Armed Liberal slams L.A. Times columnist Steve Lopez for his column today.
Lopez gives his paper a pat on the back for its coverage of Phil Angelides and Steve Westly, and says:
I’m just wondering why the paper hasn’t gotten huzzahs from the professional gas bags who worked themselves into a frenzy three years ago over our equally tough reporting on a candidate named Arnold Schwarzenegger. As that doddering shill Hugh Hewitt put it back then, The Times was “an organ of the Democratic Party” with no interest other than “agenda journalism.”
I’ve explained the problems with the Gropegate story before, here and here.
In essence, my main problem was the timing: it was published less than a week before the election. Obviously, the paper wasn’t going to run the story after the election. Does anybody here, even one commenter, actually believe that the paper would have worked on this story for several weeks, and printed it three days after the election, because it “wasn’t ready” before then? If even one person believes that, please raise your hand.
I see no hands.
Editors set a deadline for the story: get it printed before the election. Well, if they could set that deadline, they could have set one a couple of weeks earlier, and run a less detailed story. They could have focused on covering fewer women, for example. That way, it wouldn’t have felt like a last-minute smear job that Arnold barely had time to respond to.
If your professor says get the term paper in by the last day of class, you do. If he says get it in two weeks before, you can do that, too. Maybe it won’t be quite as detailed. But you can do it — if you think it’s important.
It was important for the paper not to print that story with less than a week to go before the election. Stories like that are routinely seen as hatchet jobs — and for good reason. The candidate barely has time to respond. The issue dominates over all other issues.
Voters are tired of these late-hit stories.
The editors failed to understand this, and the paper’s reputation suffered dearly as a result.
Get it now, Steve?