The current mythtv mythbackend init script hardcodes '--logpath /var/log/mythtv/' in the init script itself. For people that don't want to do file logging, this requires them to overwrite the init script. Logging, whether file, syslog, or whatever, should be an option specified in the conf.d file to allow selection without having to munge the init script.
Looks like this is actually a dupe of bug 442996, opened in 2012 and still listed as UNCONFIRMED 8-/. Sorry I missed that one before I filed this, but you gotta agree it's pretty old and dusty ;).
Thanks. To be honest the whole mythtv logging thing drives me a bit nuts. I'll try to take a look at it.
*** This bug has been marked as a duplicate of bug 442996 ***