate.
Not every utterance needs a response on every occasion.