Robert C.J. Parry Slams the L.A. Times — in the L.A. Times
As I mentioned yesterday, there is a new Outside the Tent piece at the L.A. Times today. It is titled Covering only the LAPD’s bad side, by Robert C.J. Parry. Kudos to The Times (and specifically Nick Goldberg) for publishing it. Here is a taste:
In its most recent editorial about the May Day demonstrations at MacArthur Park, The Times again showed its historic disregard for facts and history in its coverage of the Los Angeles Police Department and in its slavish devotion to the concept of police “reform,” regardless of cost, consequences or wisdom.
The editorial, published in response to the Oct. 9 release of the LAPD’s report on the MacArthur Park disturbance, described the scene at the park as “chaos” resulting from “missteps” by the department.
How did this terrible situation come to pass? Well, the editorial noted, among other things, that training “seems to have lapsed perilously — the Metropolitan Division’s basic training course was cut in 2005.” It also described Chief William Bratton’s ongoing struggles with the department’s “cultural and institutional defects” connected to this lapse.
Yet, astonishingly, the paper failed to point out that it was Bratton’s own decision to eliminate that training. Instead, the editorial praised the chief’s “deserved” second term and his “impressive response” to the events of May 1. It seems that publicly condemning your subordinates for problems you helped cause impresses The Times.
Sadly, this intellectual dissonance is true to form. Looking back at The Times’ coverage of the LAPD, it’s easy to see decades of factual omissions, routine second-guessing of police officers and a consistent support of activist agendas.
Mr. Parry’s name should sound familiar, as he is a friend of this blog. Mr. Parry has allowed me to publish two very useful items on this site, which you should read if you haven’t read them already:
- An excellent essay titled When the Last Hero Leaves L.A., Will Anybody Notice?
- This post setting forth Mr. Parry’s extensive data regarding the effect of the LAPD consent decree.
The subject matter of both of these prior posts is alluded to in today’s piece, so if you’re looking for more background on the LAPD consent decree or on officers Zeeman and Gregson, click the links above.
But first make sure you read Mr. Parry’s piece.
Thanks for both plugs. One thing I would very much like to emphasize is the professionalism of Nick Goldberg and his staff. They were careful but fair in ensuring I had my facts right. I am largely an unknown quantity to them, so they wre taking a risk just by opening the page to me, never mind the fact that I was ripping folks who will come to work in their building tomorrow.
There is only one instance where I would say they were overly protective of themselves. But, that’s a mere quibble in an excellent process.
They are to be commended for their focus on objectivity. But, as I told Nick when all was said and done, if other reporters had the same scrutiny, I wouldn’t have had to write my piece in the first place.
Thanks again,RCJP (50a453) — 10/21/2007 @ 11:25 am
I read Mr. Parry’s esssay this morning with a simultaneous mix of glee and embarrassment (for the LAT).
He left no stone unturned and beautifully sliced and diced the arrogant cloak of bias and the newspaper wears, especially toward the LAPD.
If the LAT is concerned with building circ and bringing readers back, they would be wise to collectively as an op-ed board, publish an across the board apology to the LAPD for allowing their own biases consistently influence their journalism, and apology to the public for assuming we are stupid.Dana (ba8139) — 10/21/2007 @ 11:28 am
Looks like a fairly generic labor-management dispute.
Bosses have PR people, workers don’t.
Unless the workers have a union, of course.
But…unions are bad.alphie (99bc18) — 10/21/2007 @ 2:01 pm
Typical alphie comment: try to steer the discussion to a different topic. Don’t respond.
alphie, when comments so blatantly try to hijack a thread, I may delete them in the future.
As for now, I repeat that other commenters should not respond. This is not a thread about unions.Patterico (bad89b) — 10/21/2007 @ 2:04 pm
I’m not trying to hijack the thread, patterico.
How many American workers do you think could spin a similar tale of incompetent bosses who blame their underlings or “the system” for their own mistakes…and get ahead because of it?alphie (99bc18) — 10/21/2007 @ 2:09 pm
The L.A. SLIMES takes one on the chinkrazy kagu (a6e311) — 10/22/2007 @ 6:44 am
And this comment right here, by me? I’m not snarking at all that, either alphie’s definition of “hijack” is non-standard, or he’s lying.McGehee (25adee) — 10/22/2007 @ 10:37 am