New Statement from Anita Busch on the Need for an Investigation of the L.A. Times’s Reporting on Pellicano
Anita Busch has issued another statement regarding her call for an investigation of Chuck Philips’s reporting:
I wanted to thank you all sincerely for standing by and understanding my constraints in not being able to talk freely during the past six years as the Pellicano case was being investigated and then prosecuted. Following the guilty verdicts which were handed up this week, I have called for an independent investigation into the L.A. Times’ relationship to Anthony Pellicano and, more specifically, into Chuck Philips’ reporting of the Pellicano case.
I was a victim of crime, but I was also a longtime journalist. And there are basic journalistic questions that need to be examined:
1) What is the ethical question for any newspaper when a longtime news source turns out to be a criminal?
2) What is the best course of action when a source who is found to be a criminal has relationships with key people at the newspaper?
3) Specifically, why wouldn’t the L.A. Times lawyer Karlene Goller — who wanted Mr. Pellicano aboard to help investigate the threat against me — not immediately recuse herself or likewise be removed by the paper from anything having to do with Mr. Pellicano once he was arrested?
Chuck Philips said that this same lawyer urged him to call Pellicano after I was threatened. About a year later, she was directly involved with legal issues prior to my grand jury appearance — a grand jury investigating the very man she sought help from, Anthony Pellicano.
4) Why was reporter Chuck Philips — who had spoken openly about how friendly he was with Pellicano and admitted that Pellicano was his longtime news source — allowed to report story after story on the Pellicano case? In nearly every instance, his stories went against the FBI and the U.S. Attorney trying to prosecute his longtime news source.
5) What did Mr. Pellicano specifically do for the newspaper in the past?
These are just a few of the questions that should be answered about the paper’s relationship to Mr. Pellicano, and it appears the only way to proceed objectively would be for the Times to agree to an independent investigation. Pellicano had relationships inside the L.A. Times long before I got there in 2002; the relationships also pre-dated editor John Carroll’s and Dean Baquet’s time there.
In the same way that the L.A. Times needed to clear the air after the Staples Center controversy, I suggest that the paper hire a panel of outside ethicists, journalists and experts to investigate.
Pellicano and his clients used and abused the media to destroy their targets. Other victims know well of what I speak. Other journalists know, too. And journalists are the ones who must shine a light on this.
Martin Luther King, Jr. said: “Our lives begin to end the day we remain silent on things that matter.”
I was a journalist. And I know that journalism — and how it was used and abused by a bunch of criminals — very much matters.
As I said, there will be more to come on this site on this issue. Stay tuned.
And the paper doesn’t need to hire anyone to investigate. Some of us are willing to do it for free!