Friday, September 23, 2005

As Our World Becomes Unglued, The LAT Keeps Up

One need look only at Page 1 of the L.A. Times this morning to realize that the world, and our place in it, is becoming unglued in all sorts of ways, and that the Times is doing its journalistic duty, keeping its readers up with it.

Things aren't as they should be, or as most of us would like them to be. The rules are often broken, or ignored. Three separate Times stories on Page 1 make the point today.

Most striking is the report by Cara Mia DiMassa and Richard Winton that the L.A. County Sheriff's Office, which I found was a rinky-dink organization when I covered it a few years ago, may be dumping unwanted criminals and the mentally ill in downtown Los Angeles' skid row.

They are not the only law enforcement agency to be doing so, apparently, and the LAPD is understandably irate. But, of course, the LAPD has not been above breaking the law itself on occasion.

DiMassa, by the way, continues to enhance her career by getting involved in a wider and wider range of good stories. She is thoroughly taking advantage of the opportunities a career in journalism brings forth. And Winton, of course, is always good in his law enforcement beat.

Then, there's the story by Mary Curtius how President Bush and his political guru, Karl Rove, are pressing Congress to go along with their plan to let millions of illegals stay in the U.S. At a time when it would seem desirable to curb immigration to some extent, the President seems determined to bow to the special interests that want to employ people who make their way here. no matter how.

The President, by the way, does not seem too interested in finding out whether Rove unlawfully leaked the story about the woman being a CIA agent. While the New York Times reporter Judith Miller stays a political prisoner, that investigation seems to be going nowhere. It is always worth remembering that Miller was jailed by a federal judge, Thomas Hogan, who was ignoring the U.S. constitutional provision calling for a free press.

Finally, we have on Page 1 also today, the excellent Times foreign correspondent, Douglas Frantz, with another report on a real world class scoundrel, scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan, and his outlaw country, Pakistan, and their plan to sell nuclear weapon technology to such other rogue countries as Iran and North Korea.

If Pakistan was truly an ally of the U.S., it could have seized Osama bin Laden a long time ago. He remains free,probably on Pakistani soil, and Pakistan and Khan remain world menaces. Thank goodness, Frantz and the Times are on the story.

(In an Op-Ed page article in today's New York Times, Seth G. Jones of the Rand Corp., notes that the Taliban is using a sanctuary in Pakistan to attack U.S. forces and the fledgling democratic regime in Afghanistan. He calls for a Pakistani crackdown, but the chances of this happening without massive pressure on the Pakistani dictator, Pervez Musharraf, a man who routinely finesses the question of the rape of innocent women in Pakistan, is highly unlikely.)

Unglued is the word. Page 1 in the L.A. Times also has reporting on the latest monster hurricane. But that, of course, is an act of God more than man, unless we are to assume that global warming caused by man has something to do with it.


Anonymous Howard Rosenberg said...

Hey Ken: I teach a news ethics class 2-5:20 p.m. Mondays at USC. On Nov. 14, Kevin Roderick will drop by for an hour or so to chat with us about the blogosphere. I'd love to have you, too, if you can make it. Let me know. My e-mail is Thanks

Howard Rosenberg

9/30/2005 6:43 AM  

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