Tuesday, April 26, 2005

It's A NEWSpaper And Michael Kinsley Should Catch Up

The mayor of San Diego, shortly after being rated one of the worst big city mayors in the country by Time magazine, resigns. It's the lead headline the next morning in the L.A. Times. But there's no editorial on it the next morning in the paper.

The Republican leadership in the Congress is going after the filibuster, in the present American political context the biggest bulwark for liberalism that exists. A balanced judiciary is at stake. Typical of his ersatz liberalism, Michael Kinsley's editorial page takes a purist position AGAINST the filibuster, because at other times it has been used to butress conservative positions, such as on civil rights.

This man is too weak to know what he should think. He has forgotten that the American system is properly one of majority rule, but minority rights and that for the safety of the Republic one must balanced the other.

Los Angeles has a mayoral race. But more than a month after he endorsed one of the two candidates in the runoff, Kinsley holds off endorsing him in the general election, even though he long ago concluded in print that the candidate he didn't endorse was unfit to be elected.

It is reminiscent of the presidential race last year. Now, Kinsley can't follow through with an endorsement of Antonio Villaraigosa. Then, he criticized George W. Bush, but wouldn't endorse John Kerry.

This is a poor editorial page. It is not timely. It is not consistent. It doesn't know what it thinks. It's a waste of pages every day.

And that hurts the paper. At a time when circulation has been sliding, the readers need a strong editorial page. As the former Times national editor, Ed Guthman, has stated, the editorial page is the soul of the paper. Its duty is to tell the readers what the editors think. But with Kinsley, who can tell what the editorial pages believe?

Is it that Kinsley lives half or more of the time in Seattle? Perhaps, this has something to do with his long delays in taking a position or failure to take a position at all. But a tough, strong editor would be able to give directions no matter where he was, Los Angeles, Seattle or Copenhagen.

The night in 1898 that the battleship Maine blew up in Havana harbor, the editor of his New York newspaper called publisher William Randolph Hearst at home. Where have you put the news?, Hearst asked. "Page one, of course," the editor replied. "Take everything else off Page one," Hearst directed. "There's only one piece of news tonight."

If someone were to call Kinsley with such dramatic news, he would dither. No editorial, until I think about it, he would direct.

As I've said before, this hopelessly indecisive character should resign, and if he doesn't, he should be dismissed. The mayor of San Diego, Dick Murphy, at least knew when his time was up (although there is no reason for him to delay his departure, as he has, until July 15. He and Kinsley should go today).

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a former Times reporter of two-plus decades - a SoCal native "encouraged" to take last year's editorial buyout - I couldn't agree more with Jamie Court's April 24 perspective (ironically published in the LAT "Outside the Tent") about what's gone wrong at the Square. It's high time to out the East Coast elite running that place. They've ruined a damn good product. Wonder why ad revenue is falling and circ figures are hovering around 1968 levels, while suburban newspapers are holding their own or growing? As Court suggests, Harvard doesn't sell here. But Kinsley and company don't get it.

4/26/2005 1:17 PM  
Blogger Phil Krakover said...

Well, Amen and Amen. Good for you, Ken.

Now that's the spirit I remember from the old days, when people would buy the paper just to see what you were writing.

This guy Kinsley needs to go back to his effete beginnings.

Does anyone know if Carroll is still alive? I haven't seen him here yet. Why doesn't he do something, or is he in Seattle as well?

Oh, I am back, but just for this election. I've been turning over in my grave the way this city has been run, and need to straighten out the Mayor's office and The Times, so they can run the city together, like they used to do in our days (With my guidance, of course)...

4/27/2005 8:33 AM  
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