I recently wondered: whatever happened to that promised L.A. Times report on Andres Martinez? (You remember him: the L.A. Times editorial page editor whose main squeeze was tangentially connected with a producer that Martinez wanted to make editor-for-a-day.) I considered the whole matter overblown — something that could have been handled with a simple disclosure. But no, the publisher insisted on an investigation to see whether L.A. Times opinion might have been influenced by sex, rather than the traditional and accepted influences of hidebound political correctness and stale, institutional leftism.
So I wrote Jamie Gold, the “Readers’ Representative” who was charged with the investigation, and asked her whatever became of her report. Here is her reply, with my emphasis:
Hi, thanks for asking. No, the results of the review weren’t published in the L.A. Times. After I completed the review for the publisher, I turned it over to him. Here’s the publisher’s statement in response to inquiries:
The Readers’ Representative concluded her review of the issue involving a potential conflict of interest involving the former editorial pages editor. Based on the internal investigation, we have not found that anything was published in the Times – or that anything was withheld from publication – because of this relationship. The situation is a reminder that even the appearance of a conflict of interest can raise questions about the paper’s credibility, and all such situations should be disclosed and reviewed with one’s supervisor.
Reporter Jim Rainey did ask me about the findings. I’m out of the office for the next week and not signing on often; if you want more information, perhaps it is best if you contact him directly for his thoughts.
Translation: they didn’t find a thing.
So why wasn’t this reported in the L.A. Times? What in the hell is going on here?
Way back when, we were told by publisher David Hiller that the reader’s right to know was Concern Number One:
Hiller said Gold would try to discern whether any undue influence had taken place.
“She will report to me and ultimately, if appropriate, to the readers, who are first and foremost our concern,” he said.
I guess they aren’t your concern now. Why was it not “appropriate” to report that Martinez did nothing wrong after all? Are you afraid it will make you look like you drove out a decent editorial page editor for no good reason, other than to appease moralistic scolds like Tim Rutten and Henry Weinstein?
Friends, correct me if I’m wrong, but I think this is An Exclusive. I don’t think this has been published anywhere. L.A. Observed hasn’t touched the subject since March. And I’m coming up with nothing on the L.A. Times web site.
Someone tell me: why is that?
I still have some questions, and I have sent them to Jamie Gold and will forward them on to Jim Rainey. Namely, to your knowledge, was this ever published anywhere? When did Gold turn over this information to the publisher? And why didn’t the paper publish the findings??
And can I have a copy of the report?
(Leakers, I’m looking at you. If you have the report, send it along and I’ll publish it.)
UPDATE: I changed the term “dumped” to “drove out” because, technically, Martinez quit and wasn’t fired. But after the way he was treated, I think he properly felt his situation was untenable. He wasn’t fired — but he was driven out.
UPDATE x2: How bad could Martinez be? After all his transgressions, the paper is still letting him participate in the Dust-Up this week.