Patterico's Pontifications

8/17/2009

Choosing the Next LAPD Chief: What You Didn’t Read in the L.A. Times

Filed under: Current Events,Dog Trainer — Jack Dunphy @ 10:04 pm

[Guest post by Jack Dunphy]

On Sunday, the Los Angeles Times ran an opinion piece under the headline “What Los Angeles needs in its next police chief . . .Times editorial writer Marjorie Miller spoke with “some of the LAPD’s chief critics, supporters and stakeholders” and solicited their views on the qualities they hoped to see in the chief who will succeed William Bratton when he steps down on October 31. Ms. Miller e-mailed me and asked for my input for the piece, which I provided as follows:

I’ve known nearly all of the people named as potential candidates to replace Chief Bratton for more than twenty years. In that time I’ve seen how they’ve changed – or haven’t – as they’ve risen through the ranks. I’m wary of offering an endorsement for fear of burdening any of them with the Mark Kroeker curse. Recall that in 1997, rank-and-file-officers favored Kroeker over Bernard Parks by a wide margin only to see then-Mayor Richard Riordan select Parks. The five years that followed were marked by scandal, declining morale and, most significantly, rising crime. Whoever our next chief may be, he or she should remember one lesson of the Parks years: that the morale of the cop on the street can be subordinated to politics only up to a point, beyond which the cop turns from thoughts of fighting crime to those of preserving his own career.

A few days later, I received the following e-mail from Ms. Miller:

My editors have decided not to use your comments. I apologize for wasting your time–and for free, yet. I did not realize when I asked you to contribute that they are uncomfortable publishing someone under a pseudonym when they don’t know the real name. I thought we had used your
stuff before and wasn’t aware of prior decisions on this. My mistake. Thank you anyway.

Best, Marjorie

I’ve long since stopped keeping track of which names have come and gone from the ever-shrinking masthead at the Times, but there was a time when my identity was known and safeguarded by a number of editors there, during which I contributed on a semi-regular basis to the Sunday Opinion section. I suppose those editors are gone now.

Our host is far better informed than I am on the goings-on at the Times, and he’s written previously on my on-again, off-again relationship with the paper. Perhaps he’ll have more to say on it later.

–Jack Dunphy

16 Responses to “Choosing the Next LAPD Chief: What You Didn’t Read in the L.A. Times

  1. Geez, Jack.
    You can’t actually think that they would want to know the accurate thoughts of somebody in the rank-and-file now, would you?
    That would be supposing that they are a real media company concerned about the future of the City in which they (used to) prosper.

    AD - RtR/OS! (a26a7a)

  2. I somehow doubt that pseudonyms had much to do with their decision.

    MIke K (2cf494)

  3. Unsourced or anonymous comments are not allowed unless one is attacking Arnold, Rush, W, or other well-known “mob-sters.”

    Fictional characters made of whole cloth are to be used only when the writer feels like it.

    Ed from SFV (c4544e)

  4. Maybe they should select someone that was willing to allow law abiding citizens to get concealed carry permits without having connections to the city’s elites…

    chris (1c120e)

  5. Los Angeles is the second largest city in the United States. It has many media outlets, most of which are better read, seen and heard than the Los Angeles Times. Try them. Or trace your contacts who wisely left– or was jettisoned from- that corrupt, bankrupt, dying rag. Given the ubiquitous nature of news and opinion these days, it doesn’t really matter where you post your opinion anyway. If it has any ‘news value’ or carries any weight, it will get picked up and make its way about town. Or simply print it out, prop it up against a rock, and photograph it with a squirrel. It will get global coverage.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  6. You are better off if those editors don’t know your identity.

    Daryl Herbert (b5227b)

  7. The selective moral preening at the LAT (and the NYT) is a sight to behold. How much utter garbage do they print that comes from anonymous sources so no one knows if the statements are self-serving or bear any relation to the truth even though it’s presented as gospel? At least Jack D. identifies himself as a police officer. That should carry weight when discussing the subject of a new police chief.

    sam (1a8310)

  8. …and as I’ve said before, the LAT richly deserves to go out of business. (From a former newspaper reporter in Newark, NJ and New York who’s editors would never ever let him get away with the crap they pull at the LAT).

    sam (1a8310)

  9. What those editors don’t know, they can’t disclose. You should be breathing a huge sigh of relief about now.

    Soronel Haetir (2b4c2b)

  10. To complete the circle, who did the LAT endorse (if they did) for Chief back in 1997?

    David in San Diego (23f226)

  11. David,

    Pick the worst possible choice back then. Odds are good that’s who they supported.

    Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

  12. I thought Long Beach Chief of Police Tony Batts would be in the running for the LAPD job, however, he is jumping ship for the Oakland PD.

    Tug Speedman (d9d8ce)

  13. Nothing funnier than the International Man of Parody giving advice to Dunphy.

    SPQR (5811e9)

  14. The Times probably believes all those people calling themselves John Galt are really named John Galt.

    But can’t print anything from Jack, no siree. They have an ethical code to live up to. Got to keep the public’s trust and all that stuff. Can’t print stuff unless their legions of fact checkers and editors sign off. Without this trust the Times is only good for lining bird cages and washing windows.

    Wait, with the newsprint they are using today it’s only good for the bird cage.

    MU789 (ec86d5)

  15. an oxymoron, journalistic ethics. like the folks at the times are concerned with such things. and my name really is rollo tomassi

    rollo tomassi (753ae0)

  16. [...] my guest poster Jack Dunphy and then refusing to publish them because he uses a pseudonym. They did it again this year, and I think it’s pretty [...]

    Patterico's Pontifications » Patterico’s Los Angeles Dog Trainer Year in Review 2009 (e4ab32)


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