Patterico's Pontifications

3/28/2008

Jill Stewart on the Chuck Philips Mess

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 12:03 am

Jill has a blog post about it at the L.A. Weekly.

Credit goes to The Smoking Gun for ripping the lid off this putrid mess. There were problems with the Philips story even before The Gun went off.

It was so jammed with off-record sources it read like a piece from the Bad Old Days before corrupt journalist Jayson Blair so badly dirtied The New York Times. Today, among the nation’s big dailies, the L.A. Times has one of the most useless policies for controlling its overuse of unnamed sources, which proliferate there like a plague. Take away the anonymous sources, and Philips’ entire story turned on a bogus document.

Friends of mine at the Times say Chuck Philips is a good guy with high standards who would never knowingly twist his investigations for an outcome he desires – like, say, trying to taint Combs. Maybe that’s true. But his and the paper’s coverage of this case has attracted an inordinate amount of harsh criticism from other journos, ranging from Rolling Stone’s detailed attack by Randall Sullivan to the juicy slam by Jan Golab for FrontPageMagazine.com.

(My emphasis.)

Read it all.

6 Responses to “Jill Stewart on the Chuck Philips Mess”

  1. I suspect that a lot of the problem that the NY Times had with Jayson Blair was a result of his writing liberal-biased sob stories. His editors loved them so much that they never gave it a thought whether they were true. Same is true for the book by a white girl supposed story of growing up in the ghetto.

    Alta Bob (aada0c)

  2. The L.A SLIMES is just the west coasts version of the NEW YORK SLIMES NO DIFFERENT AT ALL

    krazy kagu (ef58e5)

  3. I’m surprised you linked to the rs piece, seeing how it not only rips the Times, but reminds us how corrupt and incompetent the LA cops and prosecutors were. It’s great to see Philips pay for his sins…too bad the same won’t happen to all the players in this sordid mess

    kevin (8e0e3b)

  4. David Ehrenstein properly skewered the use of anonymous sources a few years ago in an article every reporter and editor should take to heart.

    “The source seeking anonymity isn’t ‘bucking the system’ — he is the system . . .

    “Likewise, when New York Times reporters Jeff Gerth and James Risen spread (to put it most charitably) inaccurate information about nuclear research scientist Wen Ho Lee (resulting in Lee’s being incarcerated in chains in solitary confinement without access to legal counsel for nine months), their disinclination to identify the parties who fed them this line (currently the subject of a suit lodged by Mr. Lee) is by no means a blow for a free and independent press.

    Bradley J. Fikes (a18ddc)

  5. Shame on Jill Stewart. She knows very well that Chuck Philips is an honorable guy. I can’t help but remember when she was at New Times, and was herself constantly being accused of twisting her own reporting to suit a bias…

    GC (3725a3)

  6. She knows very well that Chuck Philips is an honorable guy.

    Julius Caesar, Act 3. Scene 2.

    Bradley J. Fikes (a18ddc)


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