Saturday, October 07, 2006

L.A. Times




I read the L.A. Times every morning.I have been following the recent ownership/management drama for the past few months with a personal interest as a reader but also as a citizen. The Times may not be perfect but it is a damn fine newspaper, one of the best in the country and maybe one of the best in the world. (Attn. East Coast folks, The Washington Post and The New York Times are not the only newspapers in the U.S.). I haven't read much of the L.A. Times' own coverage of the situation because it can only be inherently colored by the editorial staff's own personal experiences (though I am sure they have gone to great, valiant lengths to remain professional in presenting the story). I have mostly relied on other local media coverage to follow the power struggle between the Chandlers and the Tribune Company.

This week the inevitable happened as publisher Jeffery Johnson was forced to resign. After his recent stand with editor Dean Baquet to refuse to slash staff and expenditures, it was only a matter of time before he was shown the door. Now Baquet is under attack from bloggers who claim he has been disloyal in remaining at the paper and not resigning immediately in a show of support for Johnson. This allegation is ridiculous. I do not know Baquet personally, he may be a jerk or an ogre but one thing is clear; his stand against the Tribune was to save the heart and soul of the L.A. Times, not to simply support his colleague. A resignation in the face of more adversity would only sell out the paper he is trying to protect. If Ms. Finke and others see this as cowardice or a lack of spine they are sadly mistaken.

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