Patterico's Pontifications


Best Ever — Even with the Phones

Filed under: Judiciary — Patterico @ 11:37 pm

This is pretty interesting: Dahlia Lithwick and Jan Crawford Greenburg on, discussing Clarence Thomas’s book.

Why the hell are they holding telephones to their heads? It’s 2007! You never heard of headsets?

Still, great stuff.

Looks Like Andres Martinez Didn’t Do Anything Wrong After All

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 11:14 pm

I recently wondered: whatever happened to that promised L.A. Times report on Andres Martinez? (You remember him: the L.A. Times editorial page editor whose main squeeze was tangentially connected with a producer that Martinez wanted to make editor-for-a-day.) I considered the whole matter overblown — something that could have been handled with a simple disclosure. But no, the publisher insisted on an investigation to see whether L.A. Times opinion might have been influenced by sex, rather than the traditional and accepted influences of hidebound political correctness and stale, institutional leftism.

So I wrote Jamie Gold, the “Readers’ Representative” who was charged with the investigation, and asked her whatever became of her report. Here is her reply, with my emphasis:

Hi, thanks for asking. No, the results of the review weren’t published in the L.A. Times. After I completed the review for the publisher, I turned it over to him. Here’s the publisher’s statement in response to inquiries:

The Readers’ Representative concluded her review of the issue involving a potential conflict of interest involving the former editorial pages editor. Based on the internal investigation, we have not found that anything was published in the Times – or that anything was withheld from publication – because of this relationship. The situation is a reminder that even the appearance of a conflict of interest can raise questions about the paper’s credibility, and all such situations should be disclosed and reviewed with one’s supervisor.

Reporter Jim Rainey did ask me about the findings. I’m out of the office for the next week and not signing on often; if you want more information, perhaps it is best if you contact him directly for his thoughts.

Jamie Gold
Readers’ Representative

Translation: they didn’t find a thing.

So why wasn’t this reported in the L.A. Times? What in the hell is going on here?

Way back when, we were told by publisher David Hiller that the reader’s right to know was Concern Number One:

Hiller said Gold would try to discern whether any undue influence had taken place.

“She will report to me and ultimately, if appropriate, to the readers, who are first and foremost our concern,” he said.

I guess they aren’t your concern now. Why was it not “appropriate” to report that Martinez did nothing wrong after all? Are you afraid it will make you look like you drove out a decent editorial page editor for no good reason, other than to appease moralistic scolds like Tim Rutten and Henry Weinstein?

Friends, correct me if I’m wrong, but I think this is An Exclusive. I don’t think this has been published anywhere. L.A. Observed hasn’t touched the subject since March. And I’m coming up with nothing on the L.A. Times web site.

Someone tell me: why is that?

I still have some questions, and I have sent them to Jamie Gold and will forward them on to Jim Rainey. Namely, to your knowledge, was this ever published anywhere? When did Gold turn over this information to the publisher? And why didn’t the paper publish the findings??

And can I have a copy of the report?

(Leakers, I’m looking at you. If you have the report, send it along and I’ll publish it.)

UPDATE: I changed the term “dumped” to “drove out” because, technically, Martinez quit and wasn’t fired. But after the way he was treated, I think he properly felt his situation was untenable. He wasn’t fired — but he was driven out.

UPDATE x2: How bad could Martinez be? After all his transgressions, the paper is still letting him participate in the Dust-Up this week.

I Wonder if He Fastened his Seatbelt?

Filed under: Political Correctness — DRJ @ 8:08 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

I know modern children are precocious but this is novel.


The Republican Debate: Vodkapundit Version

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 2:32 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

If I’ve learned one thing on the internet, it’s that the go-to guy for debate live-blogging is Vodkapundit.


Major League Sports Talk

Filed under: Miscellaneous — DRJ @ 7:56 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

Tempted as I am to post on the Cowboys’ dramatic come-from-behind victory at Buffalo that included 6 Dallas (Romo) turnovers and 9 points in the last 20 seconds …

Who wants to talk about football when it’s crunch time for major league baseball?


A Not So Hypothetical Hypothetical

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 12:03 am

Let me ask y’all a hypothetical.

In my hypothetical, I can write an absolutely fascinating post about the conflicts of interest held by an L.A. Times reporter . . . but the story I tell could be seen as aligned with the interests of one of my bosses.

Let’s say I can assure you that I’d write this story anyway — and could cite to several previous posts I’d written about the same reporter. The post would reveal an eye-opening insight about a story written by the reporter.

Can I just write that post and not mention the fact that its point of view is favorable to one of my bosses?

Would the folks who jumped down my throat all weekend agree with my lack of disclosure?

Here’s the thing: it ain’t a hypothetical. This is a post I have been sitting on for about a week and a half. I could easily make the disclosure, but I just generally don’t like writing about anything that has anything to do with my bosses — even if my post would only support their position. I really just think it’s best to keep the blog and the job separate.

I’ve told several people about this issue privately — and have even hinted about it on this blog. Everyone I’ve told says it would be a great post.

But I’ve shied away because of the messiness of the disclosure issues — which I have also told people about.

It’s a little aggravating to be foregoing such a great post, and at the same time watching some commenters mocking the very concept of disclosing arguably relevant information.

My belief in disclosure is not posturing. I take this stuff seriously, and it restricts what I do here.

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