Thursday, March 31, 2005

L.A. Times Editorial Page Continues to Fail to Follow Through on Villaraigosa Endorsement

As the Los Angeles Mayoral runoff campaign continues, the Los Angeles Times editorial page, under the unsteady leadership of Michael Kinsley, continues its perplexing failure to follow through on its earlier endorsement of City Councilman Antonio Villaraigosa.

In what looked like a savvy move at the time, during the primary campaign, the LAT endorsed both Villaraigosa and former Assembly Speaker Bob Hertzberg for spots in the runoff, wisely rejecting the reelection of the inept present mayor, James Hahn.

So, then, when Hertzberg failed narrowly to make the runoff, and Hahn did, running behind Villaraigosa, one would have thought the reasonable course would have been for the Times to say, "Well, one of our choices made it to the runoff, Villaraigosa, and he is our choice in the runoff."

But Michael Kinsley is the man who criticized President Bush throughout the 2004 campaign, even endorsed John Kerry in a Time magazine column, but then failed to endorse anyone in the actual election on the Times editorial page. This made the Times and Kinsley himself look weak and ridiculous, not to mention hypocritical.

Now, judging from the latest mayoral editorial in the paper Tuesday, March 29, the Times has more good to say about Hertzberg than either Villaraigosa or Hahn, and doesn't even mention that it once supported Villaraigosa.

Villaraigosa is probably going to make it in the election this time, and the Times may yet endorse him. But its failure to do so thus far raises the question whether somewhere, like the Tribune Co. offices, there is reluctance to see Los Angeles overcome its resistance to a Latino mayor.

The Tribune Co. continues to intensify its weakness in Los Angeles by making it clear it is not willing to take steps to show that it wants the Times to continue to be a respected paper.

Now, in the mayor's race, the Times continues to appear irresolute. Even its regular political coverage of the race is less voluminous than in past mayoral contests, reducing respect for the regular political writers.

However, the coverage there has been makes it clear that Hahn is waging a somewhat racist campaign, trying to suggest that the Latino Villaraigosa is too dishonest to be mayor. It's not as bad as the Yorty campaign against the black Tom Bradley in 1969, but there is a little odor about it, and Times editorials should have denounced it.

Come on, Kinsley, stiffen up. Show some courage for once, and go along with your original course: Villaraigosa for mayor.

11 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I argree with most of what Riech wrote. I was digusted prior to the election when all of the Garrisson and Gold articals were so dishonestly and untrue favoring Antiono( his claims)I lost all respect for paper in terms of political reporting and wondered what happened to our city news serious reporing.
When they endorced both Huggy and Antionio they got a bit of respect back from me because of course, they wanted to be progressive and indorse the charming Latino and the brighter Jew. That made a little logic. It would of been the best debate for the city.

Antiono would not have all these racists nonsense comments, that his stragistists are so dishonestly working for him to help He could have not gotten away with it. Huggy would have eaten him alive and not had to deal with the racist stuff, especially with his Mexican-American wife. He would have won and the city would have been better off.
World as it is, please do not insult us by saying that the word dishonest is racist. I was not being racist in stating that AV is charming or Huggy is bright, just making a point. Both these discriptions are generally accepeted as accurate.
So please,when the dishonesty issue comes up with Antiono it is not racism. The Mexicans in the 14th district talk about it all the time.
As for Times not indorsing Antiono,clearly that would be pandering and reverse racism( How can Times not support the Latino in LA? political pandering insult ) LA times would become a further joke.
But for anyone to suggest that the word dishonest is code for racist,well they need to come to the 14th district and hear us talk,we use much stronger words than that about the councilman.
Of the two candidates in the runoff, unforgenectly the least dishonest is not a brother, that is the honest truth. Not racism.
If LA Times endorses Antionio they are racist and not only do they not respect us Latinos, but the rest of thinking readers. Yes, they wanted Huggy but could not be honest enough to endorse just him, that would have been to politically intelligent and o my god, might have been percieved as racist. No one has said it was anti- semetic that they made the mistake for the city in not doing so.
An honest Mexican dud in the 14th.

4/01/2005 12:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kinsely, stiffen up and show some backbone, no endorsement or really show some political honesty and endorse Hanh.

4/01/2005 5:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kinsely, stiffen up and make no endorsement, for better yet show political honesty and endorse Hahn.

4/01/2005 6:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I couldn't care less whether Villaraigosa is Latino or not. My question is whether he's too liberal or not, and whether a city like LA will really fall apart if its mayor is the type who enthusiastically promotes a leftist, versus a centrist or centrist-rightist, agenda.

4/01/2005 11:45 AM  
Blogger Matt Weinstock said...

You don't suppose THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING LOS ANGELES TIMES is trying to appear impartial, do you?

MT

4/01/2005 1:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why would you support Villaraigosa when he just won the support of Rep. Maxine Waters? Her grandstanding with regards to King-Drew, reminiscent of a Jesse Jackson fly-in, indicated her complete lack of understanding of the issue and was such a political pandering manuever. Yuck. Anyone she endorses gets a "no" vote from me.

4/01/2005 4:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ken, you know that Kinsley is inept, you just refuse to see how inept he really is.

The endorsement should be, and will be Antonio. It is just that Kinsley lacks ant understanding of how Los Angeles works, period.

Therefore, he'll choose the most inopportune and least effective moment to print it.

Los Angeles Herald Examiner, wherefor art thou?

4/02/2005 4:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

According to Ken, a Latino candidate has blanket immunity to lie.

Is supporting a Villaraigosa or giving him extra credit because of his ethnicity a racist vote against Hahn?

4/02/2005 7:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most defienectly yes, in regards to Hanh. Even more insulting to smarter that you think Latinos. LA Times will become a non newspaper if it endoses Antiono.

4/03/2005 1:13 AM  
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