Looks Like Andres Martinez Didn’t Do Anything Wrong After All
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.
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 thought Andres Martinez quit(in a huff)?alphie (99bc18) — 10/9/2007 @ 11:40 pm
Yeah, he quit, but he felt his situation was untenable.
Probably worth a clarification.Patterico (bad89b) — 10/9/2007 @ 11:51 pm
The publisher killed the Glazer thing because of the appearance of a conflict of interest?
Isn’t that a good thing?
In any case, it sure helps to be born rich when deciding if you should quit your job over principles.alphie (99bc18) — 10/10/2007 @ 12:02 am
Isn’t that a good thing?
Nope. Simple disclosure would have been more than sufficient.Patterico (bad89b) — 10/10/2007 @ 12:06 am
Haha, I’d like to have seen that:
Warning: Our editorial page editor is diddling Brian Glazer’s P.R. girl (please don’t tell his wife)!alphie (99bc18) — 10/10/2007 @ 12:17 am
What a bunch of smears.
Wife? [Yes, wife. See below. — P]
Martinez’s girlfriend did not work directly for Grazer.
Get your facts straight.Patterico (bad89b) — 10/10/2007 @ 12:24 am
Yeah, his wife.
Found this description of her in a lawsuit against Bush and his anti-abortion foreign aid policies:
Plaintiff Katherine Hall Martinez is a citizen of the United States who resides in New York, New York. She is a 1992 graduate of Columbia University School of Law. She is the deputy director of the international program at CRLP. As a human rights lawyer, she collaborates with FNGOs and United Nations officials. She also works with U.S. officials in international forums on agreements and treaties addressing reproductive rights, and works to strengthen recognition of reproductive rights (including the right to abortion) as international human rights.
Hmmm.alphie (99bc18) — 10/10/2007 @ 1:25 am
Alright, I snapped at you without checking, and it looks like you’re right about the wife. From what I can tell, they were separated at the time. I snapped at you because I never heard a peep about the guy doing anything wrong re the wife, or trying to keep his relationship with the flack secret in any way. Guess it’s because they were already separated.
But the girlfriend was *not* the PR person for Grazer. She worked for the same firm, but my recollection is that she never did any work for him. There was a connection there, to be sure — which should have been disclosed — but don’t overstate it.Patterico (bad89b) — 10/10/2007 @ 5:21 am
And don’t make the fact that he had a wife sound like some sinister thing where the relationship with the girlfriend was some big secret, unless you have evidence to back it up.Patterico (bad89b) — 10/10/2007 @ 5:22 am
So alphie’s snide implication ((please don’t tell his wife) is proven to be another load of alphie-style B.S.Patterico (bad89b) — 10/10/2007 @ 5:35 am
Nothing more was said basically because it exceeded the public’s attention span and its news shelf life. The whole “investigation” tack was never more than an “OK, we’ll do something about it so you can forget about us and move on to the next non-crisis.” It’s the old form over substance gig.submandave (9ae3af) — 10/10/2007 @ 6:21 am
You know I respect you, Patterico, but who in the hell reads or cares what is in the now discredited LA Times. Circulation below 900k in a metro area of 13 million means that nobody cares but you and a few others who enjoy beating the bones of a dinosaur.Howard Veit (4ba8d4) — 10/10/2007 @ 6:22 am
Um, no. But it is a reminder of Emerson: A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.
Plus, now journalists. And it shows AOCOI is more a ruse for asking and demanding investigation of questions, for no other reason than to do so.
So, in maintaining the interest of and respect for journalistic hobgoblins, there is an AOCOI in the LAT managing all aspects of the LAT’s credibility. Apparently they have no problem letting questions of credibility stack up like tinder in an Out basket and their competency is a fire hazard.Dusty (dd1df5) — 10/10/2007 @ 7:12 am
Howard, so long as the Times keeps publishing, someone needs to be there saying that the emperor not only has no clothes, he’s got a tiny dick as well.Bill Peschel (a9c4d5) — 10/10/2007 @ 7:13 am
Brian GRAZER. Not Glazer. And no one’s mentioned yet that Martinez’s big crime was coming up with such a trite, boring idea. Turn the opinion pages over to a bigtime Hollywood exec, so he can feature his pals? Snooze. THAT should have been the reason the section was axed.Factchecker (345a4a) — 10/10/2007 @ 4:59 pm
Say what you want about the LAT, I do think they’re finally starting to do more interesting local pieces.
I realized that just as I was pulling out of the driveway this morning, but haven’t been around a real computer all day and couldn’t fix it on the Treo.
I’m going to fix the comments now, since I meant to do so hours before you told me.Patterico (bad89b) — 10/10/2007 @ 5:19 pm