This is what it sounds like when a city fights for its life.
Community leaders and luminaries in New Orleans know what the "optics" will be for their home when the Newhouse family ends daily publication of The Times-Picayune and proceeds apace in killing the entire enterprise dead. They know that a city that "can't support" a daily paper plays into all the talk about the Crescent City's impending demise.
They know a self-fulfilling clusterf*** when they're presented with it. They know that the area's -- and Louisiana's -- famously crooked pols are slobbering at the diminution of the Picayune like a dog slobbers at the prospect of a meaty bone.
When you're staring that in the face, you write something like this to 22 members of the Newhouse family:
It is painful to report that right now it is nearly impossible to find a kind word in these parts about your family or your plan to take away our daily newspaper. Our community leaders believe that your decision is undermining the important work we continue to face in rebuilding New Orleans. Whether you intended to or not, you have already created the impression that our recovery is so tepid that we cannot support an important civic institution like a daily newspaper.PREACH IT, people. Preach it.
In the end, we fear our community has already made its judgment on the three-day publication plan and the damage already realized cannot be undone. But the relationship between your family and our community does not have to end sourly. If your family does not believe in the future of this great city and its capacity to support a daily newspaper, it is only fair to allow us to find someone who does.
If you have ever valued the friendship you have shared with our city and your loyal readers, we ask that you sell the Times-Picayune. Our city wants a daily printed paper, needs a daily printed paper and deserves a daily printed paper.
Archbishop Gregory M. Aymond
Archdiocese of New Orleans
President Tulane University
Ralph O. Brennan
Cokie B. Roberts
Norman C. Francis
President Xavier University
Kevin Wildes S.J.
Loyola University New Orleans