Patterico's Pontifications

8/10/2006

The L.A. Times and Crickets

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 6:47 am



I live in a quiet, peaceful area. When you walk out my front door, you don’t hear cars racing by, or people making noise. During the day, you hear birds. And at night, you hear crickets.

Oh, hey — that reminds me of a few things.

A local L.A. publication has done a good story on Reutersgate. The L.A. Times? Don’t make me laugh heartily! No, the L.A. Weekly.

The L.A. Times? Crickets.

Oh, and as for that e-mail I sent to the Readers’ Representative regarding the paper’s false statement about Murtha getting briefed by Hagee before speaking out about Haditha? Did I get a response?

Sorry. Crickets.

(Readers.Rep@latimes.com)

What about when I wrote Dean Baquet asking him if I could tell the world his reason for refusing me an interview regarding the paper’s disclosure of the legal and effective Swift counterterror program? Did I hear back from him?

You got it. Crickets again.

Hey, it’s a peaceful, relaxing sound.

27 Responses to “The L.A. Times and Crickets”

  1. Please publish Baquet’s email.

    The public has a right to know.

    Desert Rat (d8da01)

  2. […] (HT, Petterico, who contrasts this with the “crickets” (silence) he gets from the LA Times […]

    Rathergate.com » Media story on Reuters & Photoshop (879659)

  3. Hello, Baquet our old friend,
    We’d like to hear from you again . . .

    Dan Collins (208fbe)

  4. Patterico, I’m with the rat on this one. You’re a lawyer, consider his refusal to answer your question one way or another as a failure to respond to a legal motion.

    As judge in this hypothetical case, I’ve entered a default judgment in your favor.

    Now, speaking as a journalist: Did he ever ask for your e-mail conversation to be “off the record”? If not, I’d think that any newspaper executive’s communications with a member of the public are fair game for publication.

    Hoystory (de9da0)

  5. Tell us, tell us, tell us.

    Mike K (6d4fc3)

  6. Do not publish that email. Only because you’ve stated that you will keep it private.

    It is too bad that you did, and too bad that he won’t account for himself, but that’s the way it is. Your word has to have some meaning, and to say you won’t reveal it out of your moral understanding is to say you won’t change your mind basically because he didn’t cooperate. Then you would be a coersive, dishonest punk instead of a mind mannered critic.

    Dustin (7efe9c)

  7. With all due respect Dustin, if Patterico were to change his mind and publish the email, I don’t see how that makes him a “dishonest punk.”

    There’s nothing dishonest about it—he will have simply changed his mind based on further deliberation.

    “dishonest” is a word which characterizes someone who intentionally deceives someone.

    Patterico has been completely transparent about this issue both in this particular posting, and the posting about this issue a few weeks ago.

    Desert Rat (d8da01)

  8. Because, Desert Rat, Patterico asked Baquet for permission to publish a private e-mail. He could have just done it, but Pat did the the correct thing and asked. If Pat did not ask, and just did it, it would have practically guaranteed that a) Baquet would never respond to any blogger again; or b) his response would not be honest.

    It takes character to stand by one’s word, even when it is not convenient. Pat is the real deal.

    JayCeezy (2c8cea)

  9. I’ve already made it clear that I won’t publish it without permission, even though many have told me I don’t need it.

    I just felt like tweaking Baquet a little, that’s all.

    Patterico (50c3cd)

  10. I think there is a principle in law that says silence implies consent. If I ask you if I can walk on your lawn, and you remain silent, the question becomes whether silence is affirmative or negative. I believe that it is affirmative. Plenty of lawyers here. How about it ?

    Mike K (6d4fc3)

  11. I also appreciate the committment to the virtue of character, JayCeezy, but you and I simply disagree about the cause & effect in this instance, as well as the chronology of events, and perhaps even the definitions of character, honesty, and notion of “changing one’s mind.”

    If Patterico had given his word to Baquet PRIOR to Baquet making a ‘private’ disclosure, or if Baquet’s disclosure was INCUMBENT upon Patterico not revealing it, then there is a point to be made.

    My understanding is that Baquet’s disclosure was NOT incumbent upon Patterico being discreet about it—rather, Patterico merely wrote in a post here FOLLOWING receiving the email that he would ask Baquet if it was OK to reveal the content of Baquet’s email.

    Therefore, Patterico’s request to reveal the contents of the email was done as an act of courtesy by Patterico, rather than out of any trepidation about a violation of a promise.

    Patterico has given Baquet more than ample time to respond to the request, and it’s rather apparent that Baquet isn’t animated enough about the matter to even respond.

    Based on the ‘implied consent’ by Baquet (by Baquet not even responding), as well as other factors such as Patterico’s change in heart about readers’ interest in the email, Patterico might decide to reveal the contents of Baquet’s email.

    Since Patterico has been exceptionally TRANSPARENT about the entire issue, nobody can accuse him of intentional deceit, and intentional deceit is what is required in order to earn the label of “dishonesty,” “lying,” being a “punk,” or demonstrating a lapse in character.

    Desert Rat (d8da01)

  12. Nevertheless, the ball’s in his court, and there it shall remain.

    Meanwhile, I just heard from the Readers’ Rep about Hagee and Murtha. I’ll post about it later, but it is so unsatisfying that it reads like a parody.

    Patterico (50c3cd)

  13. Parody… that’s what I was anticipating.

    While I thought she would write back sooner, I believe the relevant part of my comment was:

    “… she’ll talk with someone in the office trying to get a straight answer to your question, the person who she talks to who will be more senior than her will give her bullshit, and she’ll diligently write back to you this crap in as sunny a fashion as possible.

    “Of course, it will be absurd.”

    Chris from Victoria, BC (9824e6)

  14. …that it reads like a parody.

    Pravda in Paradise’s (Palm Beach Post) ombudsman explanations are often unsatisfying as well. That rag’s responses often parallel the LAT’s — silence of the crickets.

    Purple Avenger (811c33)

  15. Mike K, #11:

    Not “consent”. “Assent”. In a conversation, failing to dispute a point implies that you agree with it. Such as then First Lady Hillary sitting silently while Mrs. Arafat accused Israel of using poison gas against Palestinian children. (Boy, am I mean.) In other contexts, no. If I send you a certified letter claiming that you owe me money and you simply throw it in the garbage it is NOT an admission on your part that you owe me money.

    nk (06f5d0)

  16. I don’t agree that failing to dispute a point in a conversation implies that you agree with it.

    People say all sorts of stupid things to me all day long. Hell, I work in customer service for a health insurance company.

    I hear it all. I ignore most of the stupidity and cut straight to the truth of the matter.

    If I tried refuting all the ignorant or inaccurate things that people said, I’d never get any work done.

    Chris from Victoria, BC (9824e6)

  17. Chris from Victoria, BC: Whoever said that all legal rules made practical sense? Anyway, Patterico has said that he will not publish without permission and he’s right.

    nk (bfc26a)

  18. There is no legal rule that not disagreeing with something is the same as assenting to it.

    Assent has to be affirmative in most cases. It’s an action, not a lack of action.

    Chris from Victoria, BC (9824e6)

  19. I understand it depends on circumstance, NK. But as a general sense it isn’t.

    Simply put, the relevant part of that is:

    “But the authority cited by the majority in support of this proposition, makes it clear that the rule cannot be invoked unless the facts affirmatively show that the witness was called on to speak…”

    Yes, in certain circumstances I’m sure what you’re saying is true. But in the main, merely not verbalizing disagreement with what someone says in a conversation is not the same as assent:

    as·sent
    intr.v. as·sent·ed, as·sent·ing, as·sents
    To agree, as to a proposal; concur.
    n.
    1. Agreement; concurrence: reached assent on a course of action.
    2. Acquiescence; consent: gave my assent to the plan.

    (complete definition from the Free Online Dictionary)

    Chris from Victoria, BC (9824e6)

  20. Fair enough. To get back on subject, I agree that Mr. Baquet’s silence is not consent.

    nk (b50ec5)

  21. Agreed. And in fairness, your example and definition 2 make it clear that in some cases acquiesence is indeed assent.

    Chris from Victoria, BC (9824e6)

  22. The Times finally published a story on the Reuters mess — from the Washington Post.

    Bradley J. Fikes (f912b4)

  23. Where’s the post about Jamie’s final response? It was there earlier this morning, but now it’s gone.

    organshoes (b905c2)

  24. Tim Rutten wrote an article about Reuters in the Calendar section today (Sat, 8/12).

    I read it with one eye closed, since I have never read anything by Rutten that was worth the paper it was written on. HOWEVER, he completely surprised me with a decent take on the Reuters fiasco. It’s actually worth a read…

    csufbomb (32c4f5)


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