Tuesday, September 13, 2005

L.A. Times Downplays Terror Threat Against L.A.

Things have not changed much at the Los Angeles Times. It is still downplaying to a ridiculous point the terrorist menace against the city and state.

On the fourth anniversary of 9-11, editors stuck on the last page of the A section a direct threat by a known terrorist suspect to make targets of Los Angeles and Melbourne, Australia on behalf of al Queda.

This story should have been displayed much more prominently.

The LAT has a staff and editors in denial. Los Angeles is a natural target for al Queda, because it is the worldwide center of the movies, a vital cultural influence, and a major population center of the world's Jews.

Already, before, in an aborted threat against LAX, the Los Angeles International Airport, there occurred discovery in 1999 of a threat. Then, there was a terrorist attempt at the El Al counter at LAX, with fatalities, which the Times bent over backwards not to call a terrorist attempt.

Editorially, the paper still bears the ersatz liberal Michael Kinsley, on its masthead as editorial page editor, despite an announcement over the summer that he was giving up the post.

When will the Times get serious? When will it recognize that Los Angeles is a likely terrorist target? When will it stop being in denial?

Not as long as the Tribune owns the paper, I suspect. Things have not changed despite announced changes during my Alaska-Canada trip. The paper remains shamefully weak on terrorism.

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