[Guest post by Jack Dunphy]
In Patterico’s absence this weekend I’ll try to keep an eye on one of his favorite targets, the ever-shrinking Los Angeles Times, known in these quarters as the Dog Trainer. In clicking about on the Times’s website today, I was struck by their choice in photographs used to announce the selection of Michael Steele as the new chairman of the Republican National Committee. In watching Mr. Steele on television, I’ve always found him to an affable enough fellow, yet on the Times home page they chose to use this photo.
Those who clicked to the story were greeted by a photo of Steele in the more characteristic mien shown below, but I can’t help but wonder how many people simply glanced at the home page and were left with the mistaken impression that he is an angry man.
[Guest post by Jack Dunphy]
In two earlier posts (here and here) I discussed the harebrained decision by LAPD command officers to send cops without helmets and face shields into a Jan. 10 skirmish with pro-Palestinian demonstrators at the West L.A. Federal Building. The wearing of helmets, the officers were told, was too “intimidating” for the delicate sensibilities of those who wish to see Israel eradicated. An officer was injured, though not seriously, when he was struck on the head with a protest sign. The responsible command officers have been trying to rehabilitate their credibility with the rank and file, so far with little success.
Now the Los Angeles Police Protective League, the labor union representing officers below the rank of captain, has filed a class-action grievance against the department, citing LAPD policy and various city and state laws regarding the use of protective equipment. (Full disclosure, but to no one’s surprise, I am a member of the LAPPL.) The grievance seeks to ensure that officers will not be needlessly exposed to such risks in the future.
And on Wednesday, the Los Angeles city council approved a $20.5 million settlement to be paid to four LAPD officers wrongfully, indeed shamefully, treated during the investigation of the department’s Rampart scandal. (I discussed the case at National Review Online here and here.) At last the officers will collect the monetary damages they so richly deserve, but to paraphrase Ray Donavan, where do they go to get their reputations back?
I may not be posting this weekend. JRM has promised to step in with a post or two, and you never know when you’ll hear from Jack Dunphy or Karl, both of whom have popped in once or twice in recent days — something I have been very pleased to see.
Kevin Roderick says the move leaves the paper without a separate local news section “for the first time since the paper’s early decades.”
The publisher decided to fold local news inside the front section — which will be reconfigured to downplay national and foreign news — despite what an official of the paper confirmed for me w[ere] the unanimous and vocal objections of senior editors. [Publisher] Hartenstein reportedly planned to delay an announcement until the close of business on Friday, fearing it will play as another black eye for the Times. He’s right about that.
The paper recently raised the price of an edition of the paper from 50 cents to 75 cents. Pay more, get less. How can you pass up that deal?
P.S. Roderick maintains:
By getting rid of California, the Times can print the more profitable Calendar section at night and eliminate the expense of a second, earlier daily press run. (Times presses can only handle four sections per run, as this post from last Friday discussed. . . .)
This fellow begs to differ, saying that L.A. Times pressrooms “produce six sections on every press run.” Me, I have no idea who’s right.
All I know is that the long-term trends for this paper are not good.
UPDATE: At the L.A. Times, the news is being reported on a blog — as a “Kevin Roderick reports” type of story. (Gee, we don’t know here, but Kevin Roderick tells us that our own paper is cutting the local section!) And the headline is “Hollywood papers struggle; L.A. paper loses local news section.” “L.A. paper,” eh? Which one would that be?
Pathetic. I guess the paper is being stubborn about saving the official announcement for the news black hole of Friday afternoon.
I was hoping to avoid making an announcement about this, but commenters are asking questions.
Some of you have noticed that DRJ has not been posting lately. She has decided not to post or comment on the site any more. She says this decision is permanent, but I will always hold out hope that she will change her mind, so let’s treat this as a hiatus of undetermined length.
If she wants to share the reason she may. She and I still get along great (how could we not?) so that’s not the problem. I don’t really want to talk about it; I’m afraid I’d say something I’d regret.
(Will no one rid me of this troublesome commenter?)
Anyway, I would like this to be a positive post. Please let DRJ know how much you appreciate all she has done for the site.
I extend to her my deepest personal thanks — thanks I can’t adequately express in words — and my wishes for an ongoing friendship. She is one of the finest human beings I have ever (sort of) met. I hope one day I can remove the “sort of” from that statement.
iowahawk has some hilarious “exotic motivational leadership proverbs from around the developing world.” Examples:
“The lazy monkey mocks the noble lion from the safety of the baobob tree — until the lion pulls out his surprise chain saw. Who’s laughing now, monkey? But it turns out the joke is on both of them, because here comes Marlin Perkins and his surprise tranquilizer darts.”
. . . .
“A wise man offers his millet to be shared among the village, for his gift will be repaid a thousand times in gratitude. A wiser man takes somebody else’s millet and offers it to the village. Guess what? Same gratitude, and extra millet for good ol’ numero uno.”
Read it all.