Patterico's Pontifications

3/24/2007

Interesting Passage Disappears

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 9:50 pm



Kevin Roderick quotes Tim Cavanaugh as saying some eye-opening things at the L.A. Times blog:

Our former editor’s Daffy Duck routine has brought with it one benefit: We’ve been getting some better-than-usual traffic on this blog….

At moments of institutional embarrassment like this one, it’s customary to lament that this unfortunate business distracts from the good news of all the terrific work we’re doing, etc. I’d like to say just the opposite. This week’s mess distracts from the bad news (though it’s hardly news to people who follow the issue) that the Los Angeles Times work environment is one where doing anything more than the bare minimum is passively, and often actively, discouraged. On that note, I’d like to thank Andrés Martinez for his steadfast and enthusiastic support in guiding our new features and innovations through the corporate minefield. If not for Andrés, you would be looking at a much smaller catalogue of new features. I wish him the best, and hope that we can continue his ambition of making maximum use of new media to produce a better and more exciting Los Angeles Times.

(All emphasis in this post is mine.)

Interesting stuff. But there is one odd thing . . . it doesn’t seem to say that anymore:

I’d like to thank Andrés Martinez for his steadfast and enthusiastic support in guiding our new features and innovations through a work environment where change is frequently less than welcome. If not for Andrés, you would be looking at a much smaller catalogue of new features. I wish him the best, and hope that we can continue his ambition of making maximum use of new media to produce a better and more exciting Los Angeles Times.

Compare the two bold passages. The second, newer version is a little different, eh? A bit more . . . diplomatic and corporate sounding.

I wonder what happened there?

(H/t Edward.)

UPDATE: Tim Cavanaugh writes to explain what happened, and has authorized me to quote him:

Sorry to cause any confusion. I made that revision. My purpose with that post was to express my gratitude to and support for Martinez, and to draw some attention to our new wares during the excitement generated by the ongoing witch hunt/henpeck/circular firing squad/sewing circle/rearrangement of the deck chairs on the Titanic… (sorry: the cliches just write themselves). After some thought, and in consultation with nobody but myself, I decided I didn’t want to distract from the sendoff with more of the kind of sniping that is so common among LAT staffers. I stand 100 percent behind my characterization of the working culture of the LAT, but I think those comments were more appropriate to another forum–such as the excellent reporting you and Kevin Roderick are doing on this matter.

That sounds reasonable to me. Thanks to Tim for the note and the compliment.

15 Responses to “Interesting Passage Disappears”

  1. I must be dense. Who’s Daffy Duck here?

    Anwyn (a130c1)

  2. I think the Daffy reference is to Andres Martinez and the fact he has permanently burned his bridges with the LA Times.

    DRJ (6984d0)

  3. I thought it was a “you’re dethpicable” thing.

    Patterico (04465c)

  4. His lauding Martinez in the next graf was confusing, if he intended to mean Martinez by the reference.

    Anwyn (a130c1)

  5. “You’re dethpicable” is a good line, though, as rhetoric goes. 🙂

    Anwyn (a130c1)

  6. It wasn’t the next paragraph. I think I’ll alter my quote to remove the Daffy reference, so that’s more clear.

    Patterico (04465c)

  7. Ah. Read the link this time.

    Anwyn (a130c1)

  8. I may be wrong. I initially thought the Daffy Duck reference was a slam on Martinez – which didn’t make sense given the source – but the link goes to 6 memorable Daffy and Bugs quotes, including these:

    Daffy Duck: [screaming] WHAT? That rabbit’s name over mine? I’m the star. I’ll just see about this.

    [Daffy has blown himself up for a grand finale; the audience cheers]
    Bugs Bunny: That’s terrific, Daffy! They loved it. They want more.
    Daffy Duck: [a ghost rising to heaven] I know, I know, but I can only do it once.

    The last one struck me as the most appropriate for this situation since Mr. Martinez’s affiliation with the LA Times has so publicly “blown up.”

    DRJ (6984d0)

  9. The larger point, of course, is that part of the comment disappeared and that is dethpicable. Good job, Edward and Patterico, for noticing this and posting on it.

    DRJ (6984d0)

  10. New Kaus headline:

    The LAT Descends Into Civil War!
    Why the best thing it could do is disappear.

    More from Kaus:

    “Mystery #2: Why anyone good would be lured into coming to work for this paper now. Want to be Mayor of Ramadi?”
    And:

    “It’s not clear why the Times would need to recruit ‘guest editors’–they already more or less have them! In a relatively short period they’ve run through John Carroll and Dean Baquet and wound up with O’Shea. . .”

    Winchell (dab029)

  11. maybe he meant a porky pig moment—di dibba dibba dibba—that’s all folks.

    I am shocked to see editing going on at the LATimes.
    or is there something about a weblog at a newspaper website that requires other rules–I’m an old guy–that is a serious question.
    I see they haven’t taken down AM’s remarks though–the slam he penned a coupla minutes before walking out the door.
    Are you over-reaching here and with the Drum post?

    peter warren (f7c0b3)

  12. there’s no spanking like a corporate spanking.

    assistant devil's advocate (dec7e7)

  13. You know, it strikes me that, if they just let the upstarts be in charge at the paper — the young new hires like Richard Rushfield, Matt Welch, and Rob Barrett — they’d put out a much better paper. Why bring in Grazer to decide who does op-eds? Matt Welch, who, if you look at his Reason Mag years and his blog, is a pretty insightful, innovative-thinking guy. Why not just let Matt decide who goes in the op-ed section some weekend? Wow — you mean, hire good people, then just let them do their jobs? Put Matt in charge and you might just get somebody fascinating to read; say, Heather Havrilesky, instead of Rosa Parks — sorry, Rosa Brooks — Barbara Ehrenreich’s unreadable Virginia law professor daughter.

    P.S. My own column and other writing has been banned from the features section paper for about a decade, thanks to a joke about my breasts I made in a story in the Magazine about my stolen pink Rambler. (They sent me a letter saying “Never send us anything again. We’re content with the writers we have. We’re not seeking new writers.”) The fact that I’m local and my column’s kinda popular and causes a lot of discussion in the hundred-plus papers it runs in around the country doesn’t seem to count for much.

    And note that they only occasionally ran Cathy Seipp, and only in op-ed. Agree with her or not, you couldn’t help but read her. Nooo, wouldn’t want to have somebody like THAT in the features section!

    Two good pieces they have run in the past year in features: Rushfield’s “Lonely Girl 15” and JR Moehringer’s piece on Max Baer’s kid in West.

    Amy Alkon (282cc3)

  14. New Kaus headline:

    The LAT Descends Into Civil War!
    Why the best thing it could do is disappear.

    More from Kaus:

    “Mystery #2: Why anyone good would be lured into coming to work for this paper now. Want to be Mayor of Ramadi?”
    And:

    “It’s not clear why the Times would need to recruit ‘guest editors’–they already more or less have them! In a relatively short period they’ve run through John Carroll and Dean Baquet and wound up with O’Shea. . .”

    Jake Gittes (dab029)


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