Patterico's Pontifications

10/17/2007

Yes, It’s Another Media Quiz

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 11:36 pm

It’s time for another round of “Spot the L.A. Times Article!” Which one of these articles about L.A.’s phone tax is from the L.A. Weekly — and which is from the L.A. Times?

Article One:

If you ask the voters to reinstate a tax after it’s been thrown out by the courts, it’s a new tax. But if you beat the courts to it — by convincing voters to approve a slightly lower tax before the higher one is invalidated — is it a tax “reduction”?

Yes, says Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who is pitching a ballot initiative that would ask voters to approve a 9 percent tax on cell-phone and land-line calls. That’s slightly lower than the 10 percent residents currently pay — an illegal tax on Los Angeles residents that Villaraigosa and the City Council never should have collected because voters did not approve it, according to recent court rulings.

Article Two:

Hoping to keep up with changing telephone technology while salvaging the city’s budget, the Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to put a $243-million telephone utility users tax on the Feb. 15 presidential primary ballot.

Worried that a pending court ruling could eliminate the 40-year-old tax, the council agreed to ask voters to preserve it and, to ward off future lawsuits, grant the city the power to tax telephone services that have not yet been invented.

One article tells you straight out that the tax is illegal and that the effort to portray it as a reduction is a sham.

The other mentions the need to “salvag[e] the city’s budget” in the very first sentence, and portrays the tax as a venerable, longstanding tradition (“the 40-year-old tax”) that is the hapless victim of new technology.

I respect all my readers here. There’s no such thing as a stupid question. Etc.

But if you can’t tell which is the L.A. Times article without clicking on the links, then my God, how do you dress yourself in the morning?

I don’t mean to offend you by saying that, of course. On second thought, yes, I do. Get the hell off of my blog.

5 Responses to “Yes, It’s Another Media Quiz”

  1. With analysis like this, is it any wonder that in the past five years Tribune Co. stock (owners of LAT) is down 40% while the S&P 500 has increased 65%. If there is any justice, these reporter’s 401k plans are linked to their stock price.

    Perfect Sense (b6ec8c)

  2. I don’t mean to offend you by saying that, of course. On second thought, yes, I do. Get the hell off of my blog.

    There are at least three distinct reasons I absolutely loved seeing you write that. :)

    Stashiu3 (992297)

  3. I know that the LAT bulks large in your universe because you live there. But this is getting a bit boring for those of us who live in other necks of the wood. Can’t you at least trash some of the other dog trainers around the country?

    I’m not defending the LAT. But almost every major paper in the country is like that. I could give you similar stuff out of my local dog trainer, the Miami Herald.

    There are two types of papers nowadays, those that are tied into the local establishment, and those that are not and therefore allow themselves to be antagonistic towards the powers that be. In your area, these types are represented by the LATimes and the LAWeekly, respectively. But all the papers in the LATimes category–and they probably include the major newspaper of every locality in the country–repeat the governmental line and spout the establishment views on almost every issue. It’s not often that a major newspaper presents anything done by the local municipality in anything other than a favorable light, and when it doesn’t, it’s usually because either criminal wrongdoing is involved or the editorial board is in some sort of hostile relationship to an individual politician involved in that particular issue.
    This is not necessarily something that comes down from the corporate level: it’s more to do with the editorial and reportial staffing and views. One of the LAWeekly type papers here is owned by the company which publishes the Ft. Lauderdale Sun Sentinel, and remains true to the LAWeekly outlook, while the Sun Sentinel remains true to the LATimes mold (in both senses of the word).

    kishnevi (c58973)

  4. Kishnevi, may the good Lord help us all here in Los Angeles if the LAT is spouting the establishment line. Yes they support Villaraigosa. But mostly the LAT staff lives in their own alternate little universe,locked in a time warp of 60′s style liberal protest politics, and general irrelevance to any worthwhile matter at hand. They long ago gave up any pretense at being a significant newspaper–other than as legends in their own minds. Their only straight up section is the sports page, a place where their editorial biases generally don’t show (although they do love USC and UCLA).

    I would hope our “establishment” whoever the heck they may be has grown beyond the views of the Los Angeles Times.

    Mike Myers (d015a6)

  5. I have never lived in NYC and neither have 250 million other Americans, yet somehow the NYTimes is supposed to loom large in our worldview.

    Techie (c003f1)


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