Sunday, May 08, 2005

The L.A. Times Endorses Villaraigosa For Mayor, Later Than It Should Have

The Los Angeles Times' endorsement of Antonio Villaraigosa for Mayor has finally come, much later than it should have. The same exact arguments could, and should, have been made just after the March 8 primary.

It's one of the costs of having out-of-towners own the paper. In the days of General Harrison Otis and Harry Chandler, the Times put its feelings on the line, and reaped the advantages of influence that came along with them.

In this day and age, the leaders of the paper hardly assert themselves as leaders of Los Angeles. And the residents of the city pay much less attention to them than they did before.

But, at last, it's been done, and it's been an inevitability for some time that Villaraigosa was going to be elected.

At least, it can be said, the incumbent Mayor, James Hahn, has backed off of the racial and ethnic themes that threatened to end his career with disgrace.

Still, for the Times editorial never to mention that Villaraigosa will be the first Latino mayor since the 19th Century doesn't make much sense. The Times should have a little more sense of history.

This blog endorsed Villaraigosa back in February, and it endorsed Bill Rosendahl for City Council after the primary. Both candidates would bring more dynamic government, more capacity for meaningful change, to city government.

Just to show he can't do two things right on the same day, editorial pages editor Michael Kinsley has his own inane column this morning on the decline in circulation some newspapers are suffering. Kinsley, however, is incorrect when he implies there is a general plummeting of circulation. Some papers, such as the New York Times and New York Daily News, continue to improve their circulation, although its a struggle. Only the Tribune-owned papers are really "plummeting," and that's because they hire absentee editors like Kinsley.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, Ken. The endorsement was late, but it was also lightweight.

The original dual endorsement was cowardly, in that Kinsley really wanted to endorse Hertzberg, but covered his posterior by adding on a nod to Antonio.

He could have corrected it this time, but he didn't.

By far the greatest sign of his lack of spine is the headline "Out with the Ho Hum". What about "Villaraigosa for Mayor"?

What Kinsley did is less an endorsement of Villaraigosa than a condemnation of Hahn.

Michael Kinsley needs to go.

5/09/2005 6:06 AM  
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