Friday, January 07, 2005

Steve Lopez, Michael Hiltzik Avoid Screeching But Get Their Points Across

This week, not for the first time, Los Angeles Times columnists Steve Lopez and Michael Hiltzik demonstrate the ability to get their points across without the screeching that too often marks The Times' editorial pages.

Lopez's column on Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's proposed cuts in California K-12 education show what well-reasoned discourse can do. I like the way Lopez gets into it: He says, "I keep thinking it's going to be impossible for (the governor) to outdo himself, and he keeps reminding me never to underestimate him."

Later on, Lopez does use such terms as "trample" and "dastardly," but by that time he has the reader on his side. His writing approach is sound.

Same thing with Hiltzik. He doesn't leave it to the New York Times to provide all the meaningful coverage of the sinking airline industry. His column Thursday, Jan. 6, in Business about hjis holiday experience with Delta Airlines actually is often funny.

Contrast the ability of these two wonderful writers with the sickly approach of too many Times editorials, which can get your back up before you are very deep into the subject.

Also, I notice that CNN is canceling its "Crossfire" program, where ideologues have been plastering each other ad infinitum for years, in favor of what new CNN President, Jonathan Klein calls "roll-up-your-sleeves storytelling."

More power to CNN and Mr. Klein, although CNN seems to continue to have trouble handling more than one subject at a time. This week it has been downplaying Iraq a little too much while focusing on the tsunami.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


What is so unfortunate is we view the issue of public through so many filters. I really don't care what Lopez says, or the Sacramento politics, Dems or Reps. The fact is the kids in California are being short-changed by the system. I blame the teachers' union, but also the parents and gutless politicians and education officials. And the LAT which protects the guilty. It is a crime that kids don't learn how to read early and well. If they can't read to grade level by the 2nd or 3rd grade, all our resources (funds) should be dedicated to making it happen, no excuses, no b.s. about cultural differences. English is the language if one is to make it in this country, and the kids should be schooled as long as it takes each day to get up to speed, 52 weeks a year if necessary. Make it happen. Fire anyone who doesn't agree to step up to the plate. It sickens me to see the minority politicos protecting the status quo. They should be out leading demonstrations for vouchers.

1/07/2005 5:39 PM  
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