Patterico's Pontifications


Los Angeles Times Neglects To Mention Black Mother’s Increased Admiration For Police Officers After She Was Shot At Dallas Protest

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:35 am

[guest post by Dana]

Last week, Shetamia Taylor, concerned about police officer shootings involving black men, took her four sons to the Black Lives Matter protest in Dallas. During the subsequent melee, Taylor, who is not an activist and resides in a Dallas suburb, ended up with a bullet in her leg.

Yesterday, in front of cameras, an emotional Taylor recounted the awful events as the protest turned for the worse. The Los Angeles Times reports:

After she was shot, Taylor managed to grab her 15-year-old son, Andrew Humphrey, and push him between a car and the curb, shielding him with her body.

“I was just laying on top of him,” she said. “If it was going to happen to one of my sons, it was going to happen to me first.”

She watched police stream up the block toward them — and the shooting. One of them shouted, “Is anybody hit?’”

Andrew yelled no, unaware that his mother was injured.

Taylor didn’t want to alarm him, and called out quietly to one of the officers, “Yes, sir, I’m hit in my leg!”

Police rushed over, most of them white officers, and jumped on top of Taylor and her son. “There was another one at our feet and another one over our head and several of them lying against a wall. And they just stayed there with us,” she said. “I had never seen anything like that before, the way they came around us and guarded us like that.”

It’s a gripping story of a mother’s love and strength compelling her to do what loving parents are hardwired to do. But it’s more than that. It’s yet another testament to the commitment of police officers to lay down their lives for those who are not their own children, not their loved ones, but are quite simply, the public whom they have sworn to serve and protect.

Interestingly, not included in the report by the Los Angeles Times is Shetamia Taylor’s significant pledge of support for law enforcement:

“I’ve always held police officers, at a very high place in life,” Taylor said of police officers. “My son, my youngest one, since he was six, that’s all he wants to do and I’m going to support him in that, and I’m going to continue to support my community, my police officers. I’ve never had an issue with police officers. And if anything, it’s just made my admiration for them greater, it really it has.”

When a Black Lives Matter protest runs horribly amok and a black mother, with four sons in tow, ends up getting shot in the leg by a black sniper targeting white police officers expresses her admiration and increased respect for law enforcement, you might want to mention it. Especially in light of Dallas Police Chief David Brown’s emotional statement to Jake Tapper:

We’re sworn to protect you and your right to protest, and we’ll give our lives for it,” Brown said.

“And it’s sort of like being in a relationship where you love that person, but that person can’t express or show you love back,” he said. “I don’t know if you’ve been in a relationship like that before, Jake, but that’s a tough relationship to be in, where we show our love — because there’s no greater love than to give your life for someone, and that’s what we’re continuing to be willing to do.”

“And we just need to hear from the protesters back to us, ‘We appreciate the work you do for us in our right to protest,'” Brown said. “That should be fairly easy.”

It was obviously fairly very easy for Shetamia Taylor to express her appreciation. Apparently it wasn’t so easy for the Los Angeles Times to relay her message to readers.



Los Angeles Times Fulfills Its Proper Function (Photo)

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:51 pm

My deepest thanks to reader Steve L. for the finest email I have received in recent memory:

Attached are two photos taken 30 minutes ago at the pet store in Fashion Island, Newport Beach.

You will no doubt notice the correct use of the LA Times.

Let me also take this opportunity to extend my warmest wishes to you for the holiday season, and to let you know that you are always welcome at my new home in [redacted by Patterico].

Keep up the outstanding work.

Here is one of the attached photos:

Screen Shot 2015-12-05 at 12.17.47 PM
Above: The L.A. Dog Trainer fulfills its true function

Let’s always remember that the term “Dog Trainer” for this paper was coined by Harry Shearer. All I did was steal it and, in my own small way, help popularize it.

Thanks again to Steve L.


The Los Angeles Times: We Don’t Need To Talk About Grubergate, After All, We Gave You All Of Those Palin Emails

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:05 pm

[guest post by Dana]

As JVW pointed out this weekend, the Los Angeles Times finally acknowledged Grubergate…in the Sports section and as a introduction to an op-ed about the NFL.

This weekend, I emailed the LAT Readers’ Rep to ask why there has been, thus far, no reporting on the six Gruber videos:

Ms. Edgar,

It has been a week since the first videos of Jonathan Gruber discussing the behind-the-scenes motivations and decisions regarding Obamacare were released. Why has the LAT not reported on a story that has blown up so rapidly? The president responded to Gruber’s assertions today from Australia, and still nothing from the LAT. As the Washington Post, New York Times and Wall St. Journal have all been giving print space to these important revelations, why is the LAT ignoring what is an issue of great importance as well as impacting millions? I would think your newspaper would be right on top of this in your commitment to keeping readers well informed. Unfortunately, what it looks like to readers is that there is a partisanship at work here and that the LAT is giving cover to this administration. Please explain to me how this assumption is incorrect.

I look forward to hearing back from you.

Tonight I did another search at the LAT for any Grubergate reporting and came up empty-handed. However, ironically, when I searched “Sarah Palin emails”, 48 results popped up! I didn’t scan through all of them, but I did pull up the database the newspaper had set up to catalog 444 Palin emails. Remember that? Readers were even invited to comment and make suggestions at the “Sarah Palin emails: The Alaska archive.” I couldn’t help but think, hm, that’s 444 emails vs. 6 videos. How much effort did it take to read through the emails, catalog them by date, and of course, closely scan them for any salacious tidbits vs. how much effort would it take to post six YouTube videos that revealed we were lied to by this administration and that they counted on our stupidity? I mean, would it really be that exhausting of an effort? Surely their Obamacare would cover any wrist guards necessary for preventing onset Carpal Tunnel from loading the videos. As it stands, I’m sure on this we can agree: this administration will never have to doubt whether they can still count on the LAT.

On a side note, while searching for Grubergate mention, I found an op-ed written by Gruber himself from February 2014. You can read it here. In light of the recent Gruber videos and his comments, the op-ed is post-worthy in itself.

I will keep readers informed when if I hear back from the Readers’ Rep.


UPDATE BY PATTERICO: Nice post. Here is the disclosure the L.A. Times made to Gruber’s op-ed:

Jonathan Gruber is a professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a member of the Scholars Strategy Network.

Is that good enough, when the guy was getting paid by the White House to help draft the legislation? I think not.


The Los Angeles Times Has A New Publisher

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:52 am

[guest post by Dana]

It was announced this week that Austin Beutner is the new publisher and CEO of the Los Angeles Times. Previous publisher Eddy W. Hartenstein recommended Beutner for the job:

“I wanted to find someone who was clearly steeped and invested in the city, and who has the same belief that I do, which is that a democracy doesn’t work without a vibrant Fourth Estate,” said Hartenstein, who was publisher for six years.

About the Los Angeles Times, Beutner says:

“The role of the paper is pretty clear. We’re the civic conscience. If we don’t ask the hard questions, who will?”

The article goes on to note Beutner’s civic and charitable works, as well as being the founder of investment banking firm Evercore Partners, which Beutner is said to have made more than $100 million dollars when the firm went public in 2006. He has also worked for Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and the Clinton administration.

While the LAT, of course, gives Beutner high praise, Cal-Newsroom analyzes Beutner’s political contributions, including more than a quarter million dollars to the Democratic Party and its candidates in recent years. According to campaign finance records:

Since his first $250 check to Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Mark Green in 1998, Beutner has contributed $316,655 to political candidates at the local, state and federal level.

Ninety percent of those contributions – $285,855 – has gone to Democratic committees, including $129,700 to President Barack Obama, $85,300 to California Governor Jerry Brown and $25,000 to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Beutner also wrote a million dollar check to his own 2013 Los Angeles mayoral exploratory committee. A few highlights of his contributions*:

Committee Amount OBAMA VICTORY FUND 2012 $35,800.00
BROWN FOR GOVERNOR 2014, ID#1333789 $27,200.00
BROWN FOR GOVERNOR 2014, ID#1333789 $27,200.00
BROWN FOR GOVERNOR 2010, ID#1321867 $25,900.00
OBAMA VICTORY FUND 2012 $25,000.00
ANDREW CUOMO 2014, INC. $12,500.00
ANDREW CUOMO 2014, INC. $12,500.00
BROWN FOR GOVERNOR 2010, ID#1321867 $5,000.00
HOPEFUND, INC. $5,000.00
WHITMAN FOR GOVERNOR 2010, MEG, ID#1315455 $5,000.00
Bobby Shriver $1,500.00
Bobby Shriver $300.00

* Beutner’s contributions to Republican candidates totaled less than 4 percent of his political contributions.



Is the Los Angeles Times Committing Suicide?

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 6:59 am

Careful when you click on those L.A. Times links these days. You get only 15 stories a month, and then they’ll charge you.

John Seiler says they’re trying to commit suicide. The L.A. Times would likely point to the Wall Street Journal as an example of a publication that has successfully gone to a pay model. Here’s the problem as Seiler sees it:

The Journal’s model is succeeding because the Journal offers more than basic news: It offers specialty news, on finances. People will pay money to make money. The’ll also pay money for other specialty news, such as dating and game sites. That model also is working for the Financial Times, which specializes in international business news.

If you’re a bond trader making well into the six figures a year, paying for an FT or Journal subscription is chump change. It provides crucial information you use for your business. Those publications also provide large research files for checking out potential businesses to invest in. But that model doesn’t work for publications that provide news one can get elsewhere.

As to the New York Times, it lost $40 million last year. So why imitate their business model?

There is another problem: the Journal is just a better paper. I know someone who no longer subscribes to the Times, because it infuriates him, while he does subscribe to the Journal, because it’s a good paper and he likes it.

That person is me.

I am far from the only one to have dumped his L.A. Times subscription in recent years, by the way. Seiler has this eye-opening graph. The yellow line represents the L.A. Times‘s plummeting subscription base over time:


And this gets us into the reason people start dumping their subscriptions. I agree with Seiler that part of the problem is that the business model is changing. Kids don’t subscribe to newspapers; people generally seem to think they are entitled to news for free. Seiler also points to the paper’s liberal bias, which I personally don’t think is the reason for their financial problems — but which certainly does alienate the few conservatives in Los Angeles, and which also gives me the chance to piggyback a fine rant onto one of Seiler’s:

And as my colleague Steven Greenhut wrote today, columnist Michael Hiltzik has defended the possibly criminal fraud eco-extremist Peter Gleick perpetrated against the Heartland Institute. Gleick himself has apologized. Yet Hiltzik wrote: “But it’s Heartland, which has tagged Gleick with the epithets above, that should be answering for its nearly three-decade history of corporate shilldom.”

So, Hiltzik says it’s OK for Gleick to perpetuate a fraud. And the Los Angeles Times employes Hiltzik. So why should I believe anything written in the Times?

It’s worse than that, Mr Seiler.  In the past, Hiltzik has actually perpetrated a fraud on the public and his readers himself,  praising himself under false “sock puppet” names.  (In fact, this was revealed by a blogger whose name eludes me for the moment — people tell me he used to be pretty good.) And when the revelation went public, Hiltzik lost his business column, and the editor explained that employing a false name in the manner Hiltzik did was deceptive and could not be tolerated. A great message, except . . .

. . . except that Hiltzik now has that very same column back. In other words, deception is back in style at the Los Angeles Times. And Hiltzik is using his column to promote deceit like Gleick’s — because this particular form of deceit serves his ultra-partisan leftist agenda.

Mmm, that’s quality journalism! Where can I sign up to pay for that kind of reading experience?

It remains to be seen whether the Times is committing suicide. If so, I say more power to them. I like some of the people there, but the institution?

I want it dead.

Thanks to elissa.


Los Angeles Times Distorts Evidence on Public Opinion Regarding Global Warming

Filed under: Dog Trainer,Environment,General — Patterico @ 7:30 am

The Los Angeles Times recently opened a story on climate change opinion in the following manner:

After several years of finding that fewer and fewer Americans believed in man-made climate change, pollsters are now finding that belief is on the uptick.

The newest study from the National Survey of American Public Opinion on Climate Change, which is a biannual survey taken since fall 2008 and organized by the Brookings Institute, shows that 62% of Americans now believe that man-made climate change is occurring, and 26% do not. The others are unsure.

There’s one slight problem with those opening paragraphs: they are absolutely 100% false. The survey in question reported on public opinion regarding global warming . . . not man-made global warming.

Click on the link above to the word “study.” It goes to a short description of the survey. The description is titled “Belief in Global Warming on the Rebound: National Survey of American Public Opinion on Climate Change.” There is a link to a .pdf of the report on the survey. I have gone ahead and uploaded it to my site, so you can read it here.

Feel free to search for any evidence that the survey deals with man-made global warming. You won’t find it. The opening paragraph of the report states:

After a period of declining levels of belief in global warming there appears to be a modest rebound in the percentage of Americans that believe temperatures on the planet are increasing. . . . The survey, which was fielded in December of 2011, found 62% of Americans agreeing that there is solid evidence that average temperatures on earth have been getting warmer over the past four decades, with 26% of U.S. residents maintaining an opposing view on the matter.

These statistics are the same ones mentioned in the opening paragraphs of the L.A. Times article. The problem is that there is no reference to the concept that the survey relates to man-made global warming — the claim made by the L.A. Times. The questions asked in the survey included questions like: “Is there solid evidence that the average temperature on Earth has been getting warmer over the past four decades?” and “What is the primary factor that has caused you to believe that temperatures on earth are increasing?” (The latter question does not address what people thought was the cause of warmer temperatures, but what was the cause of their change in beliefs. Answers included factors like melting ice caps, Al Gore’s documentary, and the like.)

The difference is huge. The evidence that the planet has been warming, while disputed by some, seems to me be quite strong. Whether that warming is man-made; whether humans significantly contribute to the warming trend; whether the evidence backs up the scientists’ contentions . . . these are questions that are far more subject to dispute.

Ironically, the study observes:

While Americans who think the planet is warming largely disagree with the premise that the media and climate scientists are overstating evidence about global warming, most citizens who do not see evidence of increasing temperatures on Earth believe that the scientists and the press are distorting evidence about the matter.

And they’re right . . . as evidenced by the distortions in this article regarding their opinions!

This comes to us via reader G.H., who says he has brought the matter to the attention of the Readers’ Representative. Apparently in vain, since there is no correction appended to the article.

I believe this is a black-and-white factual error. The article claims that the survey measures changes in beliefs on man-made global warming, and it just doesn’t. So I’ll make this another of my quixotic battles. This post is the opening salvo. It would be nice if it were the only shot I have to fire, as my time and energy are short. If any of you want to take up the next step and write a letter to the Readers’ Rep, that would be fantastic. I will publish every single one you write, together with any response you receive.


Los Angeles Times (Possibly) Errs in Describing Third Striker’s Record; UPDATE: And Possibly Not; NEW UPDATE: Definitely Not

Filed under: Crime,Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 8:14 pm

I am going to refrain from commenting on the following case except for noting evidence of a possible error by the Los Angeles Times. Here is the Times report:

To hear him tell his story, John Wesley Ewell was the victim of an overly harsh criminal justice system.

The South Los Angeles hairstylist complained to journalists over the last decade about the unfairness of the state’s tough three-strikes law, saying he lived in fear that even a small offense would land him back in prison for life.

He even appeared on the “The Montel Williams Show” to argue the case against three strikes. A caption that flashed on the screen when Ewell spoke read: “Afraid to leave his house because he has 2 ‘Strikes.'”

But Ewell is now charged with murdering four people in a series of home invasion robberies that terrorized the South Bay this fall. On Tuesday, he pleaded not guilty during a brief appearance at the Airport Courthouse.

Far from embodying the severity of the justice system, Ewell benefited from its lenience over the last 16 years, according to a Times review of court records and interviews.

Ewell has a lengthy criminal history that includes two robbery convictions from the 1980s.

Meanwhile, Larry Altman at the Daily Breeze reports:

Records show Ewell has an extensive criminal history dating to the 1980s that includes grand theft, robbery, burglary and forgery.

The complaint shows him with two prior “strikes” for robbery convictions in 1988 and 2005.

Frankly, between the L.A. Times and Larry Altman at the Daily Breeze — a reporter I respect quite a bit — I’m going with the Daily Breeze on this one.

If he’s right, the Los Angeles Times owes its readers a correction.

And that’s all I’m going to say about that.

UPDATE: Poking around some more, there are other stories whose facts suggest that Altman got it wrong. A Press-Telegram editorial says:

From a prosecutor’s viewpoint, Ewell didn’t seem violent. As the LA Times reported, his most recent arrest was for petty thievery at a Huntington Park Home Depot. He had been out of prison since 2002 . . .

If he had a robbery conviction in 2005, he would not have been out of prison since 2002. Similarly, the New York Times implies that he already had the two strikes on his record in the 1990s:

Judges convicted him of forcing a woman to withdraw money at an A.T.M. in 1985 and pulling a man from a parked truck, binding his arms and driving off with the man’s wallet. He became an advocate of repealing the three-strikes law, which allows for life sentences on a third conviction, appearing at events and on the “The Montel Williams Show” and saying he feared being thrown in prison for good.

Under the law, a person with two felony convictions is eligible for a sentence of 25 years to life on any third offense. In most California counties, that law is applied as written, Mr. Grace said. But in Los Angeles, he said, public outcry against life imprisonment for third offenses as minor as “stealing a piece of pizza” led the current district attorney, Steve Cooley, to win his post in 2000 on a platform of reforming the law. Mr. Grace said Mr. Cooley’s “office policy is to treat as a second-strike case” a third offense that is not violent. In the late 1990s, when Mr. Ewell was convicted of forging a check, prosecutors did not pursue a life sentence.

So perhaps the L.A. Times got it right after all. It will be interesting to see whether they run any editorials about the case — given that their editorials have for years called for precisely the sort of treatment this individual received from the system.

UPDATE 12-11-10: Turns out the reporters got it right after all. Ewell had robbery convictions in 1985 and 1989. Details and proof here. My apologies for suggesting the paper got it wrong.


Eric Boehlert: “Why does the Los Angeles Times hate Obama?”

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 11:29 pm

Yes, that is really the title of his post. You’d think one glance at one of my year-end reviews of the L.A. Times would somewhat dispel that notion. And it would . . . for honest people.

But such a label does not easily fit Eric Boehlert, Senior Lotion Fellow at Media Matters, who asks how the L.A. Times can possibly allow one of its bloggers, Andrew Malcolm, to display something less than complete respect for the legend known as Barack Obama:

So my question is a simple one: Why does one of the largest newspapers in the country allow its political writer to routinely disrespect the president in a casually insulting way? To portray the president as some kind of punk. . . . [W]hy does the Times allows one of its high-profile political writers to continually adopt a hateful Rush Limbaugh and Fox News-like tone and personally degrade the presidency?

Indeed. Don’t they know that opinion people at major newspapers need to be kept in line? At least when they’re criticizing liberals.

Boehlert is upset because Malcolm has been allowed to call Barack Obama things like this:

* ”the United States’ Democratic Smoker-in-Chief”
* “the Real Good Talker”
* “Smoker-in-Chief”
* “the community organizer”
* “ex-state senator”
* “The Smoker”
* “the nation’s top talker”
* “what’s-his-name in the White House”
* “Duffer-in-Chief”
* “the ex-senator from Illinois”

Those are all pretty good, I’d say . . . and accurate.

I asked Andrew Malcolm if he would like to respond to Boehlert’s nonsense. He sent me this quote for publication:

Receiving this kind of free publicity AND our second Keith Olbermann Worse Person Award on only our 3rd blog birthday is a heartwarming treat. As are all the resulting new Twitter followers @latimestot. We also heartily enjoyed the claim that there are no counterbalancing liberals at the LA Times. God bless America and what’s-his-name.

The penultimate sentence refers to Boehlert’s bleating and incredible whine that “There is no sharply partisan liberal voice on the blog or any other of the Times’ political commentary outlets.”

Really?! When did they fire Tim Rutten, Michael Hiltzik, David Lazarus, and James Rainey? (Boehlert will probably try to tell us that these aren’t political commentators; Hiltzik, for example, is a “business columnist.” Uh, right. Just keep telling yourself that.)

Boehlert says:

And I don’t even have to do a Google search to know for a fact that when President Bush was in office, there was nobody on staff at the Times, and certainly nobody writing off the opinion pages, who was allowed to so casually insult the office of the presidency on a regular basis.

Well, he certainly packed that with enough weaselly qualifiers that he can mount a bullshit rebuttal to any mass of evidence to the contrary, but let’s collect some counterexamples anyway, shall we? I sauntered around the Top of the Ticket blog and found a few items; no doubt you could find more . . .

Kate Linthicum wrote that President Bush’s Hannukah invitations made him look “like a schmo.” Such disrespect for the office of the president!

Johanna Neuman talked about Bush’s “cowboy diplomacy” and never missed a chance to note that Dick Cheney has often been described by liberals as the “Darth Vader of American politics.”

Steve Padilla had this rip-roaringly funny joke about the George W. Bush Presidential Center:

We can’t help wondering if the center will include an exhibit on weapons of mass destruction. It could even be interactive — visitors could wander the complex and never find the WMD. Just a thought.

Hey, they laughed around the water cooler in the newsroom . . .

Mark Milian called Bush “the master of malapropisms.” Similarly, Don Frederick called him the “malaprop gift that keeps giving.”

Oh, the lack of respect for the presidency!!!! except that he kind of had a point . . . like Malcolm does with Obama.

For example, Boehlert faults Malcolm for calling Obama the “Smoker-in-Chief.” But here is the context: health care legislation pushing nannystate provisions:

Many of us were unaware of the need for federal regulation of local menus. But apparently the Democratic congressional majorities and the Smoker-in-Chief believe their bureaucrats must assist health-conscious Americans who are too dumb to figure out that a salad has fewer calories than a triple-burger buried in fries, even if those same stupid Americans were smart enough to elect all these folks in 2008.

It’s a fair point to note that a guy driving all these sanctimonious health care nanny provisions is consistently engaged in one of the least healthy habits known to man.

Ultimately, Boehlert is the same pathetic whiner he always is. But this screed really takes the cake. Thanks to Bradley J. Fikes for bringing it to my attention.

P.S. A couple more examples penned by Malcolm himself: in this post he called John McCain “the old guy from Arizona” and Sarah Palin “the Alaskan lipstick lady, who’s gonna do her own book about losing.” And in this one he referred to “those GOP suits on Capitol Hill who make Benadryl seem like a stimulant.”

Eric Boehlert didn’t tell you about those . . . did he?

UPDATE: Boehlert has cross-posted his post at a site devoted to incivility to Bush: The Smirking Chimp.


Holy Cow: Los Angeles Times Kills “California” Section

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 1:19 am

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.


Los Angeles Times: We Repeat Lies, But Don’t Claim They’re True . . .

Filed under: Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 12:47 am

In a story about the Messiah’s Crackberry, the L.A. Times tells us:

Even if [Obama] won’t be scanning his own groceries or buying his own milk — former President George H.W. Bush was portrayed as out of touch with those markers of American life — he may be in casual contact with friends who are.

The paper neglects to mention the fact that the portrayal of Bush 41 as “out of touch” with supermarket scanners . . . is false.

But who cares about that? The key thing is that he has been portrayed that way. Whether the portrayal is true is of secondary importance.

That’s how editors would treat a slander about one of their own . . . right?

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