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.