Patterico's Pontifications


Dana Asks for Fairness From the LA Times

Filed under: Dog Trainer,Politics — DRJ @ 9:32 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Earlier this evening in a post titled Comparing the Rhetoric, I looked at some of the ways Barack Obama fired up his supporters and compared them to a recent statement by Sarah Palin. The post also looked at how some in the media (in that case, CNN) responded.

It turns out I was a day late and a dollar short because Dana had already made the same comparison in a letter to the authors of this LA Times’ article. As Dana puts it, the LA Times’ article includes unnamed websites referencing Palin’s “incendiary tones.” Dana decided to write the authors in the “interest of even-handed reporting,” and she has given me her permission to reprint it here:

Date: Mar 28, 2010
Subject: Fwd: In the interest of even handed news reporting…
To: [redacted by DRJ]

Ms. Hennessey and Ms. Powers,

I look forward to your reporting on the harassment of Andrew Breitbart and the egging of his bus by Reid supporters at the Tea Party rally yesterday in Spotlight, NV. They even went so far as to make a false claim to the police that Breitbart himself did the harassing and egging – of his bus. In light of making a point to bring up the issue of incendiary tones in your Saturday piece, “‘Tea Party’ protesters in Nevada target health law”, this would seem to be a very appropriate and newsworthy followup, and one which readers deserve to know about. In the interest of even-handed reporting…

You yourselves made several provoking statements:

Several websites, including Palin’s, have been cited as examples of the incendiary tone. In announcing her efforts to try to unseat key Democratic members of the House, Palin’s site used the image of a rifle scope. She told her supporters via Twitter, “Don’t retreat, instead – RELOAD.”

Perhaps you forgot President Obama’s comment made to his supporters during the campaign: “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun,” Obama said in Philadelphia last night.” (

The point is it’s convenient to be melodramatic over the right’s obvious metaphor of RELOAD and equally convenient to ignore Mr. Obama’s obvious metaphor. Both are painfully and clearly metaphors, non-violent, and yet you chose to continue to attempt to reinforce the faux outrage … over Palin of course. However that is not an impartial reporting of events. Either the President’s metaphor is equally as incendiary as Palin’s, or neither is.

So here’s an opportunity to level the playing field with some unbiased reporting. The link for Breitbart is here:

Quite obviously you are able to reach him via email/phone to confirm and verify, and in the interest of unbiased journalism and even-handed reporting, I look forward to seeing this in print in the LAT pages.

Credibility is all a newspaper’s got anymore…

Sincerely, Dana”

We await their response.


20 Responses to “Dana Asks for Fairness From the LA Times”

  1. hopefully all y’all are still breathing, rather than awaiting a response?

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  2. I would like to plan a party when the LA Times goes under. We could meet down across from the Times Building. I would really enjoy the celebration.

    No government bail out for newspapers.

    Alta Bob (e8af2b)

  3. Bravo to Dana for making this request. We’ll see if any real journalists are in authority at the LA Times.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (9eb641)

  4. And if the LAT acts like I expect it to, when it folds I’ll attend the celebration suggested by Alta Bob. I’ll even bring the Patron tequila.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (9eb641)

  5. i say we get an investment consortium together, BUY the Spring St building when they go tits up, *then* throw a party where the Patron grrrls are the bouncers.

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  6. But, but, but….that’s different, will go the reply. I’m glad Dana wrote it, but I doubt anything will be done or written in response.

    But if I am wrong, it would be great news.

    Eric Blair (21af67)

  7. IF they print it, which Seal is that being opened ?

    Alasdair (205079)

  8. I have been writing letter to the New York Times, the New York Daily News, the New York Post, the Boston Globe and the Washingtom Post since the 1960’s. Never has a comment that pointed out the shortcomings of a story been printed.

    Particullary if the comment is supported by the evidence.

    Now, with Email, I still write but, in many cases, I write to the reporters and columnists directly.

    Let them know that, in the age of the internet, they no longer are the “gatekeepers” of the news.

    The knowledge that some of their readers have greater knowledge and experience about the subject matter than any J-school graduate may sink in.

    Longwalker (4e0dda)

  9. The links probably got them all confused.

    cassandra (c196b0)

  10. Hey don’t forget Bob Mulholland’s threats in the 2003 recall campaign to use “real bullets” against the de facto GOP nominee. I don’t remember any condemnation whatsoever about that quote in the LAT (probably because it was busy working on its breathtaking expose about “Der Gropenfeuher”).

    Sean P (334463)

  11. Oh, and I forgot California AG Bill Lockyer’s threat to analy rape that Enron crook. Did the Times ever condemn that?

    Sean P (334463)

  12. Alta Bob: Count me in if I can get permission from my local commissar here in the People’s Republic of Northern California.

    Old Coot (9e58d8)

  13. Let them know that, in the age of the internet, they no longer are the “gatekeepers” of the news.

    Most of them still think of the Internet as mainly a financial threat and not undercutting their former information monopoly. Some of these struggle legacy media outlets give lip service to the idea of Internet competition, but usually in a slighting way, such as calling alternative news outlets “opinion media”, as if such legacy media outlets weren’t the pioneers in disguising opinion as news.

    You can see it in the delusional rush toward such supposed techno-fixes as the iPad or establishing a paywall cartel among news sources. Very rarely do these supposed visionaries address how the content of the coverage alienates large segments of the public, and not only conservatives. They just don’t get it.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes (9eb641)

  14. I think we should also remind them of the bricks through the bus windows at the GOP 2008 convention that sent some elderly Republicans to the hospital and the bags of sand tossed off bridges over the interstate at the same event.

    Ohhhhh, wait – that was an assault on REPUBLICANS. Right, they are fair game since they are all little BushHitlers.

    Vivian Louise (643333)

  15. Sometimes LA Times reporters reveal the truth about their agenda after leaving journalism. Here’s ex-LAT environmental “reporter” Gary Polakovic, a newly minted PR executive, discussing his former career:

    Long recognized as a voice of environmental expertise, Gary Polakovic narrated and shaped U.S. environmental policy for more than 20 years.

    Although the claim to have “shaped” national environmental is obvious PR hype, it jibes with the LAT’s advocacy journalism, as does his claim to a “non-partisan background.”

    The Sacramento Bee, a.k.a. the LA Times of the North, published an opinion piece by Polakovic supporting AB 32 that misleadingly calls him an “environmental consultant” instead of the PR guy he really is.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes (9eb641)

  16. Comment by Brother Bradley J. Fikes — 3/29/2010 @ 6:49 am

    The publisher of Tribune’s second smallest paper, for real illustrating your point.

    Matador (176445)

  17. I’ve been thinking on this a bit. For those of us who live in cities or metro areas with multiple newspapers still operating, how about this tactic: What if, in the most egregious cases, in our letter/email/suggestion which points out errors and omissions to reporters–that we also send along a copy in an obvious CC to specific management of the competing paper as a “FYI” to them? Seems to me that a little competition for accuracy and reputation might not hurt.

    Also, I think that we need to demand (as Dana has essentially done) that there be a whole new article written rather than a two sentence correction or addition snuck in to the end of a previous article. The wire services which pick up the original article NEVER seem to manage to pick up the correction.

    elissa (eeedf4)

  18. Hey, when the Times goes TU, Let’s have a block party on Spring street. No Democrat weirdos allowed.

    PCD (1d8b6d)

  19. […] regular commenter Dana is quoted over at Patterico, imploring the LA Times to freaking get real: …Perhaps you forgot President Obama’s comment […]

    Metaphor Madness – Missoulapolis (024b0e)

  20. > We await their response.

    Ah, yeah, just don’t hold your breath.

    IgotBupkis (79d71d)

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