Sam Zell isn't just diminishing the great newspapers he bought in acquiring the Tribune Company, Harold Meyerson writes in the Washington Post—he's doing a grave disservice to cities that have supported the likes of the Los Angeles Times. "Zell has taken bean counting to a whole new level," leaving the paper "dumbed down" as he trims news coverage to equal space devoted to advertising.
“Great newspapers take decades to build. We are discovering that they can be dismantled in relatively short order," Meyerson notes before slamming Zell as a "visiting Visigoth, whose civic influence is about as positive as that of the Crips, the Bloods, and the Mexican mafia." For Zell, as with a man who bombed the Times in 1910, "life in San Quentin sounds about right."