Sunday, October 16, 2005

Hypocrisy Again Rears Its Ugly Head On The L.A. Times Editorial Pages

In the nightmarish history of the L.A. Times editorial pages since Janet Clayton was replaced by the ersatz liberal, Michael Kinsley, and then Kinsley by the NYT transplant, Andres Martinez, hypocrisy has been the watchword in campaign endorsements or the lack thereof.

We see it again this morning, Sunday, Oct. 16, as the Times editorial page, after its many criticisms of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, turns around and supports the governor in his bid to disarm the public employees unions by Proposition 75 in the Nov. 8 special election.

This is reminescent of Kinsley's flipflop in the 2004 presidential election. Then, after months of severe criticism of President George W. Bush, the editorial page would not endorse the Democratic nominee, Sen. John Kerry.

Now, as we come down to the nitty gritty in the approaching special election, set up by Schwarzenegger in order to take advantage of a tradition of heavier conservative voting in special elections, the Times is right there beside Schwarzenegger.

What's going on here? Is it just cowardice, an unwillingness to take a consistent position? Or is the new publisher, Jefr Johnson, or his Chicago Tribune bosses, moving the paper to the right at election times?

I would tend to believe it's something of the latter. I'd be very surprised to see Martinez willingly on the Schwarzenegger-corporate side of the campaign contribution issue, ready to try to disenfranchise the public employee unions while leaving the field to rapacious big business. Martinez in the past, at least, has pretended to be respectable. Another big change for the Times is its endorsement of Proposition 76, a Schwarzenegger proposal to make it easier to fire school teachers. This contradicts years of Times support for decent public education.

In the miserable Current section that replaced the more principled Opinion in the Times, there's another important sign of weakness this morning in the article by Op-Ed Page Editor Nick Goldberg on Germany.

Goldberg is the man who once told me that the United States had taken 9-11 so seriously, because, unfortunately he said, the American people had not suffered military attack as the European countries had enough to get used to such suffering. From that moment forth, I've held the opinion that Goldberg should not be editor of the Op-Ed Page, which under his editorship frequently gives foolish extremists and America-haters lots of space.

This morning, Goldberg, while sympathizing with German suffering in World War II, nonetheless pays tribute to the Germans for their willingness to examine their own past, while, at the end of the article, he decries American unwillingness to reexamine our treatment of the Indians, our dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, and our record of slavery and during the Vietnam war.

Consumed with guilt, this confused man, Goldberg, I'm afraid would want to turn the other cheek if someone were to drop the atomic bomb on us. He is thoroughly unsuitable.


Anonymous JV said...

Is “consistency” being 100% one way or the other all the time? Or is it possible to be “pro” on one issue and “con” on other regardless of the person presenting the issue? Is it best to be anti-Schwarzenegger or pro-Schwarzenegger 100% of the time regardless of the issue or should we examine each issue on it’s merits alone and then make a decision regardless of whose idea it is. I think that you would have to admit that even Governor Schwarzenegger has some good ideas now and then!

10/17/2005 12:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ken -

Please explain how requiring the unions to ask for a contribution constitutes "disarmament"?

There is nothing in the proposition that will sanction the unions for their usual coercion to pay tribute. Further, they can still engage in “raising awareness of issues” to sidestep direction contributions.

Face it Ken. You love unions, hate Schwarzenegger, and are incapable of thinking clearly on this matter as evidenced by your advancing of the Big Business tack employed by the union.

How about doing some real reporting. Read the proposition (no, not the voter handbook). Talk to some teachers that actually have tried to opt out from contribution. Call the union and ask for the forms “for a friend” and see what kind of response you get. Do the kind of reporting that the LA Times should be doing – but doesn’t.

10/17/2005 4:36 PM  

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