Saturday, March 05, 2005

Kinsley Deserves Credit For Opposing Hahn and Making A Two-Way Choice In The Mayoral Primary

I've been clear in criticizing Michael Kinsley's tenure as editor of the editorial pages at the L.A. Times, and just last week, from the remote Falkland Islands, I used the recent Susan Estrich-Kinsley row to call for Kinsley's ouster.

But when I returned home Friday, and began reading back issues, I noticed two fine editorials on the Los Angeles mayor's race, and, to give even the devil his due, it is time to compliment Kinsley too.

In calling upon the voters to reject the reelection bid of the inept Mayor James Hahn, and, then, a week later, endorsing two former Assembly Speakers, Bob Hertzberg and (City Councilman) Antonio Villaraigosa for positions in what looks like an impending runoff, Kinsley made a responsible choice and one that certainly serves the electorate. (In my own case, however, in a Feb. 5 blog I endorsed only Villaraigosa in the primary, sent him a $100 campaign contribution and have already voted for him, by absentee ballot).

It seems clear from the Feb. 20 Times editorial that Kinsley will eventually choose between his two favorites if they do get into the runoff. He sensibly just wants to hear more debate between the two.

Because of its decision in the 2004 presidential race, when The Times marched right up to the Rubicon, and then only dangled its fishing line, refusing to endorse John Kerry after criticizing President George W. Bush for years, I had feared Kinsley would duck the mayor's race too. But he didn't.

Now, if only Kinsley started coming to Los Angeles more often, like moving here permanently, and ceased his petty criticisms of critics like Estrich, I think he would be acting as an editor of The Times' editorial pages, should. Also, of course, he might become a little less of a bitter-ender against every current American foreign policy initiative.

In the wake of the assassination of former Lebanese Premier Rafik Hariri, the Kinsley-run editorial page held back from urging Syria to quit Lebanon. So far, not only President Bush's Administration, but the French, Russians, Saudi Arabians and Egyptians disagree with him. They think Syria should go.

Kinsley might also drop his undistinguished Sunday column and redirect the Opinion pages on Sunday away from the insipid cartoons he seems to favor.

Nonetheless, he deserves credit for taking a stand in the mayor's race. Now, he can complete the coup by registering to vote here instead of the State of Washington. That might give him a solid future in Los Angeles.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since Kinsley hasn't shown any form of brilliance at the LA Times why do you back him now? Just for your information, I have reduced my LA Times subscription to Sunday only because of the repeated incompetence shown by the Times and that unmatched idiot Robert Scheer. Scheer and I go back to a bitter confrontation in 1966, where he deliberately lied about the presence of North VietNamese troops in Cambodia.

The LA Times at one time was a great newspaper. I look forward to the day when the extreme leftist editors are purged from this newspaper and are replaced with individuals dedicated to communicating the truth to the readers.

3/05/2005 10:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to question your wisdom when you give your support to Antonio Villaraigosa. He strikes me as a slickster type of politician, someone whose ethics and attitudes will be all over the map. Maybe I'm wrong, but I can't help but think that management of city hall by Villaraigosa will make it exceptionally prone to corruption and poor policymaking, fostered by his street-wise, in-da-hood personality. Of course, if the people who like him also are the type who admire Bill Clinton or don't mind some of the controversies swirling around James Hahn, then so be it.

3/07/2005 1:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find the comments on Villaraigosa to be insulting. It's so typical of people to use words such as "slickster," "street-wise," and "in-da-hood" to describe Villaraigosa's politics/background. But, yet, the same can be said for Mayor Hahn. This time around, let's not lower ourselves to mudslinging tactics to choose a mayor, rather, let's listen to the issues and make a rational decison on who is best to lead this city.

It's my opinion, that the city of Los Angeles is following the same path of the Los Angeles Times; a deep downward decline!

3/10/2005 10:02 AM  
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