Sunday, November 27, 2005

Unofficial Lists Of The Tribune Co. Purge At The L.A. Times

Written from San Carlos, California --

Kevin Roderick's excellent L.A. Observed blog has an unofficial list of those leaving the L.A. Times in the latest purge by the disgraceful Tribune Co. owners, determined to subvert the quality of the newspaper and its own investment in it.

Also, Roderick quotes editor Dean Baquet as telling him that further cutting back the stock tables in the Business section is being considered. The Wall Street Journal recently reported both the L.A. Times and the lousier Chicago Tribune were thinking of such a step, edging toward elimination of the stock tables.

If he wants to go along with gutting the LAT in this way, Baquet should never have agreed to become editor of the paper. It would not be too late for him to protest such steps with a loud resignation.

Roderick, like all journalists, is, of course, capable of making mistakes, and not all the names on his unofficial elimination list might be correct. For instance, I was told Friday that state political columnist George Skelton would not be leaving. I hope that is true.

But others on the unofficial list by Roderick are a disheartening catalog of distinguished names: Eric Malnic, Shav Glick, Kevin Thomas, Drex Heikes, Elaine Dutka, Frank Sotomayor, Larry Stammer, Claudia Luther and Myrna Oliver, to name some.

All of them have made greater contributions to the L.A. Times over the years than any of the Easterners and Midwesterners brought out here by the Tribune Co.

Also, they include so many of the older, better-paid reporters that it raises serious questions of age discrimination. Maybe it is not too much to hope the Tribune Co., may be challenged in an employee discrimination lawsuit.

Roderick also reports that the Student Journalissm Program started by editor John Carroll is being terminated. This reminds one of Carroll's vain promise that he was going to improve the paper.

Roderick doesn't mention the invaluable Met Pro program as being eliminated. I hope it's not, because this has brought many great young people into journalism. But Sotomayor is director of that program, and, if he leaves, it might not bode well for it.

Sotomayor's son, as a U.S. Army company commander, fought for the nation in Iraq for more than a year. The terrorists didn't kill him. But now it sounds as if the Tribune Co. is doing in his father. For shame!

I wonder, meanwhile, if it is true, as Roderick says is rumored, that the new Chicago transplant, publisher Jeffrey Johnson, has killed an editorial on recent developments at General Motors. Did Andres Martinez, the inconsistent editorial page editor, actually propose a critical commentary on disgraceful moves by that company? Is Jeff Johnson even less courageous than Martinez? Of course, we all remember how General Motors suspended advertising in the Times because it didn't like criticism of the company in the Times.

Where is the new owner the L.A. Times needs so much?

And what are the sins of a newspaper whose profit approached $200 million last year, according to Michael Hiltzik's column last week in Business, and has won so many Pulitzers lately?


Blogger Howard said...

Hasn't it dawned on you that the LA Times reporters you mention are propaganda hacks? I haven't bothered to read my "hometown" paper in years because the news pieces are simply a vehicle for the opinions, always left, of the "reporters." LA hasn't had a news paper since the early 70s when it decided to be "hip" instead of telling the news.

Doesn't dawn on you eliteist snobs that in the middle of the entertainment capitol of the country, if not the world, that you should be out Sixing "Page Six", out inquiring The Inquirer, and so on?

For me, the depths of the paper were reached twice. First, when twice within two week referred to the Battle of Midway as "the infamous Battle etc." and last was the total subversion of the sports section for an entire week to give us nothing but feminst propaganda regarding the Women's World Cup Soccer tournament, an inexcuseable lapse into politically correct propaganda.

What gets me is you actually think all those liars being fired is bad. The only chance the LA Times has is by firing everybody and starting over.

11/29/2005 2:43 AM  
Blogger Mark said...

Yeah Howard posted like a true wingnut. Whatever, stay at your own paper.

11/29/2005 8:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gee, Howard for someone who hasn't bothered to read the "paper in years" you claim to know an awful lot about the content.

So, what exactly do you want? Unfounded gossip like Page Six or the Enquirer with an E [the Inquirer is a Philadelphia paper you wouldn't like much either]? More celebrity crapola instead of what? Local news?

Keep us posted on the companies you're involved with as investment banker so I can invest elsewhere. It's obvious you don't really do your homework.

11/29/2005 8:25 PM  
Anonymous Al said...

Well, I'm just a former subscriber. I'm a Republican and a conservative. I guess that makes me a right-wingnut too. Howard is 100% correct. I'm not familiar with the incidents he described, but the bias was so blatent among headline and staff writers that only the most hardcore leftists and knee-jerk Democrats could praise it as journalism. The severe and unfair anti-Bush stance is undeniable. My liberal friends say they read the LAT just for that reason. I still monitor the paper via the 'net, but my money goes elswhere.

11/30/2005 12:23 AM  
Anonymous Al said...

After posting above, I jumped over to the LAT just for drill. The lead headline:

U.S. Military Covertly Pays to Run Stories in Iraqi Press
By Mark Mazzetti and Borzou Daragahi
Troops write articles presented as news reports. Some officers object to the practice."

How ironic is that?

11/30/2005 12:32 AM  
Anonymous Gumbi Dammit said...

I agree with Al and Howard. The only time I read the LA Times these days is when I find a loose copy at the lunch counter (and then only for the editorials, which are perversely the only honest part of the paper).

My epiphany came with the Rathergate scandal. I waited eagerly (two weeks) for the LA Times to report on the forged memos. When they did, you had to plow through five paragraphs before you got to the actual story. The preliminary was all about how suspicious it was that the White House had not immediately denied the validity of the memos.

Now if only I get can get them to stop calling me every week offering free subscriptions...

11/30/2005 10:28 AM  

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