For years now I’ve had a bittersweet relationship with Enterprise Record editor David Little. We have never met physically, but we’ve chatted online over my letters and newstips I’ve e-mailed in. Sometimes he’s agreed with my letters, I think most times he’s held his nose and printed them. But he’s always stood up for my right to my opinion.
Well, as long as I didn’t use the ‘f’ word! In fact, one time he took me to task for using the word “crap” in an e-mail to him. I used to use that word as a substitute for “stuff.” One day he told me, “the Enterprise Record does not print ‘crap’…well, we don’t print the word ‘crap’…” See, he’s got a funny sense of humor when he doesn’t have something up his ass.
Every now and then he’s gotten mad at me over some remark I’ve made – like when I told him he seemed to forget objectivity whenever the subject of his own children’s charter school came up. He acted completely unprofessional covering that story, and I told him so, and that was the first time I set his nose out of whack and he started to cool off on me a little bit.
Oh well – he’d offended me in his backhanded way a hundred times, and I was tired of holding back. I get tired of being nice to people just so they’ll be my friend. I got a husband, two kids and a couple of great dogs, I don’t need friends who demand constant butt-licking to like me. Friends can be a major liability, sticking their dick in your business just when you least need them to. I don’t have that many “friends,” but they’ve learned to keep their dick in their own pants.
I’ve certainly never expected special treatment, but after a while I realized I was getting it. Whenever Little would go out of town, I noticed my letters would “get lost.” Once I had a weird exchange with Managing Editor Steve Schoonover, who’s wife Laura Urseny is their lead reporter. Schoonover fills in for Little whenever he’s out of town. I had written a letter about the subdivision planned a few doors down from my house, and Schoonover responded to me that even though he disagreed with me he was going to run my letter. Well, lah-tee-dah! I don’t think that’s appropriate for an editor – Little typically responds that he’s received your letter, that’s it. Schoonover was trying to intimidate me out of writing.
Ever since then, every time David Little goes out of town, my letters just seem to disappear. I’ve had ER staffers claim they’ve been “lost,’ but I believe Schoonover just roundfiles them. I’ve had to resend and resend, and then get the same surprised response from a returning Little – “we’ll get it in the cue.” Finally he acknowledged there was some mysterious problem, and told me to cc his e-mail whenever I sent a letter. He would promptly respond, “it’s in the cue,” or I’d resend. That’s been our system for three or four years now.
I’ve sent my most recent letter twice since I originally sent it – October 14. When I resent October 17 I was told by David Little, “it’s in line.” When I resent today, I got an auto response from Little that he is out of town until November 3.
Little isn’t just the editor of the ER anymore, his job includes overseeing several other papers that are printed by the ER. He is also the editor of the Oroville Mercury Register. I think we’re about 20 jobs beyond competency here. When will they get us an Editor who considers the Chico newspaper his full time job?
It’s not just about my letters to the editor – it’s the paper. Read other papers from towns this size – you will find papers in Auburn, Grass Valley/Nevada City, Marysville/Yuba City, and other towns our size are a lot more active and real, with a lot more local news and plenty of local opinion.
To think the editor would take off at election time. Is he really there, but just doesn’t want to explain to me why he isn’t running my letter? Whatever he’s doing, he’s running his newspaper into the heap.