Jeff Johnson Acted Honorably At L.A. Times; Now, A Curse On His Successor
And Dennis FitzSimons and Scott Smith can best be compared tonight to the people who have starred in the other business disgraces of recent years. Their goal has been for some time now to ruin the L.A. Times and sacrifice the lives and careers of the people who work for it. They are as destructive and degenerate as Ken Lay or Bernie Ebbers could possibly have been.
Curses on them! And curses on the man they appointed to succeed Mr. Johnson, David Hiller, a low class lawyer who worked with Ken Starr no less, and who has come to Los Angeles to wield FitzSimons' axe.
The suitable reception to Hiller is to put the kind of stink bombs in his office that were once used in Chicago to protest the thuggish police of Chicago Mayor Richard Daley during the 1968 Democratic National Convention. Those L.A. Times staffers who say Hiller should be given a chance are mistaken. This is a man who has spoken of making the Chicago Tribune a tabloid. He knows no more about journalism than Mark Willes did. He's a fucking lawyer, for goodness sake!
Hiller should be made to feel as unwelcome in Los Angeles as the Nazis were in Norway after they occupied the country on April 9, 1940.
As for Dean Baquet, I think there is no point in his trying to captain a sinking ship. If he has a good job offer somewhere else, like the Washington Post, he should take it. He probably can do no more than he has already done. And his departure at a time like this might put another nail into the Chicago coffin.
Also, we can legitimately have nothing but contempt for David Useem, the professor at the Wharton School who suggested today that it was highly proper that Johnson be fired after defying the policies of the home office. No wonder Useem is a professor at a business school, when we all know that businessmen are mostly highly unethical jackasses, without a care in the world for anything but making money. They have given up every value they may have had as children and become ethically contemptible.
Fortunately, though, the Tribune Co. will be making less money. It is running all its properties into the ground. Its nutty executives can think only of serving Wall Street in a desperate hope that their stock price will go up. Wise investors will now let it sink like a rock.
Meanwhile, the L.A. Times, perhaps, should be replaced. The municipal leaders who have sought to buy the newspaper could form their own newspaper, hire the Times staff and the Times' remaining subscribers could then drop the Tribune Company's paper like a hot potato. This would be a possible solution to the present troubles.
In the meantime, go home, Mr. Hiller. Get out of Los Angeles! What we need here is a kind of insurrection that will blow this bunch of scoundrels back to their rightful places in the sewers of Chicago. Let's hope FitzSimons drops into them and doesn't come up.
Labels: Tribune failures