Patterico's Pontifications

7/12/2007

A Post That Makes a Serious Journalistic Point About the Los Angeles Times

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General,Humor — Patterico @ 1:18 am



The other day, a couple of colleagues urged me to start posting pictures of attractive women on my web site. “Man can’t live on politics alone,” they said. “Even those Power Line guys spice it up once in a while with pictures of beauty contest winners.”

Naturally, I rejected any such suggestion as beneath my dignity as a political blogger. I am not about cheesecake, my friends. This site is about journalistic integrity. It is about The Truth.

So stick with me as I use the following photograph to make a Serious Point About Journalism.

victoria-beckham.jpg

Steve Smith (whom I saw in the Compton courthouse the other day) writes to inform me about this post, which notes a grave error made by the Los Angeles Times:

I’m not one of those people who put everything in a newspaper under a microscope, hoping to find a mistake somewhere. But when someone gets the most crucial facts of a story wrong, it is my journalistic duty to point it out.

That brings me to the big story on David Beckham that ran in the L.A. Times on Sunday. The piece, written by Grahame L. Jones, discussed the lavish lifestyle of Beckham and his wife, Victoria, once better known as Posh Spice of the Spice Girls.

David and Victoria shower each other with lavish gifts, the story said. “While Victoria was expecting their third child, Beckham spent $1.8 million for a diamond encrusted sex toy with matching 16-carat diamond necklace.”

As fate would have it, I was scheduled to take part in a conference call with Victoria in connection with her one-hour NBC special, “Victoria Beckham: Coming to America,” scheduled for 8 p.m. ET/PT on Monday. Though I’ve spent a lifetime interviewing people great and small, I’ve never had the privilege of talking to the owner of a $1.8 million sex toy.

When my turn came, I got my chance. “Does the immense value of this item tend to inhibit you from using it?” I inquired.

And that’s when I discovered that, all those Pulitzer Prizes notwithstanding, you can’t absolutely rely on the Times.

“It isn’t true,” Victoria said, her voice calm and measured. “We do buy each other nice things,” she admitted, but some things get exaggerated. “I don’t have a diamond-encrusted vibrator.”

Now, friends: just because someone makes an accusation like that, are we going to leap to the conclusion that there has been journalistic malfeasance? Hardly! We demand evidence!

And so I say: take a look at the picture above.

A close look.

That necklace — which is either the 16-carat diamond necklace referred to in the story, or perhaps some other necklace entirely; I’m not quite sure which — has to be worth $1.8 million on its own.

And if it isn’t, then those straps have to be worth a lot. What are those made of anyway?

Proof that the L.A. Times got it wrong!

If you don’t believe me, look again. With enough study, you’ll see what I mean.

34 Responses to “A Post That Makes a Serious Journalistic Point About the Los Angeles Times”

  1. Pretty girl. Too bad about that tacky-looking piece of junk around her neck.

    rachel (aa158e)

  2. I thought the $1.8million sex toy was referring to David.

    mer (ad62dc)

  3. Who says money can’t buy happiness?

    Paul Albers (658a7e)

  4. The necklaces seem to be anti-gravitation devices that lift and separates her breasts.

    Perfect Sense (b6ec8c)

  5. heh

    Buzzy (9d4680)

  6. Hardly a marriage made in heaven. Didn’t he get caught doing the kid’s nanny?

    sam (08292a)

  7. Patterico, I think it’s disgusting that I had to scroll down to read your point, thus moving the picture off my computer screen. You need to learn how to add text alongside images like this, so that readers can follow your thoughts while not losing sight of the big picture.

    aunursa (10a2b2)

  8. I have no objection to the use of photography in the pursuit of serious journalism, especially if there is cheesecake involved.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  9. A diamond encrusted sex toy? It just proves that the Daily Dog Trainer is on the “cutting edge” of journalism.

    Mike Myers (2e43f5)

  10. Hmmm…. I still can’t tell. Do you have pictures from other angles?

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  11. I can’t imagine that a diamond-encrusted vibrator would be very pleasant to use. But maybe that’s the point, so to speak.

    steverino (d27168)

  12. The Beckhams are tacky even by LA standards, which, as everyone can surmise,is pretty damn tacky.

    sam (08292a)

  13. I salute your integrity in refusing to post a picture of an attractive woman.

    Metzger (e03adc)

  14. applause for the unidentified surgeon who did those tits.

    assistant devil's advocate (0237ce)

  15. What necklace? I’m staring at the picture, I don’t see a necklace.

    km (910b19)

  16. I’d like to give her a pearl necklace.

    TimesDisliker (b3d2f6)

  17. Is that Villaraigosa’s squeeze?

    BTW that necklace looks like it cost a couple of hundred bucks.

    Tony (e5eb9f)

  18. Comments 13 and 15 are good examples of why I don’t generally post pictures like this . . .

    Patterico (2a65a5)

  19. Well, we know the pool service guy will see a lot of her.

    Another Drew (8018ee)

  20. I get it. It took a while, but I totally get it. And she wears that thing in public. Awesome.

    dj (b9299f)

  21. I don’t get it. She is a wife and mother. Forget that, she is a fellow human being. What did she do to invite this?

    nk (9c9223)

  22. I don’t get it. It took a while, but, finally, I just don’t get it. And it’s gonna bug me, ‘cuz I usually get it.

    Hint?

    bobby_b (6dddbb)

  23. Tony is right. The necklace in that picture is a fairly inexpensive one, and there don’t appear to be any diamonds in it, unless they’re small ones set around the metal into which the larger stones are set. But a diamond necklace could easily be 1.8 million. But since our only authority for the diamond necklace is the same authority for the diamond sex toy, there’s a good chance there is no diamond necklace, either.

    kishnevi (2dbd61)

  24. bobby_b:

    There’s nothing much to get, really, but it’s fun trying.

    Patterico (2a65a5)

  25. Kishnevi,

    Judging by the 8M Pound birthday and 1.2M Pound Christmas necklaces her husband gave her last year, I’m not convinced Ms. Beckham’s necklace is fairly inexpensive.

    DRJ (31d948)

  26. Maybe Paris had to leave her valuables with a friend before that unfortunate stay in Lynwood.

    Vermont Neighbor (95b069)

  27. And the straps might be leftover from some old kneepads.

    Vermont Neighbor (95b069)

  28. She’s wearing a necklace? Oh yeah, you’re right.

    MJBrutus (63f237)

  29. Comments 13 and 15 are good examples of why I don’t generally post pictures like this . . .

    Yup, we’re all a pack of 13-year olds.

    Paul (0544fc)

  30. One-hour NBC special, “Victoria Beckham: Coming to America”

    Good Lord.

    This passage illuminates why I choose not to watch any television/cable anymore other than NFL games.

    Paul (0544fc)

  31. Do you have any more posts that could involve serious journalistic points about say, Beyonce or Shakira, or, just use your imagination, I think you get the point?

    daleyrocks (906622)

  32. According to the Ace of Spades blog, a jeweller (or dildo maker?) had made (or was going to make) such a model in the hope of selling it to the happy couple, but they weren’t interested.

    andycanuck (33a374)

  33. Grahame Jones of the Los Angeles Times has long been the worst soccer journalist of any major newspaper in the country.

    While he’s capable of describing a goal he witnessed from a match played, say, in 1978, but he has zero grasp of tactics, and he holds a weird grudge against the American team when he covers international tournaments.

    Desert Rat (de5a83)

  34. “The necklaces seem to be anti-gravitation devices that lift and separates her breasts.”

    Nope. That’s called a plastic surgeon.

    West (afa23e)


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