Newspapers get facts wrong — all the time. Have you ever read a newspaper article about a topic concerning which you had personal knowledge? Did it get all the facts right?
When I ask people that question, the answer is, invariably, “no.”
Case in point: the other day, the L.A. Times reported on Antonio Villaraigosa’s jury duty downtown, in the Criminal Courts Building where I work.
Although the criminal courthouse is across the street from City Hall, its atmosphere is a world away from the stately home of the city’s government, with its high frescoed ceilings and engraved quotations from the likes of Cicero.
The fifth floor hallway — which leads to the courtroom of Judge Lance Ito, among others — was a bustling, chaotic scene. Accused felons consulted with their lawyers. Inconvenienced mothers crocheted angrily. An unhappy toddler keened in the background.
Since when is Lance Ito’s courtroom on the fifth floor? It’s been on the ninth floor since O.J. It was on the ninth floor when I was sent there for a murder trial several months ago. And I’m pretty dang sure it’s still there. (If I’m wrong about this, I’ll let you know tomorrow, when I’m back at work.)
This mistake seems especially odd to me. I mean, I already know these people hardly ever get anything right. But can’t they at least figure out what floor they’re on?
P.S. I’m not really planning on seeking a correction on this, since it seems so trivial. However, if any of you are sadistic and want to pursue it, you know what to do. Just don’t tell ’em I sent you.