Letter: Response to Michael Ray and Billy Fried


So just how equitable is The Independent?

I’m getting the impression not so much. Week after week, Michael Ray and Billy Fried are given numerous column inches and free rein to bash individuals and groups, commit character assassination, misinform, whine, and harass anyone by name who might be opposed to their pro-development, pro-business, pro-tourism agendas. No holds barred, facts be damned.

While they are given large featured columns, those attacked are limited to simple letters to the editor a week after the fact.

I know of four individuals who have had their letters to the editor neutered when told by The Indy to scrupulously prove every statement they make or their writings will be altered or shelved.

Yet Ray and Fried are allowed to make up “facts” and disrespect, badger and belligerently malign others. Just because they’re columnists is no excuse. In fact, it’s a blemish on The Indy for granting them the space and such one-sided preferential treatment.

To the management of The Indy, please act fairly and serve the entire community with equanimity.

Jerome Pudwill, Laguna Beach


  1. Jermone,

    I now officially feel sorry for our editor, Daniel. My side feels neglected, censored, fact-checked to death, and with columns rejected because he thinks they are too controversial.
    And you might fact-checked some of the claims you made in your letter.

  2. Thanks Jerome for addressing this issue and thanks to Daniel @ the Indy for publishing it. You make some great points about facts vs personal opinion statements. I believe most Lagunian’s know the difference and understand hidden agendas and only read the columnists posts you mention here for sheer entertainment.

  3. Again I am reminded of the song “if I Were a Rich Man” that has a line which states “ And when you’re rich they really think you know”. Fortunately not all in LB subscribe to that but unfortunately more than a few do.


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