Saturday, November 05, 2005

Changes At CNN, L.A. Times

CNN has ousted one of the better, more sensitive newsmen in the business, nighttime anchor Aaron Brown, and I, for one, am going to miss him.

And the L.A. Times is rumored to be considering ousting leftwing columnist Bob Scheer, and has named Jim Newton to head a reconstituted County Bureau.

To take these in order, Brown's reporting is not only perceptive, but he has been one of the few newsmen in the U.S. to recognize the full horrors of suicide bombings and other manifestations of extremist Islamics. He's being replaced by Anderson Cooper, who has never done much for me. Specifically, during the hurricane crisis in New Orleans and along the Gulf Coast, it was Brown who first sized up the enormity of the derelictions of the Bush Administration in handling the disaster. His frequent questions, a use of the Socratic method, were excellent.

It is said that Brown was a victim of ratings and that Anderson Cooper is a comer. I have my doubts about this. It seems to me, Brown was outstanding, that he addressed shortcomings in its news presentation that marked CNN, and that he suffered from changes ordered by higher-ups in his program.

I hope he gets another great job soon. We don't have enough good television broadcasters.

If the Times does get rid of Bob Scheer, it will be good news, not least for the Times, which has suffered from his one-sidedly anti-American reporting. He has been a Johnny one-note for a long time, and an embarrassment. Perhaps, he could now formally become al Queda's ambassador in the U.S.

If Scheer does go, maybe the publisher, Jeff Johnson, should also take some steps to lessen the slant of the Calendar section, which seems to be more critical of American policy than al Queda policies in the War on Terror.

The appointment of Jim Newton to head a new county bureau at the L.A. Times is of mixed value. Newton works hard, but lacks the political judgment of a predecessor, Bill Boyarsky. I think of late, Times political reporting has been quite good. This may be not much of an improvement. But maybe Newton has learned something while researching his book on Earl Warren. He was somewhat better on local politics before than he was when he also directed state political coverage.

Some of Janet Clayton's other appointments, such as Nita Lelyveld, to an editing position, are commendable, and all in all, the shakeup won't do much harm.


Blogger shelly sloan said...

Bob Scheer is one of the reasons why I stopped taking the Times.

Johnson has a chance to get me back if he keeps this up...

Scheer can go for "Bagdhad Bob's" job.

11/05/2005 10:25 PM  
Anonymous Tim McGarry said...

Ken, Scheer represents a perspective that deserves to be heard. I've frequently disagreed with him, but will be sorry to see him go. If nothing else, he certainly has more intellectual elan than quite a number of pundits appearing on the LAT Op Ed pages these days.


11/06/2005 9:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Sheer is thrown out of the building along with Gropenfuer Lopez, I will sign up for a subscription the very next day.


11/07/2005 8:47 AM  

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