A former L.A. Times reporter wrote me an e-mail yesterday. What an entertaining e-mail it was.
Among other things, his e-mail said the following about the L.A. Times, where he worked many years ago:
The folks who raise your ire were often journeymen reporters back then. Most of them were entirely competent journalists, decent diggers, good writers, thoughtful editors. The institution seemed very liberal then, but they didn’t. The interesting thing is that in the long term, the institution wins. They have become entirely predictable in their outlook and entirely smug in their demeanor. They have become institutionalized, in an odd sense of the term. They have bought into the myth to such an extent that they don’t even recognize that it’s a myth.
The Times newsroom was always a politicized place. I knew that then but I didn’t realize that the bias of the institution was so pervasive, so immutable. The place is still like it always was. There are new names on the masthead, but the blindness to alternative views remains.
. . . .
I encourage you to go after them with all the fury and indignation you can muster. They have become comfortable in their old age, and they deserve to be afflicted. Maybe it will keep them awake.
(All emphasis mine.)
I have asked the author’s permission to reprint his e-mail in its entirety, including the details that might reveal his identity. I am still waiting for his reply. Hopefully the whole e-mail can run here soon, but I won’t run it without the author’s permission. (He is also welcome to reveal himself in the comments here.)
All I can say is that it’s not hard to muster the fury and indignation at times. I don’t always feel it, but when I do, I’m not faking it.