Patterico's Pontifications


Everybody Counts or Nobody Counts

Filed under: Crime,Dog Trainer,General,War — Patterico @ 11:59 am

In Section B of the print edition of the Los Angeles Times today is a list of all the military deaths in the country. Section B is called the “California” section — yet the paper finds space in that section to list 34 deaths of military personnel from Indiana, New Mexico, North Carolina, Utah, and other states across the country. The paper does this every week.

Meanwhile, in the same Los Angeles Times, victims of violence in Compton and other parts of South Los Angeles often don’t even get mentioned in the print edition of the paper — even though these deaths are happening locally, right under the editors’ noses. The online-only Homicide Report lists 16 people killed since May 29 — in Los Angeles alone. They’re not all gang members, either — for example, Quanisha Pitts was a 17-year-old girl out on a date.

The report of her death appears only in the online-only Homicide Report. Quanisha Pitts’s story didn’t merit a single word in the “California section.” And that is common for deaths in South Los Angeles — a place that, last time I checked, is in “California.” What’s more, it’s in “Los Angeles,” which I believe is the area theoretically covered by the “Los Angeles” Times.

Both military deaths in Iraq and murders in Los Angeles are important. Both are symptomatic of a larger and newsworthy problem.

But only one set of deaths is getting any prominence in the Los Angeles paper — and it’s not the one most relevant to Los Angeles.

Make of that what you will.

P.S. Thanks to Michael Connelly’s character Harry Bosch for the title of the post.

12 Responses to “Everybody Counts or Nobody Counts”

  1. Well, it’s indicative of an anti-war political agenda, a lack of caring for the violence which directly affects citizens of L.A., and the conceit they are so important they have a greater responsibility to “the nation” and not their own city.

    That’s what I make of it.

    Christoph (bad4f9)

  2. Meanwhile, in the same Los Angeles Times, victims of violence in Compton and other parts of South Los Angeles often don’t even get mentioned in the print edition of the paper — even though these deaths are happening locally, right under the editors’ noses. – Patterico

    You’re saying this didn’t appear in the print edition?:,0,1775350.story

    steve (282766)

  3. I am more cynical than Christoph. LAT is protecting the city administration and trying to hurt the Bush administration.

    nk (c66fe9)

  4. I said “often” not “never” — and I specifically said that the killing of Quanisha Pitts did not appear in the print edition.

    The story you link, steve, is not about Quanisha Pitts. Here are the basics of what happened to her, as reported by the Homicide Report:

    Quanisha Pitts, 17, a young black woman, was struck in the back and neck by gunfire in the 1200 block of South Wadsworth Avenue in Compton. Her time of death at a hospital was listed as 12:54 a.m. May 26.

    Link in the post.

    You reference killings that happened in June.

    Why do I think Ms. Pitts’s death was not reported in the print edition? Because Jill Leovy, who reported it in the Homicide Report, said so (link also in the above post):

    “They send you, by yourself? Where are your lights? Where are your trucks? Your cameras?” he demanded. “You can tell your supervisor that I was displeased! Displeased with you coming out here with a little digital camera–a little digital camera–for this! Where are your trucks?” Martin, a retired school-district worker, assumed a look of disgust. “One single reporter,” he repeated. “To do a story that will be three lines on page 20.”

    The story was about 17-year-old Quanisha Pitts, who was killed down the block from where Martin lives. In fact, the write-up didn’t appear in the Los Angeles Times print edition, but rather on this web page.

    So: you were saying?

    Patterico (eeb415)

  5. The LAT won’t admit the 50 year Liberal occupation of Compton and South LA has failed and become a quagmire. Withdrawal is overdue.

    Perfect Sense (b6ec8c)

  6. Perhaps if we withdraw law enforcement, violence will subside? The L.A.P.D., afer all, are provoking the violence from the formerly peace loving people of South L.A. and Compton.

    Perhaps, to test pacifist theories, we should also withdraw law enforcement from Vermont and San Fransisco — the peace and reduction in crime which occurs there will be our queue to withdraw in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Makes sense to me. What do you think?

    Christoph (bad4f9)

  7. I’ve changed my mind. They do need more publicity. With publicity the mayor and the supervisors will be forced to allot more funding for LAPD to solve these murders. I know a couple of months ago, they reassigned homicide detectives around the city to south central.

    sam (8c66ab)

  8. The LAT selectively underplays homicides and crime waves are often first identified in alternative and broadcast reports.

    But Jill Leovy’s pieces on South LA killings do make the print edition – assuming this was among them:,1,2856374.story?track=rss

    steve (282766)

  9. But Jill Leovy’s pieces on South LA killings do make the print edition – assuming this was among them:

    steve, here is your assignment. Go back through the L.A. County homicides for the past month and tell me whether 100% were reported in the print edition.

    Then tell me whether 100% of Iraq deaths were in the print edition.

    I didn’t say none of her homicide pieces make the paper. Some do, and some are three lines on Page 20 like the people quoted in the post about Quanisha Pitts said.

    Some don’t make it at all. Including 17-year-old girls out on dates.

    Patterico (eeb415)

  10. Christoph –
    Compton is an independent city within the County of Los Angeles, but is not part of the City of Los Angeles.
    In fact, law enforcement within the City of Compton has been so problematic, that the city (founded in 1888) disbanded its’ Police Department, and contracted (within the last ten years IIRC) for police services with the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department.

    I guess the next step would be to call for an International Force of Peacekeepers from the UN.

    Another Drew (4d2fc0)

  11. Everyone knows the playbook. This is nothing new. While I hardly love the LAT, no the killing as deplorable as it is, simply isn’t news.

    No one cares, outside the poor girl’s family. She’s hardly the only innocent slaughtered in South Central. There is a list of homicides including 14 year old boys walking home from School, elderly grandmothers, men working at Kragen Auto Parts out for a lunch break at a taco stand, and on and on.

    People in South Central don’t really care. If they did they’d swallow their objections to mostly white police arresting and jailing young black gangbangers (along with hispanic ones). With a mostly white DA’s office convicting them and sending them to prison for long stretches. That’s how the killings stop.

    Instead we see “anti-Snitch” campaigns in South Central and many other black ghettos. Featured prominently in Rap Videos, with Rap Artists saying they would not turn in serial killers to the police. Because it’s snitching.

    Shrug. I understand why. Gangbangers are a militia against other gangs and ethnic intrusion. South Central made it’s choice, as shown in the screaming over the death of Devon Brown, as sad as it was the message was well received. As Jack Dunphy says “Drive and Wave.”

    Mayor Tony can put all the cops he wants on South Central. Few of them are going to do a thing more than Drive and Wave. Any serious and violent confrontation, which is practically guaranteed, when dealing with gang-bangers, will result in being brought up on charges by an outraged community. Which has quite deliberately chosen Gang Bangers over stopping murders.

    So we all know how this will end. Eventually the murders will spill over to the Westside, imperiling all that pricey real estate. Folks won’t shop at the Third Street Promenade, the Grove, or Westwood if there are bullets flying and people bleeding out. Bad for business. And home values too. So, the crackdown will begin. With the South Central and other community groups simply ignored when the bottom line is at stake.

    That is the playbook. It’s utterly predictable.

    Where I would fault the Times is not covering the larger aspects of the story as described above. It’s utterly obvious to anyone. But the LAT.

    Jim Rockford (e09923)

  12. Can we realy trust the numbers put forth by the liberal left-wing news media

    krazy kagu (d982eb)

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