What the people at the top of the Los Angeles Times did on Thursday is wrong on so many levels. It’s so beneath this once great paper, that I’m really not up to writing about it. But I have to. Anybody who gives a damn has to. Except for the people at the Times who’ll probably be censored and then reprimanded or fired for trying to go public with what they’re really thinking. They probably won’t be able to write about it. But I know who they are. I worked in that building for nearly five years. I was there with John Carroll, Dean Baquet, John Arthur and Leo Wolinsky. People who know how it’s supposed to be done but are no longer with the paper. However, some of the finest journalists in the world are still there and I’m pretty sure I know what they’re thinking. They have my sympathy and I can write about it so I will.
How bad does it have to get? How low does it have to go? We are now in the age of Twitter, the “give um what they want and not what they need” slant of Fox News, bloggers without credentials and people who think fake news stories are fun.
Thank God for the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times. News operations we can depend on to filter out the junk and give us what we need to know in a straightforward and objective fashion. Newspapers that continue to army on with real journalism in spite of their economic difficulties. At least we still have these four great papers to keep us informed. To do the digging and give us enough valid information so that we, as a free people, can continue to participate in the democratic process that drives America. A process that threatens to wither and die without an open, objective and investigative press.
At least we still have these four. Well, maybe not. The Wall Street Journal is now under the Murdoch news umbrella, so you have to wonder about that. And the L.A. Times is now publishing fake news, so we may be down to only two.
“Universal Studios Hollywood Partially Destroyed.” That’s the headline on the front page of the Times “LATEXTRA” section on Thursday. A better headline might be, “Los Angeles Times Partially Destroyed.” The word “ADVERTISEMENT” was printed in small red print at the top of the page, just above a giant photo of Universal City in ruins. That’s supposed to make it right? Please. The adults have left the room.
Did Harrison Ford and Jeff Goldblum really die in New Zealand? Is Caltech really predicting a major earthquake within a few days? Did you hear about it? It must be true, because it’s all over Twitter. I can’t wait to rush home to watch Jon Stewart on Comedy Central to find out what’s really going on.