Letter of the Week (Last Week)
It prompted this letter:
After reading your editorial on December 20th concerning Colleen Lacombe, I was compelled to write you and ask you exactly why such an article was written in the first place.
I don't see any connection or relevance to a business venture going under, and you taking advantage of this situation to continue to trash and defame someones character. I believe it calls into question your own journalistic motivation and integrity. It is very apparent that you had nothing more significant to write about, nor do with your time then to waste your energy continuing an assault on a woman you know nothing about. Two people went into business together and it didn't work out. This simply puts them in the majority, as a very small percentage of business ventures are actually ever successful.(check the stats Gil).
The fact that you seized the opportunity to attack someone in such a situation, to me is disgraceful and unacceptable. You created a story where there was none there, and destroyed a families holidays by doing so. I am sure you are a very proud man Mr. Spencer.
I have heard for years that this papers subscription rate has been plummeting. Are your ratings and reader subscribership really that bad that you could find nothing better to write about then someones small business going belly up? What is your next blockbuster editorial going to be about? How Pizza Huts pizzas have fewer pepperoni then they did last year at this time?
Perhaps you could look into volunteering some of your time to helping the Red Cross, United Way, or some other charitable organization like that? At this point, it seems to me you have very little to offer society, or your subscribers by continuing with such rediculous (sic) editorial articles. I have spoken to dozens of people about this, and every one of them agree completely, you are way off base here Sir. I'd like to see an article written in the very near future apologizing to Mrs. Lacombe and her family, for using her past mistakes as an opportunity to create a story where none existed.
This is malevolent journalism, and should not be accepted or tolerated. Perhaps you will find the courage to post this letter in your "Readers Views" section, so that you can get a accurate gauge of just how cowardly this article was. I certainly hope so.
an ex - Delco Times subscriber as of today
I don't know how much courage it takes to post Mr. DiTullio's letter but there it is.
Certainly it took no more courage to post his missive than it took Colleen Lacombe to steal $325,000 from the First Church of Lansdowne a few years back.
I'm not sure what Mr. DiTullio thinks is so "cowardly" in writing about what Ms. Lacombe/Akins is up to today. But, no doubt, we disagree on whether it might be of interest to others.
That her former partner John Tajirian feels somewhat victimized by Akins/Lacombe is HIS story. That he went into business with her will she was still serving her sentence and remains under house arrest is interesting, at least to me and I think, to many if not all of our readers. That he now regrets doing so, given his unfortunate experience, is, again, his story.
I called Ms. Akins/Lacombe seeking to get her comments, instead I heard from her attorney. Fair enough. What Mr. DiTullio thinks is so "malevolent" about that is a mystery to me.
What he refers to as her past "mistakes" are actually pretty significant felonies. She didn't mistakenly steal hundreds of thousands of dollars from that church. She did it on purpose. People who do such things and then spend the money on vacation homes and boob jobs shouldn't be surprised when their crimes make headlines.
No doubt, Mr. DiTullio is right when he says that small businesses like the one started by Lacombe and Tajirian fail all the time. It is rare when such a failure would be "news."
However, when one partner has a cripe against the other, and that other partner happens to be in the midst of serving time for stealing from a church, that's kind of interesting.
If newspapers are in financial trouble today, it's not because they report too many stories with headlines like "Stolen Church Money Used for Breast Implants."
Such stories still sell newspapers and they will continue to so despite Mr. DiTullio's sanctimonious and angry objections.