Patterico's Pontifications

3/27/2008

Prediction

Filed under: Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 7:53 pm

My prediction: Chuck Philips is not long for the L.A. Times.

I’m going out on a limb here. A commenter earlier noted that he hasn’t even been officially put on administrative leave.

But I don’t know. I have this feeling he’s going to be gone in fairly short order.

If I’m right, you read it here first.

UPDATE: Here’s my reasoning. Check out the lede of this New York Times article:

A reporting coup has turned into an embarrassment for The Los Angeles Times, which acknowledged on Thursday that it had relied on apparently forged documents for its investigation into an assault on the rapper Tupac Shakur in 1994.

I just don’t think you can be the guy responsible for that, and continue to work for the paper. Pulitzer or no Pulitzer.

UPDATE x2: I should make clear: I’m not calling for Philips to be fired or to resign. I have concerns about his over-reliance on anonymous sources and his fact-checking, but I generally don’t like calling for journalists’ resignations simply because they have made mistakes. Like Jill Stewart, I’ve been told by someone I trust that Philips is a good guy. So I’m agnostic on the issue of what his punishment should be, if any.

12 Responses to “Prediction”

  1. If I’m right, you read it here first.

    And if you’re wrong, this post will disappear. *grins*

    Scott Jacobs (d3a6ec)

  2. I’m not as confident as Pat that Phillips will be disappeared either by firing, resigning, or being offed by Chief Bratton.

    However, a source close to the investigation says that Phillips may be elected pope. Additionally, many observers are concerned about the effect of the allegations made by arch-conservative blogs against the Times.

    “At least four experienced Times editors examined this piece, and they checked it for accuracy, fairness, grammar, taste and libel, among other things,” said someone who knew the late David Shaw.

    Everyone else agreed. “I’m shocked that they would libel people with, you know, real lawyers,” said Chico State president Paul Zingg. “People with lawyers who aren’t drunk right this moment, I mean. I wish we had Sean Combs’ lawyers. Then, they wouldn’t include quotes from me without ever speaking to me.”

    At the New York Times, the reaction was muted. “Mostly, we’re glad it’s not us. Again,” said a source who declined to be identified.

    –JRM

    JRM (355c21)

  3. Pat-
    What faith you have in the Fourth Estates’ Managment! Misplaced faith, I’ll wager. Flap and scandal sells stuff. I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a slap on the wrist and the entire things just fades away.

    paul from fl (47918a)

  4. The documents may be forged, but the story is true!!

    Dan Rather (2a5a0e)

  5. Pulitzer or no Pulitzer? I thought that kind of reporting was what won the Pulitzer.

    Amphipolis (fdbc48)

  6. Seems I’m not the only cynic, Patrick…

    Scott Jacobs (d3a6ec)

  7. I have a FBI 302 interview with someone high up in Hillary’s campaign stating that Phillips is being considered for the VP slot.

    Anonymous sources confirm the that 302 looks like it was typed on the correct size paper.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  8. I have read some posts commending the Times for apologizing. I read the whole article and think even less of the Times than I did before the apology. They apologized, and IMO will soon fire Phillips, because finally somebody threatened to sue them! Combs’ lawyer demanded they apologize, so they did. I’m sure they demanded Phillips’ head on a platter too.

    They simply cannot afford to be sued for financial reasons as well as the reason they don’t want their crooked editorial policies exposed.

    Patricia (f56a97)

  9. It is amazingly difficult to put together a libel case against a newspaper under US law. It takes some extra effort on the part of the newspaper to expose themselves to liability.

    However, the LA Times may have just given us a “how-to” in dropping one’s drawers and asking to be sued for libel.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  10. Pat — Here’s a legal question I’m hoping you can shed some light on. It’s my understanding that the forged FBI 302s were entered into a court file, presumably by Sabatino in one of his jailhouse lawsuits. Does that make them “privileged” under libel law, even if they are fake? And if so, does that affect Combs et al’s chances of winning a libel suit?

    Thefacts (483101)

  11. Sam Zell may make the difference here. He certainly knows about the debacle. I expect he will insist on firing Philips and enforcing a meaningful code of ethics at the Times with no anonymous sources..

    One positive sign I’ve noticed is that the LAT apology was so prominently displayed on the Web, and comments were posted diligently. Quite different from the see-no-evil Jamie Gold response.

    Bradley J. Fikes (1c6fc4)

  12. I wonder how many fewer readers the L.A. Slimes has

    krazy kagu (6c9901)


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