Patterico's Pontifications

12/31/2005

Patterico’s Los Angeles Dog Trainer Year in Review 2005

Filed under: Dog Trainer,Year in Review — Patterico @ 4:40 pm

It is time for this blog’s third annual review of the performance of the Los Angeles Times, which long-time Patterico readers know as the Los Angeles Dog Trainer. The first annual review was posted here. The second annual review was posted in two parts, here and here, and resulted in one of the proudest moments I have had as a blogger: being featured in a Day by Day cartoon.

This year’s installment will cover familiar topics, such as general anti-Republican and pro-Democrat bias, culture wars issues, and media coverage. It will also cover events specific to the year, with a heavy emphasis on judicial confirmation battles, the war in Iraq and the war on terror, and other miscellaneous issues.

This post summarizes an entire year’s worth of work documenting omissions, distortions, and misrepresentations by this newspaper. When someone truly takes the time to provide specific examples of liberal bias in the news media, the result can be voluminous, and this post is no exception. Feel free to bookmark it and return to it in the coming days, browsing through the categories as they interest you.

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Without further ado, on to the bias:

THE IRAQ WAR

Perhaps the most critical issue facing the nation is the war in Iraq. The paper consistently takes a negative view of the war, reporting polls showing sagging support for the mission, and ignoring polls that show the opposite.

The paper’s unrelentingly negative attitude on the war was well illustrated by a story about an increase in the marriage rate in Iraq. Every single person quoted in the story who was actually getting married said they were doing so because conditions in the country were improving. Yet the paper portrayed the phenomenon as Iraqis trying to make the best of an unjust war.

The paper has steadfastly maintained the fiction that establishing democracy was not an articulated justification for the Iraq war until it became clear that the U.S. was not going to find large stockpiles of WMD in Iraq. This fiction is easily debunked.

The paper also repeated the “imminent threat” canard. They stalled on a correction for days, and finally refused to issue one, claiming that the error was, and I quote, “not correctable.” I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried, folks.

The L.A. Times danced with joy when Barbara Boxer managed to annoy Condi Rice with a misleading presentation of the facts leading up to the declaration of war in Iraq. Gloated The Times: “Boxer, the passionate standard-bearer, had succeeded in getting that woman’s [Rice's] goat. Mission[] accomplished.” The Times did not bother to mention that “passionate standard-bearer” Boxer had gotten Rice’s goat by gravely distorting the facts. That part was left for the blogs to handle.

When Rep. John Murtha made an impassioned anti-war speech, the paper burnished Murtha’s alleged credentials as a hawk with the false claim that “no Democrat was a firmer ally” of Bush’s in the Iraq war than Murtha. In fact, Murtha had criticized the war even before it started.

The paper ran a sob story about how a church was deprived of its tax-exempt status, supposedly due to the anti-war sentiments of one of the rectors. The paper buried on the back pages the fact that the rector had portrayed Bush as a “terrorist,” and had also expressed his opposition to just about every other Bush policy under the sun, including Bush’s positions on nuclear weapons, anti-abortion laws — and even tax cuts. But other than that, he didn’t do a single thing to oppose the candidacy of George W. Bush!

The paper recently lectured George W. Bush on the need to “explain democracy to Iraq’s Sunnis and let them know that in elections like the one held last week, the group with the most votes wins. ” Where were these sentiments when the Democrats were whining about the results of the 2004 election, or trying to filibuster President’s Bush’s judicial nominees, all of whom have majority support in the U.S. Senate?

THE WAR ON TERROR

The paper published a story that speculated that Bush’s war in Iraq had nothing to do with Moammar Khadafy’s decision to disarm — while failing to report Khadafy’s explicit admission to the contrary.

The paper ran an unusual same-day editorial on the Fourth Circuit’s decision in Padilla v. Hanft, leaving out virtually every fact about Islamist terrorist “Jose Padilla” that might have undermined his legal arguments.

Dick Durbin ridiculously exaggerated the problems at Guantanamo by comparing them to the atrocities committed by Nazis, Pol Pot, or the Soveits in the Gulag. L.A. Times editors could not understand why Republicans were reluctant to accept Durbin’s initial non-apology apology, made on the same day that he had declared he had “no regrets” about his statements (a fact the paper didn’t bother to tell its readers).

The paper printed a whiny and deceitful op-ed about the TSA’s watch list.

The paper ran an op-ed by a trainee journalist from Britain’s paper The Guardian, which later fired the trainee for failing to disclose that he was a member of a radical Islamist organization that explicitly sought jihad against America. The L.A. Times edited a bizarre and striking line from the piece that related the London terror bombings to the “sassy” opinions of young British Muslims. Moreover, The Times never bothered to disclose the author’s radical Islamist affiliation to its readers.

The paper generally did a poor job of covering the recent story of President Bush’s secret surveillance program. The program is assumed by many liberals to be illegal and unconstitutional — including the liberals on the L.A. Times‘s editorial staff. However, the program is actually widely thought by legal experts to be within the law — a fact that the paper whispered on Page A32, twenty-two full paragraphs into a story whose theme was Bush’s desire to avoid the legal strictures of the wiretap court.

The editors ran an editorial claiming that Bush was “cavalier” when he denied that the story about the (legal) surveillance program was the “story of the day.” The editors didn’t bother to tell readers what Bush thought the story of the day actually was: the historic elections in Iraq, with unprecedented Sunni participation. Who’s being “cavalier” again?

INTERNATIONAL ISSUES

I am starting to think that there are really some fundamental differences between the way that L.A. Times editors think and the way most Americans think. For example, the editors wrote an editorial that characterized freedom and democracy as “our way” of doing things — as if other countries can somehow choose a different way of governing themselves without freedom and democracy.

The rift between the views of L.A. Times editors and the rest of us was revealed starkly in an incredible article that the paper did about North Korea. It was a puff-piece interview with an “affable” North Korean “businessman” — and it utterly whitewashed the evil nature of the North Korean government. Its author, Barbara Demick, later revealed that she had known that the “businessman” was in reality a “North Korean official” — a fact that she had unaccountably left out of the article. After Hugh Hewitt and others highlighted the story, there was an uproar among conservatives, but I saw only one letter published regarding the article — one which praised the article as “refreshing.” Demick finally went on Hewitt’s show to explain herself — and pointedly refused to call Kim Jong Il “evil.”

A news article mocked Bush for pursuing democracy around the globe — a policy that, the editors claimed, sometimes trumped “urgent issues.” (I guess democracy for me is “urgent” while democracy for thee can wait.) The article treated Bush’s vision of democracy around the globe as a pie-in-the-sky idea — ignoring the surge of democratic sentiment in countries like Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Iraq, Georgia, Ukraine, Palestine, Egypt, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Syria, Uzbekistan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and even Cuba.

ANTI-REPUBLICAN AND ANTI-BUSH STORIES

Only clueless people think the L.A. Times is completely unbiased. (Indeed, some especially clueless people, including a Harvard professor, think it’s conservative!)

Then again, it may depend upon what the meaning of “conservative” is. For example, the L.A. Times‘s Tim Rutten is so far to the left, he thinks it’s a “myth” that Hollywood is liberal. But it was revealed in an interview with Hugh Hewitt that Rutten considers himself to be a “pretty conservative guy” because he goes to church, has remained married to the same woman his whole life, and takes care of kids. His consistently leftist views on virtually every issue under the sun apparently don’t figure into the equation.

I began the year with two examples comparing how the Washington Post and the L.A. Times treated similar issues. The first example compared the papers’ disparate treatment of Justice Rehnquist’s year-end report on the judiciary. The second example examined their reporting on Iraqi election preparations. Would you believe it? The L.A. Times‘s spin in both cases was the spin favoring the Democrats.

When the paper labeled pieces “news analysis,” the writers evidently felt free to editorialize to their hearts’ content, as in a piece which dismissively stated: “Bush has marched through his presidency championing causes held dear by one Republican Party faction or another.”

The paper falsely reported that, in a major presidential foreign policy speech, the only applause had “apparently” been sparked by a White House aide. It turned out the applause had actually been sparked by members of the military — but reporting this fact might have made Bush look good.

The paper exulted in the indictment of Tom DeLay, and downplayed evidence of partisanship by his prosecutor, Ronnie Earle — including Earle’s criticism of DeLay (then a target of Earle’s investigation) at a Democratic fundraiser.

PROTECTING DEMOCRATS’ GOOD NAMES

If the paper was critical of Republicans, it was at least equally charitable to Democrats. For example, Ron Brownstein uncritically accepted Hillary Clinton’s spin that she has truly become a “centrist” — ignoring her leftist views on a number of core liberal issues. Brownstein had been far more suspicious of similar claims by Bush in 2000. Two weeks later, the paper printed another Hillary-as-centrist article.

The Times claimed in a June article that John Kerry had finally released his complete military records. I found this assertion less than credible, for two reasons. First, the same reporter had made the exact same claim during the 2004 presidential campaign — and had been wrong. Second, the reporter didn’t get the records directly from the government, but rather from Kerry’s office, only after Kerry aides had pre-screened them.

Even after Bill Clinton left the Oval Office, the L.A. Times continued to protect his reputation. Many readers will remember the story of the drug trafficker who was pardoned by Bill Clinton, after his rich father had bribed Hugh Rodham paid Hugh Rodham $200,000 to “lobby” the White House (money Rodham later returned in disgrace). Well, it came to light this past year that the paper knew in February 2001 that the DEA had long suspected the father of having been a drug trafficker himself. For unknown reasons, the paper sat on the story for over a year, mentioning it only after it was broken elsewhere.

An article about thuggish private investigator Anthony Pellicano detailed his numerous connections with famous people — with one notable omission: Bill Clinton, for whom Pellicano had done some interesting and significant crisis management (and had been suspected of doing much, much worse).

The paper quoted Zbigniew Brzezinski as an “expert” when he is in fact a Democrat shill. Mere weeks after the paper quoted Brzezinski as an “expert,” he gave the official Democrat response to a Bush radio address.

The paper ran a prominent front-page article about nepotism in Congress, but waited until Page A18 to mention that Democrats were among the worst offenders.

CULTURE WARS: ABORTION

The paper reported on a study that purported to show that fetuses don’t feel pain until 29 weeks. When it was later revealed that the authors of the study had connections to the abortion lobby, Times editors downplayed the revelation.

The paper left out the anti-abortion half of the story in a story about partial-birth abortion. In a nutshell, the paper reported that “some” doctors said partial-birth abortion is the better procedure — not bothering to mention that others say it isn’t.

CULTURE WARS: GAY MARRIAGE

It’s no secret that Times editors are for gay marriage. As it happens, so am I — but I’d like to see it happen through societal consensus, not imposed illegally by courts or legislatures ignoring constitutional provisions. An editorial writer dissented from the paper’s official line, and criticized the California Legislature’s illegal action in authorizing gay marriage, in contravention of a state proposition. Good for her.

CULTURE WARS: RELIGION

In an article about a silly court decision striking down a policy of having students recite the Pledge of Allegiance, The Times failed to consult any experts, who would undoubtedly have said that the judge’s reasoning was faulty. This was a consistent pattern at the paper: whenever a Republican made a pronouncement about the law that was clearly incorrect, experts came out of the woodwork to say so. When Democrats (or left-leaning judges) made such statements, the experts were nowhere to be found.

When the paper announced an ethics code. I wished the paper luck. I didn’t realize at the time that the ethics code apparently had a loophole, making it okay for a writer to take a cheap and completely inapprorpriate shot at James Dobson. This was permitted because it took place in the context of a movie review, even though the movie had nothing whatsoever to do with Dobson.

CULTURE WARS: RACE

The paper helps to keep racial tensions high in Los Angeles by trumpeting studies that purport to show blacks are disadvantaged in numerous ways, but that do not control for non-racial factors. The paper carried on the tradition this year with a study on racial disparities in mortgage lending rates.

Meanwhile, when studies lacking major flaws show no racial disparity, those studies are whispered on the back pages, if they are mentioned at all — as with the study that showed whites bear the brunt of fatalities in Iraq, a fact that the paper buried on page A9.

CULTURE WARS: THE RIGHT TO DIE AND TERRI SCHIAVO

I hesitate to mention Terri Schiavo, whose tragic situation sparked a divisive and ugly controversy. But regardless of one’s views on the underlying facts of her case, the reporting should have included the most significant arguments made by both sides of the controversy. Predictably, The Times omitted some of the most compelling arguments made by Ms. Schiavo’s parents. This pattern repeated itself time and time again.

As was common in the liberal media, the paper portrayed the issue as one of family vs. government — a much more convenient story line than the truth: that the battle was between competing family members with very different ideas about what should happen to Ms. Schiavo.

The paper continually distorted its coverage by treating Schiavo as a “terminal” patient, despite the undisputed fact that she was no more “terminal” than any of us humans, all of whom must one day die. For example, the paper ran a piece about the “euphoria” of starving to death. But the story cited totally inapposite examples of terminal cancer patients who had lost the will to eat and to live, and whose situations were in no way comparable to that of Terri Schiavo.

In news articles on bitterly disputed controversies like this one, newspapers should avoid emotionally charged terms that favor one side. The paper’s editors totally ignored this precept in their coverage of Michael Schiavo. In their eyes, Michael Schiavo became a martyr — someone who, in the paper’s words, was “vilified” and “demonized” by Ms. Schiavo’s parents. These loaded terms appeared, not in an opinion piece (or at least one labeled as such), but rather in a theoretically “straight” news story.

The paper also created the illusion of widespread outrage at Republicans by reporting push polls as though they were balanced and accurate.

The paper systematically attacked the parents’ Republican supporters in Congress. Times editors accused Bill Frist of making a decision about the case based on watching a video — a canard oft-repeated by the liberal media despite the fact that his decision was based on numerous other factors as well.

How ugly did the editors get? In an editorial, they actually issued a veiled threat to William Rehnquist: vote to overturn Congress’s law, or we’ll trash your obituary.

But the absolute low point was reached when the editors dragged Tom DeLay’s dad into it. Unlike Schiavo, DeLay’s dad was terminal and was on a ventilator. His organs were failing. Unlike Schiavo’s family, DeLay’s family was unanimous about what he would have wanted. Nevertheless, the editors were evidently determined to find some “hypocrisy” among Republican supporters of the parents, no matter how irrelevant and how personally painful to the parties involved. I’m sure it didn’t hurt that DeLay is a popular villain among liberals.

I cannot express in words the depth of my contempt for this appalling action on the part of the editors, though I tried to in a letter to the editor (which, as usual, was not printed). In my view, the DeLay episode was one of the most disgraceful episodes in the paper’s history. The parties responsible should be deeply ashamed — though I am quite positive that, to the contrary, they got a little giggle out of it. My dad died this year, and if someone tried to use his death to make a cheap and inapposite political point, I would be blinded by rage. No matter what you think of Tom DeLay — and, personally, I am not a fan of his — any rational person should be disgusted by this story.

When Terri Schiavo’s autopsy was released, it turned out to be inconclusive on certain issues that the paper had reported as fact, such as the assertion that Schiavo died of a heart attack, or that she had suffered from an eating disorder.

MEDIA COVERAGE: THE CBS SCANDAL

The paper offered consistently wretched coverage of the major media issues of the day.

For example, after the issuance of the Thornburgh report regarding CBS’s Memogate, the paper continued last year’s fundamental misunderstanding of the CBS forged documents scandal, with an editorial that said every media organization should be thinking: “There but for the Grace of God . . .” But the CBS forged documents scandal was about a media outlet deliberately blinding itself to facts that undercut its story. Avoiding that situation does not require any special exercise of God’s grace — just objectivity and honesty. My post was titled: “But for the Grace of God, Our Misrepresentations Might Be Discovered As Well . . .”

Meanwhile, our “conservative” friend Tim Rutten claimed that the Thornburgh report “adds little of value to our understanding of whether political bias was at work at any level of the process.” But Rutten conveniently failed to mention the report’s evidence indicating otherwise. Significantly, Rutten omitted any mention of a Mary Mapes e-mail, in which Mapes drooled over the prospect of obtaining information that “could possibly change the momentum of an election.”

MEDIA COVERAGE: THE EASON JORDAN SCANDAL

CNN head Eason Jordan aroused conservatives’ ire this year by alleging that the U.S. military had deliberately targeted journalists. Given the explosive nature of the allegation, it was no surprise that The Times was all over the scandal from the beginning. Just kidding! Actually, the paper didn’t even breathe a word about the controversy until after Jordan resigned. The paper’s steadfast refusal to cover the story contemporaneously was another step forward in the ongoing effort by newspapers to make themselves irrelevant.

When the paper did finally get around to reporting the Jordan controversy, it whitewashed a previous Jordan controversy, over Jordan’s admitted policy of refusing to report bad facts about Saddam’s regime. Reader Diana Magrann called them on it, and the paper issued a correction, but neglected to use Ms. Magrann’s suggested language in the correction. As a result, the paper had to issue an embarrassing correction to the correction.

MEDIA COVERAGE: JUDITH MILLER AND JOE WILSON

The paper portrayed Judith Miller’s jailing as a noble effort to avoid revealing confidential sources, downplaying evidence to the contrary.

Meanwhile, the paper continued to fictionalize “lyin’ Joe” Wilson as a fearless truth-teller, in the process mangling (for the umpteenth time) what President Bush had said about Iraqi efforts to obtain uranium from Africa.

Captain Ed and Tom Maguire also took a good whack at the paper for its coverage of the Joe Wilson/Karl Rove nonstory.

MEDIA COVERAGE: THE NEWSWEEK CONTROVERSY

This year saw a controversy over a report in Newsweek that American interrogators had flushed a Koran down the toilet. The report sparked riots in which many died.

It was no surprise that the L.A. Times attempted to downplay the controversy, as the paper’s hands were dirty on the same issue. The Times had repeated the allegations of the Newsweek story in numerous articles, never telling readers that the allegations were based on unconfirmed reports from anonymous government sources. The paper’s willingness to make such allegations formed an interesting contrast with the paper’s decision to delete information favorable to the United States government based on anonymous government sources quoted by other news organizations. (See, for example, the next section regarding the paper’s editing of a Reuters story on the Sgrena shooting.) My own feeling on the proper ethics is simple: tell us what you know and what you don’t know.

The paper ran an editorial that said the Newsweek controversy was exaggerated, and suggested that the interesting question was not why Newsweek got the story wrong, but why Muslims believed the story. Tell that to the dead victims of the rioters.

Ironically, in an article about Newsweek’s irresponsible use of an anonymous source, the paper quoted a source from Newsweek who — you guessed it — wished to remain anonymous.

THE EDITING OF A REUTERS STORY REGARDING THE SGRENA SHOOTING

Late in April, the Los Angeles Times edited a Reuters story to remove critical facts supporting the U.S. position on an important international issue: the shooting by U.S. soldiers of a car bearing Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena, resulting in the death of Italian intelligence officer Nicola Calipari. This incident sparked an international controversy, which strained U.S.-Italian relations. A key issue was the speed of the car as it approached the checkpoint. The story portrayed this as an unresolved issue — cutting out the part of the story where Reuters had reported that satellite footage showed the car speeding towards the checkpoint. In addition, the paper changed the term “killing” (used in the Reuters version) to “slaying” — making the killing seem deliberate and premeditated.

Was his slanted editing accidental? Clearly not. The paper did the exact same thing the next day. I decided it was time to write the Readers’ Representative.

Mickey Kaus said the paper had screwed up, and had to choose between leaving its readers uninformed, or doing a true investigation of the satellite footage allegations. It chose the former route.

I could not fathom why the paper had done this. I explored the possibility that the paper was simply suspicious of any story based on anonymous sources from CBS News, based on Memogate. If that was the case, I just wanted the paper to say so.

Howard Kurtz suggested that The Times might have had a good reason not to run the story — but I addressed every possible justification and shot it down. In particular, I noted that the paper had repeated statements of anonymous government sources with respect to the Newsweek controversy over the alleged flushing of the Koran. What was different about this situation? The answer seemed obvious: here, the anonymous government source was saying something that helped a Republican Administrations’s position.

Three days later, the paper still had said nothing to explain the omission, and repeated the word “slaying” in another story. Over two weeks later, I still had received no response to my e-mail regarding the Sgrena editing. The editing was never explained to me.

THE JUDICIARY AND THE SUPREME COURT

The makeup of the federal judiciary is, for me, one of the key issues facing the nation. It is clear to me that the Los Angeles Times has pursued a liberal agenda in its coverage of this issue, and so I have given it a lot of space in this Year in Review.

It starts with the paper’s coverage of the Supreme Court. Early in the year, L.A. Times editors were apparently concerned that Justice Thomas might get the nod for the Chief Justice spot. They ran a story about Justices getting gifts that twisted the applicable standards into pretzels to make Justice Thomas look bad.

The paper made a big deal out of the fact that the current Supreme Court is composed primarily of Republican appointees, but saved for the back pages an analysis showing that many of the Court’s rulings are still liberal. The paper could have run exactly the same story in 1973, when Roe v. Wade was decided; I showed exactly how such a story would have read.

When William Rehnquist died, the paper wrote in his obituary that Rehnquist had “helped elect” Bush in 2000. Gee, and I thought it was the voters who had elected him.

THE JUDICIAL CONFIRMATION PROCESS: THE FILIBUSTER

There was an interesting split between the paper’s news side and the editorial side on filibusters. While the news side of the operation toed the Democratic line on filibusters, the editorial side of the paper took a principled stand against the judicial filibuster.

You definitely couldn’t see this one coming. In April, the paper was running the usual liberal claptrap about Republican hypocrisy on filibusters, while ignoring the more glaring Democrat hypocrisy. It was par for the course at the L.A. Times; nobody was surprised. Later in the month, the editorial page accused Republicans who were fighting judicial filibusters of mounting an “attack on the judiciary.” Again, such liberal orthodoxy was completely expected

Then the paper did a complete 180-degree turn within one day, coming out against filibusters in general and the judicial filibuster in particular. This didn’t sound like the L.A. Times at all! I could only surmise that Republican thugs had executed an armed takeover of the paper’s editorial offices.

The op-ed page was not always as sensible, or careful with the facts. That page ran a deceptive op-ed piece by David Greenberg about judicial filibusters. Interestingly, a fuller version of Greenberg’s piece published elsewhere was far less misleading. I never found out whether the fault lay with Greenberg or Times editors.

But the editorial page remained consistent in its principled opposition to the filibuster. This was not without dissent, of course, as editor Judy Dugan’s signed editorial, dissenting from the company line, made abundantly clear.

Luckily for folks like Dugan, the news pages continued to distort the filibuster controversy to favor the Democrat position — not just once, but repeatedly. The news side did its best to make the filibuster sound like a venerable, time-honored tradition — and the Republican threat to end it, a terrible danger to truth, justice, and the American way.

From the beginning, the paper portrayed Republican efforts to end the judicial filibuster as a major constitutional crisis — just like Harry Reid wanted it portrayed. Ron Brownstein helped out with a news analysis making the same point.

Given the news side’s view on filibusters, it was no surprise when it the paper gave a predictable pro-Democrat spin on the Gang of 14 deal, and insisted on referring to the Gang of 14 as “mavericks” — a description specifically designed to drive me crazy.

The paper’s poor coverage of the filibuster controversy continued when the Senate voted to apologize for its history of inaction on lynching. Of course, the filibuster was arguably the single most important factor in the Senate’s repeated failure to pass anti-lynching laws. Yet the editors waited until the very last sentence of the article to mention this, and used the word “filibuster” exactly once in the article.

Even as late as November, the paper said that the filibuster was “in the Democrats’ arsenal” as a weapon to potentially be used against Judge Alito — an analysis that ignored the statements of several key Senators who had indicated otherwise.

THE JUDICIAL CONFIRMATION PROCESS: JOHN ROBERTS

Even before John Roberts was nominated to replace Sandra Day O’Connor, the L.A. Times distorted the record regarding who might replace him. The paper surreptitiously edited the Web version of an article by liberal legal affairs reporter David Savage, about President Bush’s decision to nominate a replacement for Justice O’Connor. The edit quietly corrected a mistake that had appeared in the print version on Page One — namely, the claim that the leading candidates were all “white men.” In fact, as other news outlets had reported, the short list had included women and minorities. Indeed, the possibility of an Alberto Gonzales nomination had sent many conservatives into an uproar. How could Savage have missed that?

The Readers’ Representative responded twice to my inquiries regarding the “white men” whiteout, each time saying that the edit was not done to fix a mistake, but providing no answer as to why it had happened.

When Sandra Day O’Connor retired, the paper followed the lead of pro-abortion interest groups and pushed the panic button on Roe. This was unnecessary because replacing O’Connor with an anti-Roe Justice (which Roberts may not be) would not create a majority to overturn the decision — despite the paper’s best efforts to suggest the contrary, time and time again.

The paper ran an editorial that overstated the importance of O’Connor’s role as a swing vote, incorrectly stating that “she alone was in the majority of every one of the court’s 13 5-4 decisions this last term.” This was flatly false. I wrote a post noting several prominent 5-4 decisions in which she had been in the minority, and registered a complaint with the Readers’ Representative. The paper ultimately issued a correction in response to my complaint.

The paper’s initial announcement on the Roberts nomination portrayed Roberts in the headline as an inexperienced party hack. Several weeks later, on the front page, a curious and amusing visual juxtaposition seemed to suggest that the editors thought the country was going to hell with Roberts’ nomination.

The paper initially claimed that Democrats were withholding criticism of the Roberts nomination, and omitted Dick Durbin’s pointed comments disparaging the nomination, since including them would have spoiled the story’s theme. The same story doctored a quote from Sandra Day O’Connor to eliminate her most effusive praise for Roberts.

The blog Independent Sources took on The Times for an irrelevant and inappropriate article about the anti-abortion views of John Roberts’s wife.

Meanwhile, David Savage falsely claimed that Roberts was a member of the Federalist Society. At the same time, an editorial expanded upon the claim, saying that Roberts had been a “fixture” at the Federalist Society. The paper ultimately corrected the record regarding Roberts’s alleged membership in the Federalist Society, but failed to correct the comment in the editorial.

Days later, there was still no correction of the “fixture” comment. Ultimately, the paper waited it out, and was saved by the bell.

It turned out that Roberts had held a position on the Society’s steering committee. This didn’t require him to be a member, and Roberts may not have even known about it — and, most importantly, it certainly did not make him a “fixture” at the Federalist Society. But the paper now had some wiggle room with respect to its inaccurate statement to the contrary, and the claim was never corrected. Apparently, wiggle room was more important than accuracy.

It was amusing to watch the paper treat the Society as some kind of arcane group akin to the Freemasons. Savage described the Federalist Society as a “somewhat secretive group.” What’s the secret? I’m a member, and nobody has told me. The best I can figure is that the group won’t release its membership records — but neither will the ACLU, and when is the last time that the L.A. Times mentioned the “secretive ACLU”?

A controversy arose regarding whether the Administration would disclose memoranda from Roberts’s time in the Office of the Solicitor General. The Administration claimed that the memos should be withheld due to attorney-client privilege. This controversy gave rise to several awful articles with shoddy legal analysis, usually written by David Savage.

Early on, the paper ran a story on the issue of the disclosure of the memoranda that was pure agenda journalism. It portrayed the Administration’s refusal to disclose the memos as an attempt to hide something embarrassing, and failed to report any part of the mountain of evidence indicating otherwise. In pushing this bogus document controversy, the paper falsely suggested that a different precedent had applied during the Bork confirmation hearings.

Democrats made the utterly ridiculous assertion that the attorney-client privilege can be invoked only in court, not in Congress. Using a familiar tactic, The Times failed to ask legal experts about this assertion, though the editors would have insisted on consulting legal experts if Republicans had made an equally ludicrous assertion.

David Savage did more than one sloppy analysis of the issue of the disclosure of the documents. In one such article, Savage misread a case that said that the attorney-client privilege gives way in criminal investigations — a totally inapplicable situation. After a while, the reporters’ misinterpretation of judicial opinions became a real embarrassment. In one egregious case, an article stated that a particular appellate decision “scoffs” at the proposition that the attorney-client privilege applies to government lawyers. In fact, the case strongly stands for that principle.

Roberts’s religion also became an issue. A silly Jonathan Turley op-ed about John Roberts advanced a fictional version of a meeting between Roberts and Dick Durbin, using it to argue the relevance of Roberts’s Catholicism. It turned out that Turley’s biggest mistake was believing Durbin. But Turley’s piece was silly even though it was based on a misrepresentation of the meeting by Durbin.

NARAL ran a flatly false ad about Roberts. The L.A. Times portrayed the truth of the ad as a “he said, she said” type of controversy, without consulting independent experts who would have undoubtedly explained that the ad was a misrepresentation of Roberts’s record. When FactCheck.org reported its conclusion that the ad was false, the paper’s stories on the ad failed to mention FactCheck.org’s analysis. This was an interesting omission, because the paper had previously trumpeted findings by FactCheck.org — as long as those findings had promoted a leftist position, of course.

The paper printed an article about the Roberts memos that were released, but failed to publish (or even give a Web link to) the memos themselves, so that readers could evaluate the claims being made. In essence, the paper’s editors were saying “trust us.” It was no surprise that readers were reluctant to do so. This is because, when the paper talked about memos that had been released, the coverage was often unfair — as with a story about Roberts’s use of the phrase “illegal amigos.” The paper falsely implied that the comment was made in the context of a memo opposing a civil rights initiative, making it seem callous and racist.

David Savage reported that certain documents released by the White House relating to the Roberts nomination had not been requested by anyone on Capitol Hill. Meanwhile, the New York Times reported that the documents had been requested by Arlen Specter. I sent an e-mail to the Readers’ Representative about it.

The agenda journalism continued once the hearings began. In a particularly outrageous stunt, the paper quoted language from Senator Arlen Specter that had been widely interpreted as a suggestion by Sen. Specter that Roberts had been dishonest. Sen. Specter opened the next day’s hearings by clarifying that he had not meant that at all — but the L.A. Times never printed one word about Specter’s clarification. This dishonest omission allowed the false implication to remain in the minds of any readers foolish enough to rely exclusively on the paper as their sole source of news.

At the same time that a Knight-Ridder article came out showing that Roberts is not a doctrinaire conservative, Savage wrote a story concluding that Roberts is a doctrinaire conservative. The article led me to suggest a drinking game: drink when you see liberal bias in the L.A. Times. It’s a joke, folks: I don’t want my readers dying of alcohol poisoning.

Curiously, at about the same time, the paper printed a story about Roberts’s pro bono work on a major gay rights case in the Supreme Court. This was a nothing of a story, in my view. Printing it on the front page was simply an effort to rile up social conservatives, and it worked.

As with filibusters, the editorial page was far more reasonable about Roberts than the news side, and wrote an editorial endorsing him — albeit with faint praise, declaring in the headline that Roberts was “not worth fighting over.”

THE JUDICIAL CONFIRMATION PROCESS: HARRIET MIERS

The paper at first did not seem to understand that Harriet Miers was a poorly qualified nominee for the Supreme Court. It took the paper several days to report legitimate criticisms of her nomination that had been percolating for days on blogs like mine. The editors attributed Harriet Miers’s confirmation troubles to the White House’s failure to conduct a behind-the-scenes campaign on her behalf. Apparently it didn’t occur to the editors that she simply was an inferior nominee.

I was no fan of Harriet Miers’s, but I was annoyed when the paper tried to spread the meme that her questionnaire answers had been “rejected” by Senators, who had, in fact, merely requested follow-up answers to several questions.

The editors concluded from Miers’s support for a constitutional ban on abortion that Miers would be a reliable vote to overturn Roe v. Wade. But the wisdom of abortion of a matter of policy and the constitutionality of Roe are completely separate questions — something Times editors and staffers have apparently never understood. Ron Brownstein got the exact same point wrong in December.

THE JUDICIAL CONFIRMATION PROCESS: SAMUEL ALITO

The paper has done a better job covering the nomination of Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court than it did with the year’s previous two Supreme Court nominations. Early on, the paper ran a fair and complimentary profile of Alito. And when the Washington Times broke the news of a memo in which Alito had given his opinion about the legality of Roe v. Wade, the L.A. Times’s coverage was largely fair.

However, it was interesting to note that the editors found it necessary to explain that the Washington Times is a conservative paper — meaning that any leak to that paper must have been intended to reassure conservatives. I wonder if the editors even realize that leaks to the L.A. Times are often motivated by liberals attempting to push a liberal agenda in a liberal newspaper.

Unfortunately, the paper’s coverage of the Alito nomination has not been uniformly good — especially when it came to that old bugaboo: abortion. When our old friend David Savage wrote about Alito’s dissent in an important abortion opinion, he subtly altered a quote from a Supreme Court case to make it look as though Alito had voted in favor of a law that generally allows husbands an effective veto over an abortion.

THE JUDICIAL CONFIRMATION PROCESS: LOWER-COURT NOMINEES

David Savage wrote a fair and balanced article about Priscilla Owen’s judicial opinions. Unfortunately, he badly botched the analysis of one of her business opinions. I wrote Savage an e-mail, copying the Readers’ Representative, complimenting him on the article generally, but noting his erroneous interpretation of the business case. He never responded. Months later, the Readers’ Representative responded, essentially brushing my complaint aside without providing any explanation or defense. My distillation of her response: we weren’t wrong — and even if we were, so what?

The Times ran a cartoonish caricature of a Janice Rogers Brown speech that was strongly and convincingly disputed by a blogger who had been in attendance.

The paper appeared to botch Senate rules in an article about the Republicans’ abolition of the “blue slip,” which traditionally entitles Senators to block nominations to federal courts in their state. Times editors appeared to assume that California Senators Feinstein and Boxer would have been able to block the nomination of Janice Rogers Brown to the federal bench, despite the fact that Brown was nominated for a spot on the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, a jurisdiction that has no Senators. My research indicated that the editors’ assumption was wrong.

STATE GOVERNMENT

The Times consistently undermines Republican attempts to rein in out-of-control spending, and this year was no exception.

For the second year in a row, the L.A. Times portrayed an increase of over a billion dollars in education spending as a decrease in spending. Last year, the paper reported that Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger was expected to propose “cuts” of at least $2 billion in education spending, when the governor was actually proposing an increase of between $1.5 and $2 billion in education spending. One year later to the day, the paper pulled the exact same trick, calling a $2.9 billion increase (7%) in the education budget a $2.2 billion cut. Days later, a second story warned of a “$2-billion cut” in Schwarzenegger’s proposed education budget. A third story said the proposed budget “scales back payments to schools.” Not surprisingly, readers were fooled.

The paper portrayed a legislative analyst as critical of the governor’s proposed budget, in a story titled “Analyst Is Critical of Spending Controls.” Yet the analyst’s actual report had led with praise of the budget’s “positive attributes,” including its realism and “significant amount of ongoing savings.” These positive comments were, characteristically, barely alluded to by the L.A. Times, and then only on the paper’s back pages.

When Schwarzenegger’s final budget contained significant cuts, the paper’s spin was predictably negative. Rather than speaking to advocates of spending restraint, who would have cheered the budget (while perhaps saying it didn’t go far enough), the paper simply spoke to a slew of people who would be adversely affected by the cuts, thus portraying the budget in the worst light possible.

The paper clearly doesn’t like Schwarzenegger, and runs unlabeled editorials against him on its news pages. One such piece characterized Schwarzenegger’s proposals as “vague and hastily drawn”; said his problems were the “result of overreaching, hubris, poor staff work and serious miscalculations”; and described aides as having to “clean up after” their boss, who suffered from a “lack of follow-through” and was “stumbling badly,” appearing “uncertain and unfocused.” All of this language appeared in one “straight news piece” about Schwarzenegger. It wasn’t even labeled a “news analysis”!

The newspaper had a constant drumbeat of stories recounting “missteps” and “misstatements” by Schwarzenegger. In fairness, Arnold did have his share of missteps and misstatements, but the paper overdid the caricature. It got to the point where you couldn’t read a story without one or the other of these words appearing somewhere in the article.

During the recent special election in California, the paper said that Schwarzenegger was trying to target a narrow segment of the public, and contrasted that with Arnold’s image as a man of the people. The article all but accused Arnold of trying to suppress the vote. But when you turned to the back pages, it turned out that all Arnold was doing was targeting his message to people likely to support it. What a shocking revelation!

IMMIGRATION

The editorial board of the L.A. Times is notoriously supportive of illegal immigration. At one point late in the year, the paper actually ran a story suggesting that illegal immigration is not a crime — which it most assuredly is.

When California state senator Gil Cedillo introduced legislation that exempted illegals — and only illegals — from state laws that punished unlicensed and uninsured motorists, I had to learn about it on National Review Online. The L. A. Times had not said one word about it.

The editors further revealed their attitude about illegal immigration by opining in an editorial that a Spanish-language TV station’s billboard making a reference to “Los Angeles, Mexico” was funny — and that anyone who disagreed lacked a sense of humor. The editors also equated opposition to illegal immigration with Nazi xenophobia. (For this post, I got another mention in a Day by Day cartoon.)

CRIME

It is a longstanding practice of the paper to falsely suggest that the Three Strikes Law mandates a 25-to-life sentence for any three felony convictions. This year was no different.

In the past, The Times has gotten on its soapbox about the need to pay attention to murders of the downtrodden — yet a story about a serial murderer of prostitutes was broken this year, not by the L.A. Times, but by the local legal newspaper.

I took the editors to task for a naive editorial that said it would be “preposterous” for California prison officials to argue that there is a compelling reason to segregate prisoners by race in the year 2005. Ironically, there was a massive race riot at the California prison in Tehachapi the very next day — but the L.A. Times refused to call it a race riot. I wonder why?

THE DEATH PENALTY

Like most newspaper editors, L.A. Times editors are generally against the death penalty, and appear to be perfectly happy to misrepresent the facts to support that position. The paper published an analysis of the cost of the death penalty this year that was an enragingly egregious example of distortion. For example, the paper counted as a cost of the death penalty the entire cost of all capital appeals (!) — as though these murder cases never would have been appealed at all if the defendants had received only life in prison. This and numerous other errors had the effect of overstating the cost of capital punishment.

Are the editors really such simpletons that they couldn’t spot such a basic logical fallacy??? Or is there something else going on? I wrote a rare letter to the editor, which was never published. Also, I wrote the reporter and his editors directly to complain — and never heard back. A reader of mine also wrote the reporter, and received an utterly unsatisfactory response.

Was it just a mistake when the paper reported that parties in death penalty cases are entitled to double the number of peremptory challenges available in other cases? This is not true; any case with a maximum punishment of life in prison entitles the parties to the same number of challenges as a death case. But pretending otherwise sure makes death penalty cases sound more cumbersome and expensive . . .

The paper told readers that Stephen Reinhardt has been a consistent skeptic of death sentences. It would have been much more accurate and complete to have told the whole truth: Reinhardt has never once voted to uphold a death sentence in almost 25 years as a federal appellate judge.

The editors ran an absurd editorial that advocated commuting the death sentences of any Mexican national who had not been advised of their right to consult with the Mexican consulate. The editors’ position was utterly out of touch with reality. They wanted the defendant’s sentence commuted even if the defendant had lived in the U.S. since childhood, had no connection with Mexico, and was manifestly guilty of a heinous murder.

The paper did a much better job on its coverage of the Tookie Williams execution. Earlier in the year, the paper ran an article titled A Nobel Nominee Faces Execution. I would have preferred “Convicted Quadruple Murderer and Crips Founder Faces Execution.” But later in the year, articles on the topic consistently presented the point of view of law enforcement and the victims’ families. One article in particular investigated the people who nominated Williams for the Nobel prizes, and determined that they were (surprise, surprise!) anti-death-penalty activists whose primary motivation for making the nominations was not the quality of Tookie’s books, but the desire to save his life.

However, when shots were fired outside Tookie’s funeral, the paper missed the story entirely.

POLICE SHOOTINGS

As long as I can remember, The Times has had an anti-police bias. It showed up in an article about police officers who are engaged in multiple shootings. The article displayed an all-too-common ignorance of the need to examine control variables in statistical analyses. As a result, it almost completely failed to address legitimate reasons that a limited number of police officers might be involved in multiple shootings.

When police shoot someone, the victim is generally described by the L.A. Times as having been “unarmed.” It’s always interesting to see who merits that description. This year, the paper described as “unarmed” a man driving a 2000-pound car at officers. I’d call that a deadly weapon; Times editors apparently consider it chopped liver.

In yet another shooting, the suspect backed his vehicle into a police car. The paper said he had backed his car “toward” the officer, only telling readers on the back pages that “toward” really meant “into.”

Jack Dunphy had an excellent piece on this case on National Review Online, and later wrote an “Outside the Tent” piece about it in the L.A. Times. Dunphy’s L.A. Times piece was the subject of a weaselly correction that implied a thoroughness in The Times‘s coverage of the incident that didn’t really exist.

But all of this pales in comparison to the paper’s front-page claim that an anti-crime activist shot an “unarmed teen.” On the back pages, readers learned that a group of thugs had surrounded the activist. One had shouted: “There’s the snitch!” Then, one of them had reached for a gun in another thug’s waistband — at which point the activist shot him. That, the paper described as the shooting of an “unarmed teen.”

Simply incredible.

It doesn’t matter how justified the shooting is, The Times will portray it as part of a disturbing pattern of police shootings. In one article, the “victims” of the police shootings were 1) a guy who attacked a sheriff’s deputy with a machete; and 2) a guy who tried to stab a sheriff’s deputy with a knife. Yet the paper insisted on portraying these as part of a “string of officer-involved shootings” that “occurred against a backdrop of steadily increasing use of guns by sheriff’s deputies.” I guess we can all put in whatever “backdrop” we want. To me, it sounded like the shootings occurred against a backdrop of steadily increasing attacks on sheriff’s deputies.

EDITORIALS: MICHAEL KINSLEY

Last year, I was suspicious when Michael Kinsley came on as the paper’s opinion editor. Kinsley is a well-known leftist and I thought he was unlikely to change the opinion pages for the better.

I was wrong.

Kinsley came up with the idea of the “Outside the Tent” feature, in which contributors are invited to submit pieces critical of the paper’s news coverage. I published two of these pieces this year, and discuss that feature more in the next section.

Kinsley turned out to be very controversial, and staked out bold and independent positions on a number of issues, such as when he wrote that the Katrina disaster and its aftermath was not Bush’s fault.

One of Kinsley’s (unfortunately short-lived) innovations was called a “wikitorial.” Using the open-source concept of the Wiki, the concept sought to enable the paper’s readers to modify an editorial to include their own arguments. It was a good idea, but the paper did not have proper controls in place to defeat or correct mischief, and the Wikitorial was defaced by pornography and taken down. Jeff Jarvis and I believed that the experiment was not a failure, and encouraged the paper to repeat the experiment. Unfortunately, it was never repeated.

Under Kinsley and Sunday Opinion editor Bob Sipchen, the paper put out some good and balanced opinion pieces. There was a day in May when the Sunday Opinion section amazed me with the quality and diversity of opinion, including several serious and well-done conservative pieces.

One decision made during Kinsley’s reign made no sense to me: when the paper changed the name of the Sunday “Opinion” section to “Current.” Editor Bob Sipchen explained that the change was made in part to allow news reporters a chance to submit pieces to the section, without having to publish them in a section called “Opinion.” There were only two problems with this logic: “Current” was still composed of opinion pieces, and, more importantly, reporters were already expressing their opinions on the news pages anyway.

Kinsley had a prickly personality, and did not suffer fools gladly. Susan Estrich had a publicized e-mail fight with Kinsley. And when the L.A. Weekly‘s Nikki Finke criticized Michael Kinsley for being too much of a leftist, and not enough of a leftist, Kinsley responded by calling Finke an idiot.

In July, it was announced that Kinsley would leave his position as opinion editor. I worried for the future of his innovations. Finally, in September, Kinsley was asked to leave the paper entirely.

CREATIVE SELF-FLAGELLATION: “OUTSIDE THE TENT”

As I mention above, Kinsley left behind one innovation that was truly courageous: an occasional feature in the Sunday Opinion section (now known as Sunday Current) called “Outside the Tent.” Mickey Kaus had the first installment, and Hugh Hewitt took the second slot. Then the editors lost their minds and gave one of the next slots to me.

My first piece ran on February 13, and argued that when the paper prints a false assertion of fact on the front page that significantly affects someone’s reputation, that mistake should be given a prominent, front-page correction — not one buried in a small box on Page A2. Unfortunately, the paper didn’t take my advice, and continued to whitewash its mistakes.

At least one reader didn’t like my piece — but then, he had been blinded for years by The Times‘s misleading coverage, so who can really blame him? To me, the key question was whether the editors were taking the criticism seriously. They appeared to — at least Kaus’s piece.

The feature was at times so occasional that, in June, I became concerned that the experiment was over. I needn’t have worried, as later in the year I was asked to contribute again.

OUTSIDE THE TENT: CINDY SHEEHAN

My second Outside the Tent piece was about the paper’s coverage of Cindy Sheehan. In my piece, I highlighted the notable facts about Sheehan that had been entirely omitted from the paper’s news coverage. For example, the newspaper had reported as fact that Sheehan had come away from her first meeting with the president “dissatisfied and angry,” completely failing to tell readers about a contemporaneous interview in which she had sounded quite pleased with the president’s behavior during the meeting.

Channeling Michael Moore, Sheehan had called terrorists “freedom fighters.” She had also called Bush a “lying bastard” and a “maniac.” But some of the paper’s op-ed columnists, like Rosa Brooks, seemed to be ignorant of many of these basic facts about Sheehan.

As with my first piece, the paper printed a letter to the editor critical of my piece, from a reader who was unfamiliar with the facts — no doubt because he had always gotten his facts from the L.A. Times.

After my piece on the coverage of the Sheehan scandal was published, the paper initially seemed to ignore the points I had made. But the editors finally included a reference to Sheehan’s previous contradictory statements, albeit weeks after they were first relevant. It was almost as if the editors were actually paying attention to the criticism . . .

. . . Or was it? The following month, an AP story had accurately reported that Bush had not met with Sheehan while she was in Crawford. The L.A. Times reprinted the story, but edited it to add the inaccuracy that Bush had “never” met with Sheehan. I complained, and the paper refused to issue a correction. The Readers’ Representative explained that, in her view, “never” as used in the piece really meant “while Cindy Sheehan was in Crawford, Texas.”

My editor for the Outside the Tent pieces was Bob Sipchen, who has since moved on from the Sunday Opinion Current section. While he was there, I had a rare chance to do an on-the-record interview of Sipchen, which I published in three parts. We discussed the Outside the Tent feature in Part One, issues of journalistic objectivity and transparency in Part Two, and his reaction to the interview in Part Three.

THE L.A. TIMES AND THE INTERNET

Both Sipchen and Kinsley were very proactive in getting the L.A. Times involved with the Internet and the blogosphere. It’s my belief that Sipchen will continue this legacy.

Like many newspapers, the L.A. Times hasn’t always had the best relationship with bloggers and the Internet. The paper started the year seemingly clueless about the Internet, but developed a Web presence over the course of the year that demonstrated some real courage.

The paper dipped its toe into the world of blogging in May with a one-day blog about the mayor’s race. Then, in June, the Sunday Opinion section started a regular blog, which garnered contributions from various luminaries as well as common folk. It was another bold move towards interaction with the paper’s readership, and I found myself proud of this newspaper that I so often criticize.

[UPDATE: And how could I have failed to mention that L.A. Times columnist Michael Hiltzik started a blog of his own, hosted at the paper’s web site? It even has comments — and Hiltzik reads them and responds. I hope to see many more blogs like his.]

Dean Baquet was named the paper’s new editor in July. It turns out that Baquet reads this blog, among others. I hope he reads this Year in Review post very closely.

The paper ran a piece on some local bloggers and yours truly was mentioned. It was unclear whether the paper considered me a mere media-watcher, or the purveyor of “phlegm-flecked rants . . . from the right.”

One problem the paper still has — though there are signs of improvement — is failing to post original documents that are relevant to the issue discussed in the story. For example, The Times reported on a controversy over whether certain initiative petitions circulated to voters were substantially different from the versions submitted to the Attorney General. I wondered why the paper couldn’t simply post both versions and let readers decide for themselves.

I e-mailed Sipchen about this at the time, and he agreed that the paper should be more pro-active in this area. I later saw a story about Judge Alito that posted a memo that was the central subject of the article.

EDITORIALS: SPONGEBOB AND JAMES DOBSON

The L.A. Times commonly displays hostility towards religion and religious leaders. This bias sometimes results in carelessless about the facts, as happened with the incident involving SpongeBob SquarePants and James Dobson.

First, the L.A. Times ran an editorial with a dubious description dramatizing Dobson’s comments about SpongeBob. Then, the paper ran a second editorial which directly accused Dobson of having called SpongeBob a homosexual — an accusation reminiscent of Jerry Falwell’s famous statements about Tinky-Winky (one of the famous “Teletubbies”). It was a great story, with only one problem: it wasn’t true. I demanded a correction, and the paper ran one four days later. For my efforts, Josh Marshall dubbed me part of a “subculture of SpongeBob-Dobson-smackdown enthusiasts.” And here I thought I was just interested in accuracy . . .

EDITORIALS: THE OBSESSION WITH BONO

The editorial board this year seemed obsessed with lead U2 singer Bono. The editorial board actually endorsed him to be the head of the World Bank. I swear to you, I’m not making this up. Reader Joe Brinker was aghast. In another editorial, the editors called Bono a credible candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize. (Even more credible than Tookie Williams or Yasser Arafat??).

Yes, the editors seemed inordinately preoccupied with Bono. But then a stunning three weeks went by without a single editorial mentioning the U2 singer, until the editors broke the dry spell with a piece re-endorsing Bono for the World Bank — and implying that the editorial writer had met Bono personally!!! If only the rest of us could be so cool . . .

Finally, of course, Paul Wolfowitz ultimately got the nod for the World Bank spot. I figured the editors would be unhappy, and I was right. After all, Wolfowitz almost certainly knows none of the lyrics to “Sunday Bloody Sunday,” and has a very limited collection of purple sunglasses . . .

OP-ED: ROBERT SCHEER DEPARTS

In other good news, the paper finally got rid of Robert Scheer — something I had suggested they do last year. Scheer is the guy who falsely claimed that the Bush administration had been warned that Al Qaeda planned to hijack airliners and use them as suicide weapons. Bill Quick caught Scheer making a statement about Bill Bennett that had no basis in fact. To its credit, the paper corrected that error, as well as countless other errors in Scheer’s columns.

At the end of the year, I wrote a post that documented the fact that Scheer’s online collection of columns uniformly fails to include any of the dozens of corrections that his own paper has printed over the years. Egregious misstatements are simply left to stand with no suggestion of their falsehood. My readers reacted to this news with a yawn; they already knew Scheer was dishonest. Dog bites man.

Scheer’s departure led to an interesting e-mail from former staffer Evan Maxwell.

Scheer’s departure was unfortunately balanced out by the ouster of long-time conservative cartoonist Michael Ramirez.

COLUMNS: STEVE LOPEZ

Steve Lopez published an inane column complaining that the city didn’t fill in potholes that he had reported under the name of “Joe Voter.” He’s probably equally shocked when Domino’s won’t honor his pizza orders placed under the name “I.P. Freely.” I invited Steve to help me correct the “potholes” at the paper: namely, uncorrected errors.

However, Lopez did a nice job covering Skid Row this year.

MUSIC REVIEWS: ROBERT HILBURN

I was happy to finally see Robert Hilburn leave as the Times‘s popular music critic. Here is why.

MISTAKES AND CORRECTIONS

David Shaw disclosed in July that he had an inoperable brain tumor, and died during the summer. Before he left us, however, he got off a shot or two against bloggers, some of whom he described as “self-important ranters who seem to wake up every morning convinced that the entire Free World awaits their opinions on any subject that’s popped into their heads since their last fevered post.” Sounded like the editors of the L.A. Times to me . . . My suggestion to editors: when you hear the word “blogger,” think “reader” — because that’s what we are: interested, educated, sophisticated readers. Thinking of us that way might help editors and staffers from making foolish statements like Shaw’s.

Shaw famously contrasted bloggers’ supposedly slipshod practices with the amazing accuracy of newspapers like The Times:

At least four experienced Times editors will have examined this column, for example. They will have checked it for accuracy, fairness, grammar, taste and libel, among other things.

The second I read that quote, I knew it was a keeper — a little nugget I could return to whenever The Times made an embarrassing mistake that had eluded the attention of those “four experienced Times editors.” Naturally, there were many, many opportunities to use the quote to comic effect. Little did I know that the first such opportunity would come the very next day, when the paper issued a mammoth correction to its notorious Chico State story — an article so rife with errors that it led to an internal investigation resulting in the reporter being fired.

It turns out that there was (allegedly) more to the correction than mere sloppy journalism. The Times had questions about whether the reporter in question had even visited Chico State. Before the reporter was fired, he sent out an odd e-mail to colleagues about the controversy, apologizing for the story and boasting about his “handsome BMW GS1100 Paris-Dakar motorcycle.” At last report, he was fighting his dismissal.

In a weird coincidence, it turned out that this same reporter’s name appeared on a story the previous year that pinched a paragraph from the Washington Post — though the mistake had been blamed on an editor and not the reporter.

The thing is, this wasn’t the first L.A. Times story with this many errors, and it wasn’t the last, either. The L.A. Times Magazine ran a story about the effect of the Three Strikes law that had a surprising number of errors — including a false statement that the law mandates life without parole for certain repeat offenders. This was incorrect, and I wrote the paper to complain. The paper issued a second correction to the story, but the correction was incorrect, and required a third correction. The paper finally consulted with me regarding the true effect of the law, and issued a third correction to the story. The third time indeed proved to be a charm: they finally got it right.

Somehow, mistakes at the L.A. Times always seem to end up benefitting the leftist point of view.

For example, just a few days ago, the paper was badly embarrassed when a reporter took an April Fool’s joke seriously. The joke was a phony press release that had circulated on the Internet, purporting to be from the governor of Wyoming. The reporter attributed statements from the press release to the governor, without bothering to check the document’s authenticity with the governor’s office. After all, if it’s on the Internet, it must be true! At last report, the same reporter was preparing a blockbuster story titled “How to Make Big Bucks Responding to Unsolicited E-Mails from Nigerians.”

The paper loves to put stories about California state prisons in the Corrections section — you know, because they’re about “corrections.”

One of my favorite corrections all year was this puzzling correction:

Ian Somerhalder — An article in Saturday’s Calendar section on actor Ian Somerhalder said he was 31. He is 26. The article also said he has blond hair; he has dark brown hair.

Also, his name isn’t really Ian Somerhalder; it’s Victor Petrovsky. And he isn’t an actor; he’s a lathe operator at a curtain rod factory outside Scranton, Pennsylvania. The Times regrets the errors.

The paper misstated a fact about a sheriff’s deputy that had been murdered. I wrote the reporters and never heard back, but obtained a correction after writing the Readers’ Representative. This happened on the same day that I obtained a correction to the editorial about Justice O’Connor, mentioned above.

Professor Bainbridge claimed that the paper misquoted him. And another blogger caught the paper misquoting a source. Despite what the source himself said, The Times stood by its story

The paper claimed that O.J. Judge Lance Ito’s courtroom was on the fifth floor of L.A.’s downtown courthouse. Nope: it’s still on the ninth . . .

One day, the corrections were so good, I reprinted all of them.

Howard Bashman found about one gajillion basic errors in an op-ed about the members of the Supreme Court.

POOR CIRCULATION

I tend to de-emphasize posts about poor circulation at the L.A. Times, since a paper’s quality does not depend on its circulation. Still, it was impossible to ignore that circulation was significantly down again this year. Things got so bad the editors couldn’t even give their paper away — though they tried, apparently to boost circulation numbers. They even tried to give free copies to me, one of their harshest critics.

Then-editor John Carroll claimed that the paper’s circulation woes had nothing to do with the content of the paper. I asked readers to tell him whether they agreed.

The fact that the paper’s circulation numbers were down was a point lost on “conservative” Tim Rutten when he suggested that talk radio is losing its audience because of its narcissism and excessive partisanship. Why is the L.A. Times losing its audience, Mr. Rutten?

MISCELLANEOUS

There was a very interesting article in Rolling Stone alleging that an L.A. Times staffer was on Suge Knight’s payroll.

The paper said that the breach of the levee in New Orleans occurred along a section that had not been upgraded; meanwhile, the New York Times reported the exact opposite.

Susan Estrich started an anti-L.A. Times web site — but it turned out to be a bust.

The paper had a misleading piece on Social Security. Kevin Murphy rebutted it.

I asked people why they did or did not read the L.A. Times, and got an earful from commenters. In well over 100 comments, almost nobody had anything kind to say about the paper.

The paper said it was “hard to imagine” that any American didn’t know about Oprah Winfrey’s “rocky romance with beau Stedman Graham.”

Stedman who?

The editors soberly cautioned readers to take the Los Angeles mayoral election “seriously” — then ruthlessly mocked incumbent James Hahn at every opportunity — not for his stands on the issues, but for being too boring. It got to the point where the paper actually ran a picture of Hahn next to a yawning 7-year-old.

I have mentioned many more positive things about this newspaper in the body of this Year in Review than I usually do. As usual, staffer Roy Rivenburg was another bright spot. He likes to expose old guys named Thomas. He had an excellent article about the CortiSlim lifestyle, showing his chops as a serious investigative journalist. He also had an amusing piece at the end of the year about political gifts.

IN CONCLUSION

The paper did a better job at combating bias this year than it has in past years, especially as the year went on. However, as this post shows, the paper still has an institutional problem of liberal bias, which is unlikely to end any time soon.

UPDATE: Thanks to Instapundit, Michelle Malkin, Hugh Hewitt, Little Green Footballs, Power Line, Captain’s Quarters, Winds of Change, Dean Esmay, and everyone else who has linked this post.

UPDATE x2: For greater accuracy, I have changed “Bush” to “the Bush administration” in the sentence that previously read: “Scheer is the guy who falsely claimed that Bush had been warned that Al Qaeda planned to hijack airliners and use them as suicide weapons.”

148 Responses to “Patterico’s Los Angeles Dog Trainer Year in Review 2005”

  1. Bear Flag League Watch: Patterico’s Los Angeles Dog Trainer Year in Review 2005

    Bear Flag League Member Patterico has his third annual Los Angeles Times Review of the year.

    READ IT ALL
    But……..

    IN CONCLUSION
    The paper did a better job at combating bias this year than it has in past years, especially as the yea…

    FullosseousFlap's Dental Blog (baa0b4)

  2. “…resulted in one of the proudest moments I have had as a blogger: being featured in a Day by Day cartoon.”

    This was perhaps Patterico’s funniest line all year. Keep up the good work!

    [Thanks! — Patterico]

    m.croche (b47c44)

  3. Simply damning — unfotunately the words will not stick outside our realm.
    The LA/NY Times make me wish for a Journalistic World Court.

    SJBill (9c75ec)

  4. Michelle Malkin Watch: 2005 IN REVIEW: THE WAR ON BLOGS

    Michelle Malkin has her blogosphere year in review for 2005: THE WAR ON BLOGS.
    READ IT ALL.
    Flap’s Favorite is #6:
    Far-left cartoonist/columnist Ted Rall’s sneering, elitist attack on Ed Morrissey, whom Rall regards as unqualified to…

    FullosseousFlap's Dental Blog (baa0b4)

  5. This is a fantastic post – and represents one hell of a lot of work. Bravo, Patterico!

    I believe that continuing efforts like this spell the eventual end of the MSM as we know it.

    Cheese_Tensor (c81bd5)

  6. I find it absolutely amazing these MSM types can continue to do such a lousy job of ‘reporting’, if you can lower the standard far enough, that they actually expect people to respect their news and opinions.

    Now we need the NY Times to have the same ‘Protologists’ examination. I’m sure they would fare far worse than the LA Times.

    Keep up the good work, facinating reading!

    Mick Turner (12429c)

  7. Wow! This post was a Herculean task, as in cleaning out the Augean Stables. I’m as impressed by your work as I’m appalled by its subject.

    Redhand (06df51)

  8. In theory once they’re down keep on kicking at the ribs until the message is received. I believe in a revival when the cannon and the old masthead are back.

    Pat Patterson (5b3946)

  9. Yours is an extraordinary summary of the editorial problems facing the MSM. Thanks so much. You might want to take a look at my variation on the broader theme, here

    http://canticleforleibowitz.blogspot.com/2005/12/in-midst-of-great-depression.html

    I’ve added a link back to your article.

    Bob Leibowitz (747ac4)

  10. Outstanding.

    This sort of stuff is routine, though perhaps not as pervasive, at every major daily in the country. Would that there was a Patterico doing for every major daily what Patrick does here. Every paper should have such a watchdog. In some cases, alternative weeklies act as a check on the monopoly dailies, but they’re almost always even farther left than the dailies.

    Since so many dailies take so much of their news from the AP, LAT, NYT, WaPo, Gannett and Knight-Rider wires, a network of such bloggers could rapidly spread the word to local readers when a wire story contains factual errors or blatant bias.

    I’d do it for the Star-Telegram (whose columnist Bob Ray Sanders, warned that we should expect a Bush Supreme Court nominee to be wearing white sheets), but it probaly wouldn’t go over too well to have the spouse of an editorial employee critiquing the paper.

    That’s my dream, anyway. The blogosphere is the perfect medium to check on every paper in the country, if we can find enough willing citizen watchdogs.

    Diffus (6ed715)

  11. Yours is one of the best examples of a specialized blog that goes into its chosen subject consistently and in depth.

    Sic ‘em!

    Grumpy Old Man (1ef9b8)

  12. Your schiavo coverage is exactly as loopy and biased as theirs, but in the opposite direction.
    For example, you fail to mention that the video tape which formed part of Frist’s input, was three ten thousandths of the video record. The ONLY three ten thousandths of the video record that showed terri’s eyes synching with the balloon. The autopsy results which showed ambiguity on cause of death also showed unequivocably that terri was blind and her hippocampus was liquified.
    i see no difference between you and the times on schiavo. you are both liars.

    [Lucy: You must have missed the part of my post where I mentioned the blindness and the small size of her brain:

    I’ll have to read it later. Here’s what seemed significant to me after a brief lunchtime glance: her brain was half the size it should have been; there is no conclusion as to whether she was in a PVS, as that diagnosis must be made of a living person; she probably could not have learned to swallow on her own; there are indications of “cortical blindness”; it’s unclear whether she suffered from bulimia; she apparently did not have a heart attack; there are no signs of strangulation (though this is based primarily upon medical records and not the pathological examination); and there is no sign of trauma (though here again the report relies heavily on contemporaneous records).

    Also, I have linked several materials indicating that there was more videotape showing her to be unresponsive. For example, in this post, I linked an interview with Michael Schiavo in which he said:

    Right. But you’re missing half — you’re missing three-quarters of the other tape where her mother does the same thing, and she does nothing. Now, Terri makes the same noises for the last 14 years. She’s made the same facial expressions. She blinks her eyes. She has normal sleep/wake cycles.

    If you’re going to call someone a liar, you should do your homework. — Patterico]

    Lucy Monostone (f55ae3)

  13. Why hesitate to bring up Terri SchiavoSchindler? Her situation brought out all the hatred for things which make life precious. The Times’ ghoulish cheerleading for her death, juxtaposed with their sympathetic tone for the unrepentant murderer Tookie Williams, pretty much says it all.

    The LA Times is spiritually, morally, and intellectually bankrupt. The sooner we can add “monetarily” to that list, the better.

    gus3 (62d0fc)

  14. A truly masterful summary.

    But consider this: all the problems of the LA Times could be easily resolved with just a single word. Really!

    Leave the paper as is, and call it the “LA Liberal Times”.

    It’s called “Truth in advertising”. I grew up in a country (Belgium) where the papers were openly affiliated with political parties and advertised those affiliations on their masthead. They made even the LA Times look good — but at least you knew what you were getting, and I routinely read several to balance one off against the other.

    Former Belgian (32765a)

  15. Wow, awesome job! You really should see about getting all of these put into a book and see if it will go mainstream!

    Who knows, perhaps you can stir up something to get it on all news networks!

    Infinity8Ball (cfef8a)

  16. Loopy Monotone:

    It’s odd how you sit there, typing away, enjoying all the rights to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, while you relish the denial of Terri’s rights to the same. Check that: it isn’t “odd,” it’s just total hypocrisy on your part.

    If you want your final fate to be the same as hers, fine. Whatever. But this woman never did anything to you, or anyone else. Her only “crime” was exposing Michael’s and the Deathocrats’ true natures.

    And your true nature, too. No wonder you’re so glad she’s permanently silenced.

    gus3 (62d0fc)

  17. Ride ‘em, Patterico! Beat them like a snake and leave them on the side of the road dead.

    Joyce (ee9fe2)

  18. Hey Lucy you need a boost in reading comprehension. He’s not covering the Schiavo case. He’s covering the LAT coverage of it.

    Gerald A (d5759f)

  19. Brave, Patterico! A wonderful year-in-review. I only wish you would crosspost to Oh, That Liberal Media. :(

    And Diffus, I’m with you about the Star-Telegram. I was particularly appalled when the movie reviews started containing political bias!

    sharon (fecb65)

  20. What a comprehensive piece of work. Kudos for the effort you put into this.

    No wonder I often recycle my LA Times before I even read it.

    Good job.

    Dan (AKA GayParriotWest) (ee9fe2)

  21. The Fickle Finger Of Fate 2006

    Patterico, who after the Miers withdrawal is finally off the ledge, has the most incredible article, extensive, well researched and throrough, slam dunk pulverizing the LA Times. It’s an absolute must read!

    All Things Beautiful (72c8fd)

  22. All Things Beautiful TrackBack The Fickle Finger Of Fate

    Patterico, who after the Miers withdrawal is finally off the ledge, has the most incredible article, extensive, well researched and throrough, slam dunk pulverizing the LA Times. It’s an absolute must read!

    Alexandra (51bfeb)

  23. gus3, my point has nothing to do with the right or wrong of the schiavo decision.
    I am only pointing out that Patterico’s analysis of the LAT coverage of schiavo is exactly as biased and unfair as their coverage. Only in the opposite direction.
    He also leaves out significant data in his attempt to prove a point.

    Lucy Monostone (f55ae3)

  24. America’s Worst Newspaper?

    Patterico has the Los Angeles Times 2005 year in review. It’s dizzyingly bad, isn’t it?

    Dean's World (fa8fba)

  25. Dear Patterico, wonderful summary, major task! Thank you so much, I’m sure I’ll refer to it often.
    Terrific example of the way the internet/blogs are changing the information landscape. Debunking the MSM liars is moving at a faster rate each year. Thanks Again, Todd

    Todd Roth (ff27d3)

  26. Yup, this is one of the things blogging should be. I’ve linked it, too.

    Michael Tinkler (6c9eb2)

  27. Patterico – Great job. Just wanted to fix a link for you. On the Barbara Boxer-Condi Rice exchange, the link in your original post about Boxer’s verifiable falsehood in the Rice hearings is no longer working.

    This link in your original post no longer works, as when our site changed over from crushkerry.com to http://www.anklebitingpundits.com some of the old links were inadvertantly replaced with new ones.

    Here’s the working link to the same story, entitled “We Bust Buffoon Babs Boxer on Her Blatant Iraq Lie”

    Keep up the amazing job.

    Bulldog Pundit

    bulldogpundit (833bc8)

  28. Outstanding work! Thank you for taking the time and effort to alert us citizens of how the liberals are trying to ruin our country. I love America and I refuse to let the liberals continue to try hijack our country and mislead the public.

    I will fight with Patterico and I stand tall next to all good Americans who will fight against these lying unpatriotic liberals.

    Thank you Patterico for all you do to make America better.

    (One question – is it possible to get a hardcopy of the Dog-Trainer Year in Review?? I would pay for it. I need to get my college daughter to read it because you so clearly describe the way liberals slant and lie, and she is unsure of who is telling the truth because of the MSM bombardment of lies, but I think if she reads this report it will begin to open the door to her epiphany of what’s really going on.)
    Thank you

    Richard Davis (b79190)

  29. Let the paper’s Reader’s Representative know what they think about the paper’s reporting!
    L.A.Times Comment Form – Readers’ Rep

    Jean P. (b93703)

  30. Face it, the L.A. Times is run by idiotarian editors. In fact, the entire biased editors of L.A. Times should be drawn and quartered for their idiotic and sloppy journalism.

    Bobby's Brain (8081b7)

  31. You do yeoman’s work, methodically busting the LA Times for its leftward skew as you do, story-by-story and editorial-by-editorial, day in and day out, throughout the entire year. Someone needs to hold a mirror up so they might see themselves as they are. The problem is that the same needs to be done to virtually every other major daily in the country.

    jaybird (29ac14)

  32. This is the first time I have visited your website (thx LGF for the link), and I must say that your dissection of the LA Times is amazingly thorough. I had a great time reading it and I thank you for all your hard work at exposing liberalism for what it is: A mental disorder.

    Keep up the outstanding work and I have bookmarked your website so keep it updated :)

    Happy New Year!

    Travis (0ca558)

  33. I have posted/excerpted your 2005 “year in review” at Right Nation for discussion. Keep up the great work!!

    Renwaa (0e047b)

  34. Patterico’s LA Times 2005 Year in Review

    Patterico delivers a year-end righteous smackdown of the LATimes by reviewing and dissecting key stories/topics they reported on last year.
    Don’t miss it. It’s lengthy but well-worth the read.

    Sister Toldjah (3e6668)

  35. Patterico- I have a suggestion- compare the handwriting found on the car windshields of the LA Times Reporter and Kathleen Wiley.

    1+1 can equal Pelican

    Ayatollah Ghilmeini (76f710)

  36. Richard Davis,

    You can just print it out if you have a printer. Warning: it runs fairly long (about 25 pages). Write me at patterico AT patterico DOT com if you can’t simply print it out, or find a friend who can do it for you.

    Patterico (33f742)

  37. Very nice Patterico, and you are fairer to the Times than I would be as your criticism is balanced with a few pats on the back.

    I had forgotten about the N Korea one, although I remember it after your reminder. I’m as baffled today as I was when it first came to my attention.

    Nowadays I spend a lot of time trying to figure out what the left’s philosophy really is and I’m trying to figure out how that one fits in the puzzle.

    Dwilkers (a1687a)

  38. I have too much respect for my dogs to ever subject them to the LAT…

    David Toohey (bd59f6)

  39. Hey Patterico, I ran across this from the Houston Chronicle yesterday, I thought you might enjoy seeing a fairly large daily admit they might have a little bitty tiny problem with bias. In part:


    “We blew it on the story about the elections in Iraq. Instead of playing the story about how many Iraqis voted on Page One, where it should have been, we placed it on page A23.

    -snip-

    We earned charges of bias today.”

    Dwilkers (a1687a)

  40. In the 21st Century, news travels at the speed of light, while our old media institutions mechanically clunk and sputter along endlessly repeating antiquated collection and distribution patterns.

    Print media dragons, once strong and vital, now suffer the twin torments of obsolesence and relevence. And the reading public increasingly is no longer willing to accept the inherent limitations of ink on paper.

    Consequently, subscriptions continue to fall, ad revenue dries up, and stock prices continue to drift down.

    Yet, old passions die hard. Today’s caretakers don’t want to be MSM’s undertakers, so they cast about for any shred of utility, some way to be relevant to a modern generation. They seek some way to participate in the social, economic, and political life of the nation.

    MSM desperately seeks relevancy by aligning itself with the American political left in the hope that at least part of the population will buy their broadsheets, read their words, and pay homage to their outworn creeds.

    It won’t work, but MSM has no choice but to give it a go anyway.

    Black Jack (ee9fe2)

  41. Lucy,

    Your initial comment is inaccurate, and I have responded within the comment so that nobody is misled by your accusations.

    Patterico (33f742)

  42. Empty Shilling In The Press and The Blogs

    Armed Liberal isn’t impressed by the L.A. Times or blogger Matt Stoller.

    Winds of Change.NET (cf559b)

  43. Patrick,
    Congratulations to you on a job well done.Without being too cloying,I feel it is also an important job.You are bringing information that must be considered taboo to people in the LA area.(I carefully chose that word,because I can’t find another explanation
    for their repeated mistakes and omissions,except to believe some things are so threatening to them and their mission,they must be opposed,even if it means damaging their institution.
    I remember reading a sci -fi novel of Larry Niven’s decades ago.The lead character makes a comment about water empires.Since they control based on a monopoly of access to water,they are all powerful internally.But they eventually become so stagnant/corrupt that a small barbarian horde from the outside can topple them.Sound familiar,Attila?

    Lincoln (0812c1)

  44. Eighteenth century technology

    The fact is that newspapers are dying because they are old technology. Improvements in presentation and in journalism might hold off their eventual demise, but only hold it off; in the end they are doomed.

    Common Sense Political Thought (819604)

  45. I thorougly enjoyed the takedown of the LADT. However, every time I followed a link then returned, I would always be positioned at the beginning of the post. I am using Firefox browser, version 1.5.

    Powerline doesn’t do this to me, so they must be doing something different…

    Jeff

    Jeff Mitchell (2f3d81)

  46. Patterico reviews The Los Angeles Dog Trainer

    Patterico again does a yeoman’s job of cataloguing sins of omission and commission of Los Angeles’ “premier” metropolitan newspaper during 2005. Magnificent job. Bravo!…

    Darleen's Place (1650a7)

  47. Deconstructing Parry

    Patterico's Los Angeles Times Year in Review for 2005 represents one rather comprehensive instance of a conservative battling a prominent left-liberal media organ over control of key political narratives.  Well worth a look -- and…

    protein wisdom (c0db44)

  48. Excellent work pointing out the absurd Los Angeles Times material. Patterico, there’s no doubt you will be a person of interest in 2006.

    Mike W (c20d28)

  49. [...] Patterico has posted his third annual review documenting the omissions, distortions, and misrepresentations by the ultra-liberal Los Angeles Times. It’s a real tour de force. [...]

    AMERICAN FUTURE » Blog Archive » Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About the LA Times (36c1d8)

  50. Hands down
    without a doubt
    spectacular and mind numbing
    The very very best blog I’ve read ever!
    that was amazingly well done and I actually read every word.
    You have the ability to tare apart a complex story and break it down to its most simplist…
    Rush Limbaugh of the Blogosphere
    well done… well done!
    Pat

    Pat Stuckey (34e54f)

  51. Paterrico, your other coverage of the schiavo event has no bearing on what you wrote in this post.

    the reporting should have included the most significant arguments made by both sides of the controversy. Predictably, The Times omitted some of the most compelling arguments made by Ms. Schiavo’s parents. This pattern repeated itself time and time again.

    The paper has every right to ignore the parents arguments. The parents made all those arguments ad infinatum to many, many courts. I would say, snore city. It isn’t news.

    As was common in the liberal media, the paper portrayed the issue as one of family vs. government — a much more convenient story line than the truth: that the battle was between competing family members with very different ideas about what should happen to Ms. Schiavo.

    that is your opinion. i saw, from reading the medical reports and trial transcripts exactly what the paper describes, the parents consistanly refusing to accept the testimony of neurologists and verdicts of judges.

    The paper continually distorted its coverage by treating Schiavo as a “terminal” patient, despite the undisputed fact that she was no more “terminal” than any of us humans, all of whom must one day die. For example, the paper ran a piece about the “euphoria” of starving to death. But the story cited totally inapposite examples of terminal cancer patients who had lost the will to eat and to live, and whose situations were in no way comparable to that of Terri Schiavo.

    I read peer reviewed journal articles on hospice patients and dehydration death. the LAT coverage is accurate.

    I could go on. And actually, I agree wholeheartedly with your other bullet points. But Schiavo was different. The rightside blogverse went tharn, did no fact checking, and allowed themselves to be swayed by emotion. I just think that deserves mention.

    Lucy Monostone (f55ae3)

  52. Wow! And people thing I am critical of the LA Times!

    Three points.

    First, it’s interesting that of dozens and dozens of errors that I have complained about in the LA Times in the past year – only two or three are those you pointed out. Mostly that is because my main concern is the LA Times’ coverage – and lack of coverage – of Los Angeles; but it also gives an indication of the depth of their factual problems.

    Second, why no mention of Andres Martinez? Under his direction, the editorial page is now – finally – not only almost always factually correct, but is in my opinion the best written and well reasoned editorial page of any major newspaper.

    Third, there is light at the end of the tunnel. When Steve Lopez can go from being the single worst city columnist since moveable type was invented into a brilliant reporter AND when so many superb writers at the Times (Cara Mia DiMassa, Roy Rivenburg, Richard Winton, Steve Hymon, Roger Vincent and Mark Swed, to name just a few) are now being allowed to tackle stories about LA and begin to show their own voices, the last few months of the paper have been the best in many, many years.

    Other than, of course, the LA Times’ continuing, ceaseless and complete inability – or concern – about getting even the simplest of facts correct.

    Brady Westwater (72f6df)

  53. Particularily since you are still doing it.
    ;-)

    Lucy Monostone (f55ae3)

  54. Lucy,

    I don’t intend to have this comment thread devolve into another Schiavo debate, but I will note some points. You say:

    The paper has every right to ignore the parents arguments. The parents made all those arguments ad infinatum to many, many courts. I would say, snore city. It isn’t news.

    This is, I’m sure, the justification the paper used for ignoring the parents’ arguments: “We don’t find them credible, so we just won’t mention them at all.” It’s the same logic the editors use any time they decide not to mention the conservative perspective. You just happen to agree with their substantive take on the particular issue, and so you agree with their decision to portray the facts and arguments in a one-sided manner. That is unfortunate.

    You call an “opinion” my statement that “the battle was between competing family members with very different ideas about what should happen to Ms. Schiavo.” Not so. It is an indisputable fact. Whether you agree with the parents or not, it is simply beyond cavil that they had quite different ideas than Michael Schiavo about what should have happened to Terri Schiavo.

    You say:

    I read peer reviewed journal articles on hospice patients and dehydration death. the LAT coverage is accurate.

    That’s wonderful. But you completely and utterly missed my point: Schiavo was not terminal. Hospice patients are, correct? So it’s a comparison of apples and oranges.

    I suggest it is you, not I, whose emotion is blinding you to simple rational argument. The clearest example is your denial of the simple and utterly incontrovertible fact that members of Schiavo’s family disagreed about what should happen to her. Instead of responding to what I am actually saying, you are responding to other arguments — likely due to an emotional reaction on your part.

    Patterico (33f742)

  55. Bravo.

    One of my morning routines up until recently was reading the “Letters to the Editor” over breakfast. (Don’t laugh…the resulting loss of appetite resulted in fitting into pants I couldn’t wear for years!) I’d mark each one “L” for “Liberal/Leftist”, “C” for “Conservative”, and “N” for “Neutral/Non-Political”.

    Not surprising to anyone, Liberal letters outnumbered Conservative ones at LEAST three-to-one every day for over a year. The average was 4-1, and there were several days when not a single Conservative letter was printed.

    Clearly there were well-written, well-reasoned notes penned to Spring Street from those of us on the Right; but when the Times chooses to run something Conservative, it often seems to have come from a…ahem…”less literate” contributor.

    To give Credit Where Due, however, the paper’s editorials have recently been better reasoned and fair. New Blood, I’m guessing, and a last-ditch attempt at salvaging the Grey Lady.

    Thanks again.

    BTW: I only buy it for the comics, anyway.

    Todd McLaren (714e37)

  56. Poor Lucy isn’t getting her jollies here, so she’s now spamming Jeff Goldstein’s with complaints about Patterico.

    What a gal!

    Darleen (f20213)

  57. The paper quoted Zbigniew Brzezinski as an “expert” when he is in fact a Democrat shill.

    This is silly. Brzezinski is a well respected academic and foreign policy hand, in other words an expert. He also happens to be a Democrat. If the LA Times were trying to hide that fact then you’d have a point. But here’s what that said:

    “The simplistic notion that you talk a great deal about democracy and twist a few arms and it will somehow come magically on its own is absurd,” said Zbigniew Brzezinski, who was national security advisor to President Carter.

    So they’re not trying to protray him as a non-partisan guy, they’re explicitly pointing out that he’s a Democrat. Unless you think Democrats should never be quoted then I don’t think you have a point.

    Polybius (6974f3)

  58. Schiavo was not terminal

    she died in hospice.
    you don’t go to hospice unless you are terminal.

    Look, we can do he said said all day.
    You are right, i am blinded by emotion. the emotion i am blinded by is shock at the way the rightside blogverse let itself be suckered by the schindlers and disappointment at the lack of the much vaunted fact checking. granted, the shill most likely wasn’t deliberate, the schindlers were true believers all right.
    Schiavo was an anomaly, and i still don’t understand it. there was no fact checking. some one could rip your coverage just like you are ripping the LAT’s.
    Why is that?

    Lucy Monostone (f55ae3)

  59. you don’t go to hospice unless you are terminal

    Or unless someone has the pull to get you in there, regardless.

    Terri was “terminal” as we ALL are “terminal.” She had to be PUT DOWN, otherwise, she’d still be in the “hospice” right now, until old age took her.

    gads, what a troll.

    Darleen (f20213)

  60. Outstanding work!

    T J Ready (47faa3)

  61. Dear Mr. Patterico,
    Great work on exposing the LA Times. As a college student—and much later I followed the New York Times. It was the newspaper of record. It could be quoted in papers one did for credit. Now it has fallen, disgracefully into being little more than a mouthpiece for the DNC.

    Have you completed or are you contemplating doing the same analysis for the New York Times as you have done so well for the LA Times?

    What we are faced with today is not simple bias. It is rather a “conspiracy to misinform” for political reasons. I feel that you agree.

    God bless your work.

    Frank Schober

    MG (ret) Frank Schober (a0f818)

  62. Polybius wrote:

    The paper quoted Zbigniew Brzezinski as an “expert” when he is in fact a Democrat shill.

    This is silly. Brzezinski is a well respected academic and foreign policy hand, in other words an expert. He also happens to be a Democrat. If the LA Times were trying to hide that fact then you’d have a point. But here’s what that said:

    “The simplistic notion that you talk a great deal about democracy and twist a few arms and it will somehow come magically on its own is absurd,” said Zbigniew Brzezinski, who was national security advisor to President Carter.

    So they’re not trying to protray him as a non-partisan guy, they’re explicitly pointing out that he’s a Democrat. Unless you think Democrats should never be quoted then I don’t think you have a point.

    Trouble is, Dr Brzezinski is a partisan mouthpiece. More than a year before the 1976 election, Dr Vincent Davis, then Director of the Patterson School of Diplomacy at the University of Kentucky was saying that Dr Brzezinski was working with Jimmy Carter, because he planned on becoming National Security Advisor when Mr Carter won.

    Dana (a9eb8b)

  63. “It was amusing to watch the paper treat the Society as some kind of arcane group akin to the Freemasons.”

    I hesitated while reading your article at this point even though I agree with the majority of your analyses. You fell into a similar pattern as those you criticize by naming the Freemasons as a secret group. Good reading but how accurate? We do try to be secretive about a few recognition actions and the initiation proceedings although all can be found on the web. The charge of being a secret society is an inaccuate one usually leveled by those opposed to Freemasonry.

    Do you actually believe that the criticism incorrectly pointed at the Society would be accurate if directed to the Freemasons? I am not angry or insulted, just curious.

    [I don’t know much about Freemasons, but you do acknowledge that there are aspects of the organization that are secretive (albeit perhaps not as many as I generally assumed). There’s really nothing secretive about the Federalist Society whatsoever — other than its membership list, which, as I note in the post, makes it no different than the ACLU. — Patterico]

    Don (837bb6)

  64. Ahh – but you have a secret membership list. jk
    This is a great site. The amount of work put into it shows. Keep it up!
    Happy New Year
    Don

    Don (837bb6)

  65. The Dog Trainer editorial page is off to a pretty horrid start for 2006. Today’s editorial titled “Dream On” is the usual mismash of left-wing wishing. Their hopes for the Bush and Schwarzenegger Administrations pretty much boil down the usual liberal pap:

    1. Raise taxes
    2. Spend more money on social programs
    3. Acceed to Democrats’ demands on virtually everything
    4. Wind down the War on Terror

    If this is what we have to look forward to from that page for the coming year, Patterico readers will have lots to talk about.

    JVW (54c318)

  66. But Lord Almighty, today I actually agreed with a Jonathan Chait opinion piece. Maybe 2006 really will bring in some interesting changes.

    JVW (54c318)

  67. [...] Now I’m going to get back to reading Patterico’s LA Dog Trainer Year in Review.   [Permalink] [...]

    Random Numbers » Blog Archive » Random Resolution (180ac2)

  68. You left out the letters to the editor. They run about 80% in support of the Times position, are factually wrong most of the time and read as though they are bumper stickers. Now either the Times is deliberately salting the mine, or they’ve lost half of their audience and either don’t realize it or don’t care.

    kent (a0b441)

  69. 2005, It’s A Helluva Year: The Blogosphere’s Up And The MSM’s Down

    James Lileks writes that he never trusts odd-numbered years; Paul Mirengoff of Power Line writes that 2005 was “an up-and-down year in which the MSM ignored the ‘up’”::Duncan Currie sees 2005 as a good year for democracy. It’s too…

    Ed Driscoll.com (47121e)

  70. In his LA Times piece, Jonathan Chait is wrong when he says that big-time college football pays the bills for the lesser sports on campus. Actually, big-time college football programs rarely make a profit for the school. Instead, the programs are mostly supported by donations from alumni and boosters, who cover the annual operating deficits.

    Justice Frankfurter (2dcd84)

  71. [...] Patterico: LA Times in review 2005. This is a long one. Take a seat and grab your coffee. [...]

    MAIN STREET JOURNAL » news for Monday (41253b)

  72. [...] Today will be a traveling day. Use it to finish reading the Year in Review post. If you’ve already read that, you can read the previous years’ posts, which are linked in the Year in Review post. If you’ve already read those, then you’ve had your fill of Patterico. Go throw a frisbee with someone. [...]

    Patterico’s Pontifications » Traveling (421107)

  73. Patty,

    Liberals are emotional morons like Lucy. Don’t worry about it. When the bomb goes off, they will all die in the ensuing fight for survival.

    TCO (f4e72d)

  74. TCO writes:

    Liberals are emotional morons like Lucy. Don’t worry about it. When the bomb goes off, they will all die in the ensuing fight for survival.

    Because, of course, they won’t fight . . .

    Dana (3e4784)

  75. Why no mention of the strong anti-Israel bias of the LAT?

    Roy Young (3ed22b)

  76. [...] One of the best blogs regarding the judicial confirmation situation has consistently been Patterico, who happens also to be a prosecutor in Los Angeles. His blog entries cover a lot of other stuff too, but it’s invariably interesting and well-written (no, I have no ulterior motives here, it’s just a plain compliment). Patterico blogs under a pseudonym — rather than as a fictional character like other prosecutors have done. Anyway, he has an interesting post up summarizing his 2005 blog entries criticizing the Los Angeles Times, including coverage by the Times of the judicial confirmation situation. Here’s how Patterico criticized the Times on the related topic of Terri Sciavo: As was common in the liberal media, the paper portrayed the issue as one of family vs. government — a much more convenient story line than the truth: that the battle was between competing family members with very different ideas about what should happen to Ms. Schiavo. [...]

    Confirm Them » Hat Tip to Patterico (5c7b11)

  77. Thank you for reading the LA Times — so I don’t have to.

    Jerry Baustian (4cb42b)

  78. The L. A. Dog Trainer’s Year, Reviewed

    Patterico has his yearly review of the performance of what may be the worst “news” paper in North America, the Los Angeles Times.

    Long, but interesting, just as photos of a grisly traffic accident are interesting.

    Fat Steve's Blatherings (59ce3a)

  79. The Times is a great paper. The bulk of your criticisms are little more than opinions strung together.

    You don’t like the paper’s editorial page, or the errors of its reporting staff, so in your view, the paper is no good.

    Beats me how anyone can take the position that because a paper’s columnists and reporters sometimes made mistakes, the paper itself is no good.

    ACtually the Times is a damn fine newspaper. Despite not being perfect…..

    Reminds me of all that rightist nonsense put out against Bill Clinton; because he was no saint, the far right used to argue, he had to be a monster….

    And yes, the Schiavo case was a case of (part of )a family pitted against a government establishment attempting to act unconstitutionally for the benefit of another part of a family.

    Conservatives talk a lot about limited government, but a limited government would not try to interfere in a local guardianship proceeding.

    Would it?

    Carl W. Goss (5a1c3f)

  80. Great review of the liberal media! Perhaps we need to do one on the N Y Times et all of the liberal media. I had to forward this to several friends.

    J D Aurand (a071ac)

  81. CWG, I’ve been visiting here for some time and don’t believe your summary of Pat’s “view” of the LAT is at all accurate, pretty much a straw man, actually. As for most of the remainder of your “argument”, why, I’d have to say that … the bulk of your criticisms [of Pat's observations regarding the LAT] are little more than [your] opinions strung together. Virtually every point argues a false dichotomy – pretty much of a “no-no” logically speaking.

    Your point on what conservatives believe is also a straw man. To suggest that because we believe in limited government that should imply that we believe in NO government is specious. I would suggest that most conservatives agree that a valid constitutionally sound governmental role is to protect those who cannot protect themselves.

    As for whether or not the LAT is a great paper, I’d suggest that ever declining readership belies that point. Of course there could be some other reason …

    Harry Arthur (b318a5)

  82. Where to start …

    Terry Schiavo would not have lived to old age. The idea that someone in that condition will likely reach even the low-end of average life span is unfounded and untrue. Her husband claimed that her wish was not to live in such a state. Her parents disagreed, but presented no facts that she wasn’t in that state or wanted to live regardless.

    Liberal media lies, eh? And the Conservative media never lies? Or distorts or omits facts or hand picks experts that will support a particular view? The check’s in the mail, the sofa’s on the truck …

    Patterico raises a number of valid issues. However, he seems not not understand that the editorial and comment pages are the places where the political bias of any newspaper, liberal, conservative, facist, communist, Catholic or Muslim, are displayed. What do you expect the Times editorial pages to read like, National Review? [Though most of NR's writers are pretty decent, save Malkin.]

    I’m sure it would surprise a lot of you if you actually spent time in a newsroom and saw that the political nits you so loving pick are not in the paper because of some lofty discussion of how to push an agenda. The deadline pressures don’t accomodate academic exercises.

    Bias perceived by the reader doesn’t mean it’s really there. Take the use of the word “insurgents.” Supporters of the Iraq war claim this word is used by the liberal media to some how coddle suicide bombers. It’s not a word of the media’s choosing, but the term used by the Administration and the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

    And finally, the incredibly lame and stupid comment that liberals wouldn’t fight for their freedom. If you think that’s true, try coming over to my house and taking my freedom or property. The first load is rocksalt, the second is OO.

    Mad Scientist (c0ef6d)

  83. Well-done. I have not visited you before but now you’re prominently blogrolled and I’ve posted about your site — and this post in particular. You’re doing important stuff.

    The Hedgehog (778375)

  84. The Terri Schiavo case does not hinge on the opinion differences between the various parties. The fact is that Terri’s life was terminated by court order, that she was subjected to a form of capital punishment not permitted to the most rabid criminal. That is the real injustice which should be unsettling to any rational person, that the state in its authority can execute an innocent person with complete disregard to their constitutional rights to face their accuser(s), without being indicted and without having a public trial judged by ones peers. The liberal community so eager to trumpet the cause of human rights absolutely failed Terri. Regardless of her condition (my mother was in worse shape after a stroke) she was a citizen and a human being who desired any and all rights available to any other citizen.

    docdave (2c5fe7)

  85. Um, gee, Mr. Patterico, out of curiosity, have you ever covered even one government agency, and translated its actions into useful information for the average voter? I see that you’re very interested in seeing to it that your news agencies aren’t being too nice to Democrats, but I never see coverage in your blog of anything that would help me, as a voter, know whether my elected officials who are paid with my tax dollars, are doing their jobs. Why is that? Do you want good government? Or are you just out to kill what’s left of the only governnment watchdog we have?

    workingjournalist (df175a)

  86. Workingstiff, let’s see if I understand your terminology correctly: Heavily slanting an ostensibly objective news story to favor one particular political group over another isn’t bad journalism; it’s promoting “good government.” Similarly, twisting the truth beyond recognition about some government officials and lying outright about others doesn’t make you a slanderer, but a “watchdog.” Therefore, it stands to reason that anyone who spends a significant amount of time and energy attempting to keep journalists honest must be in favor of bad government.

    And of course “I never see coverage in your blog of anything that …” means “aside from skimming this one entry that one of my moonbat friends alerted me to, I’ve never actually read this blog before, so I never see coverage of anything at all – yet for some reason consider myself qualified to comment on it nevertheless.” If you really are what your pseudonym implies, the MSM is in even worse shape than I thought.

    Xrlq (816c74)

  87. Working J:

    Patterico doesn’t even pretend that he is an unbiased reporter or site; he has exposed bias on the part of the Los Angeles Times.

    And if the Times started being completely unbiased, while that would leave this site leaning to the right, surely you are aware of the liberal websites out there as well.

    Dana (a9eb8b)

  88. Seeing if your elected officials are doing what they are paid to do is as simple as going to the local Tribe Casino in your community. If you are in California, it is close by. Shame is big business. Politics is big business. Get over it.
    anything that would help me, as a voter, know whether my elected officials who are paid with my tax dollars, are doing their jobs.

    Mike W (c20d28)

  89. Neither you nor this site are truly interested in whether the media or the LAT are biased. If you were, you’d note the many, many articles that, day in and day out, leave readers more informed than they were before. You’re interested in sucking up to power. If you had your way, nothing this administration did would ever be questioned, by the press or anyone else. You believe there is such a thing as a benign dictatorship. Talk about moonbats. Keep it up, and maybe you’ll get the authoritarian regime you deserve.

    workingjournalist (df175a)

  90. 1. The LAT is the secular/socialist/leftist mouthpiece. Hate Bush, hate America, Hate the military, hate the democracy in Iraq or Afganistan, hate God, hate the Bible, hate the Christians, hate the conservatives, hate masculinity, hate (one)father-(0ne)mother family, hate hate hate is what the LAT is all about.

    Whether its obvious or covert, direct or indirect, the “hate” mentality is prevalent in the news pages.

    2. We need a poll to find out the percentage of (a) the staff, (b) reporters, (c) editors who voted for Al Gore or John F. Kerry or other left wing candidates. My prediction – 95% of the LAT is leftist. That’s what goes for fairness and balance today in the so-called mainstreat media.

    Shame, shame, shame!

    David (b85997)

  91. Saw that our friend Michael Hiltzik criticized your fantastic post on his blog. Let’s keep in mind that this is the same guy (just to pick a random example) who once wrote a “>column attacking Gov. Schwarzenegger’s “myopia” for trying to reduce the state deficit. He said “A spending cut is, essentially, a tax increase by another name” (Jan. 10, 2005).

    We should remind Mr. Hiltzik that what the government gives it must first take away. That’s called a tax. Hiltzik neatly turned around the argument to suggest that NOT confiscating and redistributing income is a tax. He claimed that “forcing (direct users of a government service) to dig into their own pockets,” shifts the economic burden from those who can afford government services but don’t use them to those who can’t afford but do use them. Apparently, asking people to pay for what they use and “relieving others in the community of the general cost of providing it” is myopic. Fortunately, Hiltzik defines for us who “others in the community” are: “general taxpayers — who are disproportionately affluent.” Sounds suspiciously like, “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need.”

    But then, he has no liberal bias, does he?

    Publius (2a6f91)

  92. “Workingjournalist”,

    You haven’t refuted or attempted to refute one single substantive point he’s made. You haven’t justified a single thing he pointed out. Instead you just ignore them and attack conservatives. So you just like liberal bias. Anything that makes conservatives look bad is good, because in your view conservatives are bad. It doesn’t matter whether it’s misleading, false etc. That’s all. Why don’t you admit it – at least to yourself?

    Your moonbat mind probably thinks all the innacuracies are somehow really true anyway. They must be true, since they make conservatives look bad, and conservatives are bad. Kind of like the CBS memos were fake but true. Even pointing out the innacuracies is a bad thing to do, because it’s diverting attention from how bad conservatives are, right?

    Gerald A (fe1f90)

  93. The working journalist wrote:

    Neither you nor this site are truly interested in whether the media or the LAT are biased. If you were, you’d note the many, many articles that, day in and day out, leave readers more informed than they were before. You’re interested in sucking up to power. If you had your way, nothing this administration did would ever be questioned, by the press or anyone else. You believe there is such a thing as a benign dictatorship. Talk about moonbats. Keep it up, and maybe you’ll get the authoritarian regime you deserve.

    Given that a lot of conservatives were saying the same thing before President Bush entered office, it seems unlikely that they were attempting to “suck up to power.”

    It is certainly true that there are many articles in the Los Angeles Times and other newspapers that are written without any particular bias; it’s pretty difficult to stick a liberal or conservative political bias into reporting a house fire.

    The problem arises that there have been enough supposed news articles that have shown an editorial bias that such have been widely noticed. Perhaps more important are the editorial decisions taken concerning what stories are covered or not covered, and how much attention is given to the stories that are covered are given.

    This is hardly something that only a few right-wing bloggers have noticed. Fox News prospered and surpassed CNN precisely because CNN was so biased in favor of the left; Fox (which certainly carries a conservative bias) filled a consumer demand that would not have even existed had CNN played things straight.

    And then you have the spectacle of CBS News trying to change the outcome of the election. They used faked documents (documents that were bad enough that conservative bloggers were able to spot the obviously fraudulent nature within hours) to try and bring down the President, and, failing there, tried to sit on a story that hurt the President (unsecured captured munitions in Iraq) until the Sunday immediately prior to the election. I would hope that, as a working journalist, you would see that as biased.

    Dana (3e4784)

  94. 1. The LAT is the secular/socialist/leftist mouthpiece. Hate Bush, hate America, Hate the military, hate the democracy in Iraq or Afganistan, hate God, hate the Bible, hate the Christians, hate the conservatives, hate masculinity, hate (one)father-(0ne)mother family, hate hate hate is what the LAT is all about.

    Whether its obvious or covert, direct or indirect, the “hate” mentality is prevalent in the news pages.

    2. We need a poll to find out the percentage of (a) the staff, (b) reporters, (c) editors who voted for Al Gore or John F. Kerry or other left wing candidates. My prediction – 95% of the LAT is leftist. That’s what goes for fairness and balance today in the so-called mainstreat media.

    Shame, shame, shame!

    David, You’re so far off-base it’s amazing. You know nothing about the staff. And who one votes for has little to do with how one does their job.

    I was on the Times staff for 12 years. I never met anyone who hated America, the military [not even those who served in the military], God, democracy, the Bible, Christianity [or Judiaism], masculinity, or the typical nuclear family or conservatives. In my 25 years in journalism, including college, I’ve known more than a few conservatives [Matthew Scully was editorial page editor at my college paper my first year there] and libertarians. Never hated any of them.

    Your definition of leftist means that even Bruce Babbitt and Mo Udall were in league with the Socialist Workers party.

    Talk about biased distortions. The shame is on you, sir.

    Mad Scientist (c0ef6d)

  95. LA Times — Her Bias Is Showing — Again

    Lowell Brown, aka Hedgehog, brought Patterico’s end-of-the-year roundup of Los Angeles Times gaffs, blunders and outright lies to our attention on Tuesday. It’s a long, but revealing read to be sure. Sometime during the 4th quarter of last year I fou…

    OKIE on the LAM - In LA (e2cef7)

  96. Here are some of my favorites: the LAT is still covering up L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s past.

    Here’s Patt in the Hatt on the KRCA billboard: patt.

    They also support illegal aliens taking jobs from Katrina victims: here, here.

    If all those weren’t bad enough, the LAT even covered up for a violent protest organized by ANSWER: here.

    TLB (79b7b1)

  97. [...] Michelle Malkin: THE THIN-SKINNED LA TIMES Over the holidays, I linked to Patterico’s devastating year-end review of journalistic malpractice at the LA Times. [...]

    FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » Los Angeles Times Watch: Pulitzer Prize Winning Reporter - An UNHINGED Blogger (baa0b4)

  98. Bomb Diggity

    Today’s dose of NIF – News, Interesting & Funny … It’s Stop the ACLU Thursday (+ Open Trackbacks)

    NIF (59ce3a)

  99. [...] First — even taking into account Hiltzik’s jaw-dropping analogy of me and other conservative critics to Stalinist apparatchiks — probably the most insulting thing about his posts is the insufferably haughty attitude he displays towards Patterico readers. If you enjoyed my Year in Review post about the Los Angeles Times, then you are, without exception, uncritical readers choosing to wallow in your own ignorance: Patrick Frey’s end-of-the-year gloss on the L.A. Times’s ostensible sins of bias, cited in my post yesterday, goes on for many screens; I assume that the members of his personal choir have been devoting close scrutiny to the indictment. Uncritical readers, wishing to have their ignorant preconceptions reinforced without straining a brain cell, are no doubt gobbling it up. Those seeking serious commentary and analysis on the role and performance of the press will more likely abandon it in mid-course, on the principle that life is too short to waste on such flapdoodle. [...]

    Patterico’s Pontifications » More on Hiltzik from Comrade Patterico (421107)

  100. Patterico, this end-of-year post is a masterwork.

    Outstanding.

    Morris (c07286)

  101. A masterwork of bullshit, yeah.

    Ed Sullivan (fb91d4)

  102. Patterico suffers from the same problem as many media critics: he’s arguing that biased sources can’t be trusted, while making his own bias perfectly clear (i.e. conservative, pro-Bush, anti-liberal).

    In other words, since I know he’s biased, why should I trust anything he says?

    I checked out a few of his critiques and have to agree with others that they tend to be overblown; it’s clear that he takes little things as evidence of big things (i.e. DeLay corruption in graph one; Democrat corruption in graph five; conclusion: LAT hates Bush and America!!!!!!), and it’s also clear that he cherrypicks information (i.e. rails about the editorial page without acknowledging the significance of putting J. Goldberg on said page).

    But what’s most clear is that Patterico brings a strong bias to the argument, and because he refuses to demonstrate a willingness to step aside from that bias, even for a moment (i.e. “let me point out some good things about the LAT…”), I can’t really take him seriously.

    Because, as we all know, a biased source can’t be trusted.

    beetroot (c80522)

  103. On the Sgrena shooting, I don’t know if the same is true for the LA Times, but it was disturbing to me that many news sources that discussed the incident did not disclose the identity of the soldier that fired the shot that killed Calipari. I think that small piece of factual information was highly relevant because it tended to undercut (though perhaps not disprove) the theory that the shooting was a deliberate attempt to kill Italians. The soldier’s name was Mario Lozano, a New York State National Guardsman.

    Anthony (cdff5e)

  104. As a longtime working journalist and former LA staffer, I don’t take issue with Mr. Frey’s right to criticize and interpret the newspaper’s coverage as he sees fit. What makes his blog counterproductive, along with the vitriolic bile spewing from many of readers (if the posts here are any indication), is that he has all of the questions but none of the answers.

    Criticism can be productive and healthy, but not if it seeks to demonize the subjects of the criticism (and yes, I’m well aware that some media outlets do just that, so save the comments about hypocrisy). If Mr. Frey were actually to sit down and have a civil conversation with a working journalist, he might find that many of the mistakes he ascribes to liberal idiocy are in fact the product of deadline pressures, overwork that’s the result of profit-hungry owners and investors drastically reducing staffs, and other factors that those who’ve never set foot in a newsroom cannot begin to fathom, any more than I can fully appreciate the difficulties faced by any given prosecutor.

    Too much credence is given to notions that people with an opposing point of view or a different interpretation of events are driven by blind hatred, whether it’s from conservatives who dismiss liberals as overly emotional, unpatriotic blithering numbskulls or liberals who think of conservatives as coldblooded, racist, fascist agents of Satan. It’s never that simple, and neither is creating a system of media that covers every possible iteration or motivation behind every news event — or indeed, that covers every news event. I shudder when I read comments from people (and I don’t include Mr. Frey himself in this) who call for the LA Times to go out of business or for the death in general of the MSM. All I can say is be careful what you wish for. You may get it.

    anotherworkingjournalist (3b455f)

  105. Yes, that should have read ‘former LA Times staffer.’ Some of our mistakes really are inadvertent.

    anotherworkingjournalist (3b455f)

  106. Beetroot writes:

    Patterico suffers from the same problem as many media critics: he’s arguing that biased sources can’t be trusted, while making his own bias perfectly clear (i.e. conservative, pro-Bush, anti-liberal).

    In other words, since I know he’s biased, why should I trust anything he says?

    I checked out a few of his critiques and have to agree with others that they tend to be overblown; it’s clear that he takes little things as evidence of big things (i.e. DeLay corruption in graph one; Democrat corruption in graph five; conclusion: LAT hates Bush and America!!!!!!), and it’s also clear that he cherrypicks information (i.e. rails about the editorial page without acknowledging the significance of putting J. Goldberg on said page).

    But what’s most clear is that Patterico brings a strong bias to the argument, and because he refuses to demonstrate a willingness to step aside from that bias, even for a moment (i.e. “let me point out some good things about the LAT…”), I can’t really take him seriously.

    Because, as we all know, a biased source can’t be trusted.

    No, a biased source that honestly admits its political leanings can certainly be trusted, with reasonable fact checking. Patterico’s point is (and it’s amazing that it has to be spelled out like this) that you cannot trust a source which claims to be unbiased, but is lying about that.

    Dana (a071ac)

  107. Thank you for saying that and saving me the trouble, Dana.

    Patterico (20b04a)

  108. The Mad Scientist wrote:

    David, You’re so far off-base it’s amazing. You know nothing about the staff. And who one votes for has little to do with how one does their job.

    I was on the Times staff for 12 years. I never met anyone who hated America, the military [not even those who served in the military], God, democracy, the Bible, Christianity [or Judiaism], masculinity, or the typical nuclear family or conservatives. In my 25 years in journalism, including college, I’ve known more than a few conservatives [Matthew Scully was editorial page editor at my college paper my first year there] and libertarians. Never hated any of them.

    Your definition of leftist means that even Bruce Babbitt and Mo Udall were in league with the Socialist Workers party.

    Talk about biased distortions. The shame is on you, sir.

    If we are to accept your characterizations of Times’ staffers, how then do we explain what they write? Do they all write things in which they do not believe?

    Dana (a071ac)

  109. Your welcome, Pat, but what I don’t understand is why it was necessary at all.

    And my congratulations to you for the article: this thread has seen a whole host of new commenters, people we’ve never seen before. Were I a grassy knoll conspiracy theorist, I’d suggest that the Tribune Company actually sent forth the troops to try and discredit your article.

    They wouldn’t be this worried if they didn’t realize how close to the target you are.

    One suggestion: by covering an entire year in a single article, you have covered a lot of stale stuff. Perhaps you ought to do this monthly.

    Dana (a071ac)

  110. Dana,

    “anotherworkingjournalist”‘s IP address comes back to the Tribune Company, for what it’s worth.

    Patterico (20b04a)

  111. Dear Mr. Patterico:

    Accidently linked into your site today. Your piece on LAT brought back many memories. After retirement from a gubment job in LA thirteen years ago, we moved to Bishop, CA. The first few weeks I bought and read The Times–I supose out of homesickness (now that’s sick)–daily for about a month. Then tapered off to once a week; once a month; once every month until cured. Reportage and opinion of The Times was not relevant to anything in our lives. News beyond our horizon could be had free on the net.

    At the end of my recovery, I noticed something unusual. I felt much better. Had more energy and a more cheerful view of all things.

    Began reading the local paper. It was a thrice-weekly, containing no AP filler, no international, US, state or So Cal news. Good coverage of local political and civic issues without bias. Then, I noticed another unusual thing: This news actually affected my life. More important, I could do something about people, causes and issues I liked in our new area by supporting them; the people and issues I was unsure about, or disagreed with, were easily accessible. City Council and Board of Supervisor’s meetings were televised. The home phone numbers of elected officers and appointed department heads were in the telephone book. Those who governed encouraged and responded to public input, whether given during public meeting or privately by letter or telephone call. I knew who the sources were and exactly what the sources said, because they said it to me, personally, whenever I asked. There was no need for a reporter’s interpretation, an editor’s pencil, or a publisher’s political agenda.

    I soon came to the belief that Bishop and Inyo County represents the real America. Representative government works. Astonishing. How could this happen without the guidence and filter of The Times, or any of the other MSM?

    Cordially,

    Gale Holbrook

    Gale Holbrook (b19358)

  112. One suggestion: by covering an entire year in a single article, you have covered a lot of stale stuff. Perhaps you ought to do this monthly.

    I don’t know. There’s something about seeing the whole year’s worth of stuff in one place that I enjoy.

    Patterico (20b04a)

  113. I wish we had our own Patterico to review the whole range of loony leftist liberal media in our country, India.. led by the rag that calls itself, ‘Times of India’.

    Jagan Mohan (e5c1d6)

  114. [...] Patterico wrote a lengthy year end essay concerning the liberal bias of The Los Angeles Times, an essay that provoked more than one person (here and here) from the Times’ parent company (people who never seemed to comment previously on the Patterico website) into writing in defense of the Times. [...]

    Common Sense Political Thought » Blog Archive » Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics (819604)

  115. [...] That being said, he reviews Paterico of his famous Pontifications vs. Michael Hiltzik of Golden State blog. [...]

    Rathergate.com » Hello, Howie (e203ab)

  116. Submitted for Your Approval

    First off…  any spambots reading this should immediately go here, here, here,  and here.  Die spambots, die!  And now…  here are all the links submitted by members of the Watcher’s Council for this week’s vote. Council li…

    Watcher of Weasels (ab77f8)

  117. [...] In the non-council category the winner was Patterico’s Los Angeles Dog Trainer Year in Review 2005 by Patterico’s Pontifications, with a second place tie between We Love the Troops; But It’s a Tough Love (#144) — UPDATED by Protein Wisdom and Stuck On Thought by MaxedOutMama. [...]

    The Strata-Sphere » Blog Archive » The Council Has Spoken! (a9f88b)

  118. [...] My Dog Trainer Year in Review post won the Watcher’s Council contest this week for best non-Council post. The winning Council post was by The Glittering Eye, and was titled Perspectives on Foreign Command of U.S. Forces. My thanks to the Council for the nomination and the vote. [...]

    Patterico’s Pontifications » The Council Has Spoken (421107)

  119. The Council has spoken!

    The Watcher’s Council has announced its picks for the most outstanding posts of the preceding week. This week the winning Council post was my own post, Perspectives on Foreign Command of U.S. Forces. The second place post was New Sisyphus&#82…

    The Glittering Eye (80002b)

  120. Is it true you are an LA prosecutor? How can it be legal or ethical for you to run a blog like this? Seems like a sure thing that your rantings and paranoia here can be used against you in court.

    It’s depressing and a little incredible to think someone charged with formal, significant duties and and responsibilities is capable of such infantile, profoundly paranoid and factually inaccurate views. Indeed, it’s downright scary.

    Joel MaHarry (74c3ec)

  121. Joel,

    You think it should be illegal for me to express my views?

    Let’s hear you back up the “factually inaccurate” charge. If you can prove a misstatement of fact, I’ll fix it. Somehow, I’m willing to bet plenty that you can’t. My guess: you’ll just be another Michael Hiltzik, making accusations of dishonesty that he can’t back up.

    Patterico (929da9)

  122. Mr. Patterico – See my post at PasadenaPundit.com on junk science in Jan. 30 issue of LA Times. Best, Wayne Lusvardi

    Go to http://www.pasadenapundit.com

    Drug-o-phobia or Poop-o-phobia?

    The January 30 issue of the LeftAngeles Times has headline story on the front page of its California Section “Traces of Prescription Drugs Found in Southland Aquifers” http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-drugs30jan30,0,5723467.story?coll=la-home-local. This alarmist story is based on new data released by the Water Replenishment District of Southern California. Should you be worried about this? If so, you may suffer chemophobia, the fear about chemicals and your concern about chemicals causing cancer. If you are going to expend energy worrying, it might instead be spent on what might be called “poopophobia.”

    See the comparison below of FDA acceptable levels of “poop” in food and the trace levels of drugs found in sewage water. With chemicals we talk about a few parts per million, billion or trillion. With animal excreta it is measured in number of turds per ounce, per pound, etc (rat turds, mite turds, ant turds, etc.).

    Over 5,000 people die annually from foodborne illness, and more than 25 million people are hospitalized for acute gastroenteritis from food poisoning by unknown agents. Approximately 3,360 deaths, or 65% of those attributable to food poisonings, trace to unknown agents. We know how to trace the chemicals, so they can’t be blamed. Could it be poop? (Source: Jack Dini, Challenging Environmental Mythology, 2003: 40-43).

    Another curiosity in the article: no reason is given why the level of some drugs (erythromycin and fluoxetine) actually INCREASED after water treatment as shown in the table below (see **** below).

    Impurities in Food Compared to Trace Levels of Drugs in Sewage Water

    FDA Guidelines on Maximum Level of “Impurities” in Food

    (source: Larry Laudan, Danger Ahead [1997]:88)

    Brussel sprouts
    10 aphids
    Per ounce

    Shelled peanuts
    1 insect
    Per 5 pounds

    Golden raisins
    4 fly eggs
    Per ounce

    Tomato juice
    3 fly eggs
    Per ounce

    Whole peppercorns
    Mammalian excreta
    1 per cent

    Popcorn
    2 rodent hairs
    Per pound

    Fig paste
    4 insect heads
    Per ounce

    Peanut butter
    9 insect fragments
    Per ounce

    Canned mushrooms
    5 maggots
    Per ounce

    Drugs in Sewage & Treated Water (parts per TRILLION)

    (L.A. Times, Water Replenishment District of So. California)

    Drug
    Entering water plant
    Discharged into Groundwater

    Acetaminophen
    20,300 to 35,200
    Under 10

    Ibuprofen
    4,720 to 6,630
    43 to 52

    Naproxen
    3,780 to 5,100
    35 to 74

    Gemfibrozil (anti-cholesterol)
    2,300 to 3,020
    733 to 1,110

    Triclosan (antibiotic)
    610 to 667
    51 to 74

    Sulfmethoxazole (antibiotic)
    320 to 882
    742 to 919

    Erythromycin (antibiotic)
    205 to 299
    419 to 517 ****

    Trimethoprim (antibiotic)
    178 to 591
    231 to 337

    Meprobamate (anti-anxiety)
    194 to 241
    219 to 294

    Carbamazepine (anti-seizure)
    58 to 95
    93 to 133

    Estrogens (female hormones)
    69.6
    4.6

    Hydrocodone (pain killer)
    31 to 52
    34 to 50

    Diclofenac (arthritis)
    22 to 30
    40 to 63

    Dilantin (anti-convulsant)
    39 to 48
    98 to 120

    Fluoxetine (anti-depressant)
    Under 10
    13 to 18 ****

    Wayne Lusvardi (951aca)

  123. [...] Among the rest of the blogosphere, the Council found Patterico’s Pontifications, a site never hard to find and never short on good things to read. His 2005 roundup of the miscues and and slantiness of the Los Angeles Times is a case study n how not to run a newspaper. Also placing highly were posts from two more of my favorite reads: Protein Wisdom on the left’s love for our troops and Maxed Out Mama’s thoughts on our trust, or lack thereof, of judges and how that influences our civil liberties. [...]

    The Sundries Shack (0542f4)

  124. I would think there would be some kind of ethical conduct guidelines for LA prosecutors, who after all represent the people of LA county. Engaging, publicly, in scurrilous gossip and dishonest rhetoric, and targeting journalists with puerile invective should fall outside those guidelines. It’s easy to see how your behavior could be used against you in your professional capacity. At the very least, it’s just unseemly. Not a matter of whether you can, but whether you should. A matter of taste, discretion and integrity. You do understand those, don’t you? (Then again…)

    [Last time: back up your charge of dishonesty, or take it to a site that allows such unsubstantiated false charges. — Patterico]

    jmaharry (74c3ec)

  125. It’s dishonest to:
    1. Assert the LA Times ed. board refrains from referring to Hamas terrorist activiites when it does. (1/29/06, one of many examples.)

    2. Mischaracterize Joseph Wilson’s report on the Niger/Uranium affair; Wilson’s report repudiated only the the documents referred to by British intelligence, and which formed the basis for the infamous 16 Words. Wilson was proven right, of course; the documents were forgeries, and the Administration retracted the statement.

    3. Write about Schwarzzenegger that “you couldn’t read a story” without misstep or misstatement “appearing somewhere in the article.” On Feb 1, in the story “Gov.’s Campaign is in Debt,” neither word appears. Nor do they appear in a quick survey of 20 other articles from the past six months (I’ sure there are more; didn’t have time to continue.)

    4. Posit that Robert Scheer “falsely claimed that Bush had been warned that Al Queda plannned to hijack airliners and use them as suicide weapons.” Scheer actually wrote that the FAA failed “to heed multiple warnings” about the airliner attack. The agency received 52 warnings referring to bin Laden and possible attacks. His point was that the administration was indifferent to them; said indifference led to Bush being ignorant of the threat. Quite the opposite of your meretricious charge.

    Those are four examples of your dishonesty. Don’t have time to document more. As a supposed prosecutor, I find your inability to construct persuasive lines of argument to be surprising. Your dishonesty? Worrisome and sad.

    jmaharry (74c3ec)

  126. Assert the LA Times ed. board refrains from referring to Hamas terrorist activiites when it does. (1/29/06, one of many examples.)

    I was criticizing one specific editorial that refused to do so. I liked Nick Goldberg’s 1-29 piece.

    Mischaracterize Joseph Wilson’s report on the Niger/Uranium affair; Wilson’s report repudiated only the the documents referred to by British intelligence, and which formed the basis for the infamous 16 Words. Wilson was proven right, of course; the documents were forgeries, and the Administration retracted the statement.

    You have this so wrong it’s tough to know where to start. Wilson didn’t see these documents before issuing his report, although he told Nick Kristof he had. His report contained information that analysts believed bolstered the case for Iraqi efforts to obtain uranium from Niger; Wilson conveniently left this out of his infamous NYT op-ed.

    Write about Schwarzzenegger that “you couldn’t read a story” without misstep or misstatement “appearing somewhere in the article.” On Feb 1, in the story “Gov.’s Campaign is in Debt,” neither word appears. Nor do they appear in a quick survey of 20 other articles from the past six months (I’ sure there are more; didn’t have time to continue.)

    What I said was: “It got to the point where you couldn’t read a story without one or the other of these words appearing somewhere in the article.” And I linked to a post that cited 5 stories/letters in a one-week period at the end of February that contained one or both words. Only a dolt would conclude from my assertion that the LAT has never at any time written a story about Arnold that contained neither word.

    Posit that Robert Scheer “falsely claimed that Bush had been warned that Al Queda plannned to hijack airliners and use them as suicide weapons.” Scheer actually wrote that the FAA failed “to heed multiple warnings” about the airliner attack. The agency received 52 warnings referring to bin Laden and possible attacks. His point was that the administration was indifferent to them; said indifference led to Bush being ignorant of the threat. Quite the opposite of your meretricious charge.

    I’m not sure what his point is, other than to say “Bush bad.” He clearly blames Bush and not the FAA:

    For the last three years, administration apologists have tried to make the FAA the scapegoat for the 9/11 attacks. But it is the president who ultimately is responsible for national security, not a defanged agency that is beholden to the industry it allegedly monitors.

    But perhaps the post should more accurately read “the Bush administration” and not “Bush.” I’ll fix it with an update. It was still a false claim by Scheer, as the linked post and links therein show.

    You really need to read up on Joe Wilson, dude. You’re really off-base in your comments about him.

    Patterico (929da9)

  127. I don’t have the time or patience to argue with delusional sycophant who doesn’t value language, or understand that words have specific meaning.
    It’s pretty funny how you argue minor points (did or didn’t Wison see the dox? He did, of course), when your heroes have already admitted they were wrong to misrepresent the truth to the American people.

    Clearly, you are knowingly dishonest. And I think that is a poor characterization for a supposed prosecutor and representative of the public.

    jmaharry (74c3ec)

  128. Can’t help myself.
    Re:
    1: Your headline is “LA Times Editors Finally Call Hamas A Terrorist Group.” So, the item does not refer “to one specific editorial.” It actually does the opposite, claiming the paper eds. never refer to Hamas as a terrorist group. Which, I prove, that it has. You even lie & distort in your replies.

    2. Wilson stated in a long letter to the 9/11 commission that he had seen the dox, and identified them as fraudulent. I guess I would believe him before you. This was the ‘evidence’ the Admin. used to make ther case to the American people.

    3. Your writing is sloppy and misleading. And factually wrong. There are articles about the Gov. during the time you site, the one week period, in which articles appeared that did not include the terms “mistake” or “misstep.” Your entire point is an obfuscation anyway — the truth is that the Gov’s office was making a lot of mistakes during that time period.

    4. Again, you lie in your reply. Scheer did not falsely claim Bush admin had been warned of attacks. That statement or words to that effect do not appear in that column. Again, he stated that the FAA had been warned. 52 times.

    He does claim Bush is ultimately responsible for national security. Which you, as an honorary Bush factotum, must have a problem with. I don’t.

    [Wow. Rarely have I seen a blog commenter as factually sloppy and pigheaded as you. I’ll rip your comments to shreds later tonight. Meanwhile, care to share your full name and profession, so we will all know who is making such ignorant statements? Oh, and please say with *specificity* what documents Wilson saw and when. No wriggling out of this later by saying “Uhhh, that’s not what I meant”! — Patterico]

    jmaharry (74c3ec)

  129. jmaharry,

    In your comment #131, other than repeating your spurious accusations of lying, you continue to repeat a falsehood about Wilson. You say:

    did or didn’t Wison [sic] see the dox? He did, of course.

    Which “dox” are we talking about? We know that from your earlier and equally false comment:

    Wilson’s report repudiated only the the documents referred to by British intelligence, and which formed the basis for the infamous 16 Words.

    You make a related false statement in your most recent comment:

    Wilson stated in a long letter to the 9/11 commission that he had seen the dox, and identified them as fraudulent. I guess I would believe him before you. This was the ‘evidence’ the Admin. used to make ther case to the American people.

    You are one of the most clueless commenters I have ever seen on this site.

    My fine feathered friend, you are wrong, wrong, and wrong again. You could not be more wrong. Even when I repeatedly warn you how wrong you are, you persist in saying things that aren’t true.

    I tried to tell you before that you were wrong about this, and that Wilson did not see the supposedly forged documents before issuing his report, though he told Nick Kristof he had. You didn’t believe me, and continued pressing your ignorant claim.

    Maybe you’ll believe lefty Kevin Drum. Here is Drum on this Wilson lie:

    Back in the days before he wrote his op-ed, Wilson was an anonymous source for a couple of Nick Kristof columns. In those columns, Wilson (via Kristof) claimed that he had seen the Niger memorandum and had reported to the CIA that it was forged. In fact, Wilson had not seen the memorandum back in February 2002 (he had only heard about it) and had no idea if it was a forgery.

    Wilson’s response: None, really. Wilson does some hemming and hawing about other press acounts, but for some reason nobody has asked him about the Kristof columns.

    Drum calls this a “lie” by Wilson — which it is.

    And that letter from Wilson is which you claim he saw the “dox”? What on God’s green Earth are you talking about, sir? Here is the link to the letter, in which Wilson expressly says he didn’t see the documents:

    The first time I actually saw what were represented as the documents was when Andrea Mitchell, the NBC correspondent, handed them to me in an interview on July 21. I was not wearing my glasses and could not read them. I have to this day not read them. I would have absolutely no reason to claim to have done so.

    However, he did, to Nick Kristof.

    I won’t stoop to your level and call you a liar, as you have repeatedly called me — though your false statements certainly give me far more basis to level the accusation than you have ever had to support your false claims of dishonesty on my part.

    No, I won’t call you a liar for getting it wrong. People make mistakes. But I will note that if you are going to hurl accusations of dishonesty at others, you should do your homework.

    Your other claims are equally vapid. I never said that the paper never ran a story about Arnold without the terms mentioned; my readers understood what I meant: the terms came up again and again and again and again and again.

    And I never said that the editors had never called Hamas terrorists. You have not cited an editorial in which they have, but in any event, I never made the claim. In my initial post on the issue, I criticized one editorial.

    Finally, you make the unbelievably ridiculous claim that the FAA is not part of the Bush administration:

    Scheer did not falsely claim Bush admin had been warned of attacks. That statement or words to that effect do not appear in that column. Again, he stated that the FAA had been warned.

    Last time I checked, the FAA was part of the Bush Administration. Also, the last time I checked, you were an annoying and clueless moron who continues to leave uninformed and factually challenged claptrap on my site.

    Time to admit that you have no idea what you’re talking about. I won’t expect you to do so, of course, or to offer the apology that I richly deserve from you. But I do thank for you providing such a rich demonstration of how some people on the fringe left operate.

    Patterico (929da9)

  130. Hello, jmaharry? You continue to call me a liar on my own site, yet you fail to respond to the direct evidence I cite above that shows you misrepresented the contents of Wilson’s letter. Time to admit your mistakes, dude.

    Patterico (de0616)

  131. Now you’ve gone and forced me to do a whole post about you and your misstatements.

    Patterico (de0616)

  132. [...] In my year-end post reviewing the paper’s performance, I praised the fact that the paper had allowed Hiltzik to start a blog, saying in an update to the post: [H]ow could I have failed to mention that L.A. Times columnist Michael Hiltzik started a blog of his own, hosted at the paper’s web site? It even has comments — and Hiltzik reads them and responds. I hope to see many more blogs like his. [...]

    Patterico’s Pontifications » Hiltzik’s Blog Suspension Should Not End the L.A. Times’s Interactivity with Readers (421107)

  133. [...] What came up was the six December comments from Masha, and two more comments from someone calling themselves “workingjournalist.” These comments are from January 3 and 4 of this year, and are appended to my 2005 Dog Trainer Year in Review post, in which I criticized a year’s worth of the newspaper’s sins in a single post. The first comment from “workingjournalist” read as follows: Um, gee, Mr. Patterico, out of curiosity, have you ever covered even one government agency, and translated its actions into useful information for the average voter? I see that you’re very interested in seeing to it that your news agencies aren’t being too nice to Democrats, but I never see coverage in your blog of anything that would help me, as a voter, know whether my elected officials who are paid with my tax dollars, are doing their jobs. Why is that? Do you want good government? Or are you just out to kill what’s left of the only governnment watchdog we have? [...]

    Patterico’s Pontifications » Masha Is Also “workingjournalist”? — Plus, Adventures in MySpace (421107)

  134. [...] Ahh Jeez as I am posting this the plot thickens. I posted earlier about L.A. Times commenter “Masha,” who today posted two comments supportive of Hiltzik on this blog, using L.A. Times computers. The comments came from two Times IP addresses. One was 144.142.21.5, which is registered to lye1.latimes.com. The other was 144.142.21.6, which is registered to lye2.latimes.com.What came up was the six December comments from Masha, and two more comments from someone calling themselves “workingjournalist.” These comments are from January 3 and 4 of this year, and are appended to my 2005 Dog Trainer Year in Review post, in which I criticized a year’s worth of the newspaper’s sins in a single post. The first comment from “workingjournalist” read as follows: [...]

    The Real Ugly American.com » Blog Archive » Slumber Party at the LA Times? (4e8dcb)

  135. [...] If the paper is going to can everyone who has been intellectually dishonest in their pages, there are a lot of heads that belong on the chopping block before Hiltzik’s — starting with the people responsible for their (non)coverage of Mary McCarthy’s partisanship, and continuing with the issues I document in this post. These instances of bias and distortion are far more significant than Hiltzik’s silly sock puppets. [...]

    Patterico’s Pontifications » Glenn Reynolds on Hiltzik’s Sock Puppets: He Agrees With Me! (421107)

  136. The real reason the mainstream media hate bloggers…

    The real reason the mainstream media hate bloggers: they don’t control bloggers! Freedom of the Press has never meant, for them, freedom for other people to get around their gateway.

    ……

    Common Sense Political Thought (819604)

  137. [...] The community has a right to be angry, but Villaraigosa hired Bratton to take the heat, and the LA Dog Trainer (Times) is too enamored by our mayor to make waves. If TJ’s experience causes a minor embarrassment, Bratton slams the cop. If it causes major embarrassment, Villaraigosa slams Bratton. Either way, Bratton insulates the Mayor and City Council from the LA cops they place in impossible positions – and rolling heads gives distracted taxpayers the illusion that courageous politicians are holding “bad cops” accountable. [...]

    California Conservative » LAPD Jukes the Numbers (f55714)

  138. [...] LAPD Officer Will Beale penned a poignant recruitment pitch this week as a cop in pursuit of trust. His moving words were harmless enough for the LA Dog Trainer to post the op-ed. [...]

    A Cop in Pursuit of Trust at Conservative Times (79c8e2)

  139. [...] After a while, even the dimmest cop learns that chasing gang members can hurt his career, while LA’s parasitic lawyers showcase those same cops as examples of LAPD’s “unfitness and their need for continued oversight.” Trial lawyers sue, take their 40% cut, and launder part of their booty through trial lawyer associations back to the politicians who oppose tort reform, while the LA Dog Trainer parrots the “bad cops – more oversight” dogma. [...]

    LAPD’s Latest Scheme: Gang Czar at Conservative Times (79c8e2)

  140. [...] Over at Patterico’s Pontifications, Patrick gave his 2005 year-in-review of all the LA Times Liberal foibles: This year’s installment will cover familiar topics, such as general anti-Republican and pro-Democrat bias, culture wars issues, and media coverage. It will also cover events specific to the year, with a heavy emphasis on judicial confirmation battles, the war in Iraq and the war on terror, and other miscellaneous issues. [...]

    “Okie” on the Lam » Tracking the Leftward Bias at the The Los Angeles Times — Okie’s Responce To The LAT Assistant Readers’ Rep (e2cef7)

  141. [...] Over at Patterico’s Pontifications, Patrick gave his 2005 year-in-review of all the LA Times Liberal foibles: This year’s installment will cover familiar topics, such as general anti-Republican and pro-Democrat bias, culture wars issues, and media coverage. It will also cover events specific to the year, with a heavy emphasis on judicial confirmation battles, the war in Iraq and the war on terror, and other miscellaneous issues. [...]

    “Okie” on the Lam » Tracking the Leftward Bias at the The Los Angeles Times — Okie’s Response To The LAT Assistant Readers’ Rep — Repeat 0f 12/23 Post (e2cef7)

  142. Hahaha, I was scrolling through this thread and saw a guy call Patterico

    “Rush Limbaugh of the Blogosphere”

    What do you think of that, P?

    I don’t think he meant any harm.

    Leviticus (43095b)

  143. Eric…

    What about relationships that have been damaged by an eating disorder? Can they be rebuilt or repaired? The answer is a qualified…more in my blog….

    Eric (9aa062)


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