Dear John (Cruickshank):

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This is the best idea the Sun-Times could have had for its much-touted reinvention. Please, please do this, or "get into it," if you like.

First, it's fundamentally absurd that a heavily Democratic big city would have two newspapers competing with each other to see who could be the most Republican in a struggling industry, as Atrios points out. Political and journalistic questions aside, it just makes economic sense for the Sun-Times to move left.

Second, if this is for real, it's important beyond just Chicago. I'm hard-pressed to think of a real rabble-rousing, old-school liberal newspaper in the country; to the extent that newspapers and editorial boards lean left, it's of a wishy-washy, pallid, self-conscious sort. The journalism community as a whole could use stronger liberal voices. With just a couple ambitious hires, the Sun-Times could gain a degree of national relevance.

(Speaking of which, here are two sincere, free suggestions: Rick Perlstein (he's local!) and Dahlia Lithwick. You're welcome.)

Third, please get rid of Mark Steyn, who makes Jonah Goldberg look like Mike Royko. Or get him to write obits, since he's weirdly gifted at that. 

Fourth, please rebrand your Web site. All the brilliant liberal commentators in the world won't do you any good in the bright future of tomorrow if they get less design focus than wire-story offal. Because this attitude . . .

"When asked why the paper didn't invest more in the paper's website, Editor-in-Chief Michael Cooke was heard to say that nobody believes what they read on the Internet."

. . . will get you buried.

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