From the “Things I Missed While on Vacation” File: L.A. Times Readers’ Rep Jamie Gold eventually did publish some critical comments about Michael Hiltzik’s return to column writing. (She did so only after I published a post noting the lack of critical comments; note that Marc Danziger’s comment, cited in that post, was never approved.) Gold apparently wrote editor Russ Stanton to get his take on why Hiltzik should get his column back. Gold writes:
The essence of the response from editors: Hiltzik has redeemed himself.
Russ Stanton, now editor of The Times, was Business editor when Hiltzik’s popular column for the Business section was discontinued. As the editor’s note published at the time said, Hiltzik had been found to be violating The Times’ ethics guidelines by using pseudonyms to post comments on the Web that dealt with his column and other issues involving the newspaper.
Readers were also told in the 2006 editor’s note, “Mike did not commit any ethical violations in his newspaper column, and an internal inquiry found no inaccurate reporting in his postings in his blog or on the Web.”
Hm. An external inquiry has. Try this, as one example. But then, external inquiries tend to be a bit more vigorous than L.A. Times internal inquiries. Back to Gold:
Since his column was pulled in 2006, writes Stanton, Hiltzik “has been an invaluable asset to the paper. He has earned the right to return as a columnist.” In those two years, more than 35 news articles written by Hiltzik have been published on the front page. Stanton says editors believe that what readers can learn from Hiltzik the columnist will be as trustworthy as what he’s delivered in his news reports.
So, you know, rest easy.
Thanks to a reader.
P.S. As with my last post, I think this warrants inclusion in my recent Year in Review, which I will be updating.
You miss things when you go on vacation. Like this blog entry from L.A. Times opinion blogger Lisa Richardson, about the Chip Saltsman/Barack the Magic Negro flap:
It’s a given that Republicans are done trying to appeal to black voters, but are they really ready to give up everyone else who isn’t white? Because if not, here’s the thing: it’s not much of a stretch for Latinos and Asians — who also voted overwhelmingly for Obama — to imagine how a president-elect of their ethnicity also could be the target of such lighthearted Republican fun. “Mike the Magic Jap” and “Maria the Magic Mexican” probably wouldn’t go over that well either.
Indeed; anyone who used the phrase “Barack the Magic Negro” must certainly be a racist. So says the L.A. Times.
Now, there’s just one nagging thing . . . where did I first see that phrase used? Oh, yes — in the L.A. Times. In an op-ed written by black liberal David Ehrenstein.
Thanks to Xrlq. And to Trained Dog.
I may have to add this to last year’s Year in Review. Because I’m all about the thoroughness.
[Guest post by DRJ]
The Israeli military initiated a naval blockade and sent tanks and troops into Gaza in a ground operation intended to end the rocket attacks on Israeli citizens:
“A few hours ago Israeli forces went into Gaza as part of the ongoing operation there. From the beginning, I said that the operation would be broadened as necessary, and now it is necessary,” Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said last night in a televised press conference from Tel Aviv.
Infantry, tanks, engineering forces, artillery and intelligence units are taking part in the ground offensive, backed by the air force, navy and other security agencies, the army said. A naval blockade was imposed at 20 nautical miles off the Gaza shore, it added.”
The action was supported by the Bush Administration, a Czech EU leader, and even California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, among others. However, French President Sarkozy condemned the Israelis while Barack Obama has been silent, citing his post-election policy that there is “one President at a time.” A Hamas leader objected to Obama’s silence, comparing Israel’s incursion to the November 2008 terrorist attack on Mumbai that Obama condemned.
In today’s New York Post, columnist Ralph Peters speculates Israel’s actions are due in part to a concern that the Obama Administration will “undercut Israel’s counterterror offensive before its goals have been reached.” Whether or not that’s true, Hamas had to know the Bush Administration would support Israel and it’s mystifying to me why the Hamas leaders didn’t wait until Bush was out of office to commence these rocket attacks.
[Guest post by DRJ]
The political story getting the most attention today is that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat, urged Illinois Governor Blagojevich not to appoint three black candidates to take over Barack Obama’s vacant Senate seat although he encouraged the selection of two white candidates (*see Foo Bar’s comment*):
“Reid urged Blagojevich to appoint either Illinois Veterans Affairs chief Tammy Duckworth or Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Saturday, citing anonymous sources.
Reid reportedly opposed the appointments of Democratic Reps. Jesse Jackson Jr. and Danny Davis because the Democratic leader feared they would lose the seat to a Republican in the 2010 general election. Reid also allegedly opposed Emil Jones, the powerful black leader of the Illinois Senate, on the same grounds.”
In Reid’s defense, a spokesman confirmed Reid also called the governors of New York and Colorado to discuss the vacancies created by Obama’s appointment of Hillary Clinton and Ken Salazar to Cabinet positions:
“[In an e-mail to The Associated Press, Reid spokesman Jim Manley confirmed] Reid also spoke to the New York and Colorado governors about openings created when senators from those states accepted Obama administration jobs.
“It is part of his job as majority leader to share his thoughts about candidates who have the qualities needed to succeed in the Senate,” Manley said.”
Do governors and the public need to know Harry Reid’s opinion of candidates in order to select or elect a Senator? I understand that might be part of his role as a leader of the Democratic Party but I don’t think the Majority Leader’s job description includes identifying worthy candidates.
On the other hand, if it is part of his job, why didn’t he call the folks in Delaware about Biden’s replacement? I’m guessing it has something to do with the fact it’s a safe Democratic seat.