L.A. Times Sells Last Remaining Shreds of Credibility
When L.A. Times print readers received their paper last Wednesday, here is what they saw: a screaming banner headline that appeared to be about a terror attack on a TV network:
It turned out to be just an ad for the new Los Angeles-based Law and Order show on NBC.
To her credit, the Readers’ Representative writes about it, and notes reader reactions, which appear to be mostly appalled. I guess they’re used to seeing front-page advertisements for political candidates on their front pages, but not for TV networks.
Fake editors contacted by patterico.com for fake quotes said: “I never made enough money to be bought,” and “Advertising buys good will.”
Since I haven’t been a subscriber for ten years and don’t watch TV except for sports and a few news/opinion shows on Fox, I missed it. Another good reason not to be a subscriber.Mike K (568408) — 10/4/2010 @ 7:54 am
Frankly, they had no shred of credibility left. They sold futures on credibility I guess.SPQR (26be8b) — 10/4/2010 @ 8:08 am
In all fairness to the LAT, its stories on Bell and on teacher rankings were a good public service.Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (fb9e90) — 10/4/2010 @ 8:13 am
The LATimes committed treason against this country by witholding the tape of the Obama’s at that dinner honoring Khalidi.listingstarboard (f506ae) — 10/4/2010 @ 8:20 am
I’m sure the LAT does occasionally behave like a newspaper, Bradley. But they are not a real newspaper.Dustin (b54cdc) — 10/4/2010 @ 8:32 am
My parrot is still dead.BarSinister (a148e1) — 10/4/2010 @ 8:33 am
That was the front page?!!
Incredible.Patricia (9b018a) — 10/4/2010 @ 8:34 am
It was a fake front page. The real one was behind it. Click through to the Readers’ Rep entry and you’ll see what I mean.Patterico (471320) — 10/4/2010 @ 8:40 am
The only time I’ve ever read the LA Times, someone else bought it and took it apart and I’m picking through it. I bet some folks thought that was the front page.
Of course, that was what the page editor wanted it to look like. A terror attack on the front page of the paper.
What a joke.Dustin (b54cdc) — 10/4/2010 @ 8:51 am
On the one hand, it does say “Advertisement” in tiny red letters above the HUGE headline. On the other hand, readers could be forgiven for assuming that they had finally just turned honest and identified the entire paper as an advertisement for the Democratic Party.
Unfortunately, I stopped watching Law and Order long ago, so I can’t boycott the show over this travesty.PatHMV (140f2a) — 10/4/2010 @ 9:06 am
when are you going to pick the winners of the Rick Sanchez caption contest???firefirefire (914e0c) — 10/4/2010 @ 9:19 am
The Los Angeles Times long ago established what it was–a whore for the Democrat/Progressive party establishment. Once that was done, all the rest, including this ridiculous “front page” is only quibbling about the price. Several years ago the newsroom was in an uproar about a Sunday magazine that was an “informercial” for the Staples Center. At least at that time the newsroom staff could get embarassed at such stunts. Now as the old drab wears on, there aren’t even any protests at such prostitution.Mike Myers (0e06a9) — 10/4/2010 @ 9:20 am
Since I haven’t been a subscriber for ten years and don’t watch TV except for sports and a few news/opinion shows on Fox, I missed it. Another good reason not to be a subscriber.
I canceled my subscription about six years ago. I used to get snail mail from them inviting me to re-subscribe and offering me In-and-Out gift cards, Albertson’s gift cards, and other inducements. Since these offers always came with a postage paid return envelope, I would scrawl something like “I will not subscribe to your stupid paper until you get rid of the entire editorial board” on the subscription form and return everything to them. It’s been at least six months since I received one of these offers (which used to arrive every four weeks or so), so I wonder if they finally took the hint and removed me from their database.JVW (eccfd6) — 10/4/2010 @ 9:33 am
in response to this story, the LA times cancelled tomorrow’s fake front page showing Keith Olberman’s decapitated head.
btw, so far the show is just “meh.” but it might get better. I mean they obviously shelled out serious money to get Alfred Molina to play, basically, Patterico.
Right? the character is based on you, right, Patterico?
Personally i hope to god it doesn’t end up being “celebrity crime of the week” on the show. how can i say this? there is nothing lamer in TV than a person not famous enough for me to have ever heard of him or her, to play a person who is supposedly world-famous. So i want to see that only be a sprinkling now and then, and most of the murders be of regular folks, no celebs involved.
Also i longed for the presentation to be less, um, glossy, like the old law and order.
But honestly the last two seasons of Law and Order were actually better than they had been in a while, and with a real star as the prosecutor, maybe they can get a mojo similar to the previous series. there were many years when the show was great and watchable week after week, and i hope this one could be that good.
And for non-lawyer out there, i think the consensus is that law and order is obviously a little but BS, but much more realistic than usual among these kinds of shows.Aaron Worthing (e7d72e) — 10/4/2010 @ 9:44 am
Agreed.Angeleno (196ff8) — 10/4/2010 @ 10:01 am
This ad really did strike me as too much, especially since in vending machines, the part you showed was all that could be seen. I saw the “advertisement” part pretty quickly, but still, if an ad is going to cover the front page, making it look like actual news is crossing an ethical line, I think.LYT (c791e1) — 10/4/2010 @ 11:02 am
At the Readers’ Rep column, there’s this question:m (629c71) — 10/4/2010 @ 11:21 am
“Since when does the L.A. Times run fake news stories under its valued masthead? Or should I say ‘once-valued’ masthead?”
Patterico, wanna help answer that one? By, say, just sending the Readers’ Rep a link to all your year-end wrapups to pass along to the readers.
The fake front page is one of the LAT’s lesser offenses. If the LAT uses the money to fund real reporting, I can’t be too critical.Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (a18ddc) — 10/4/2010 @ 11:43 am
ah, but the problem isn’t the number of reporters, but their ideological bent.
it is interesting to see what happens as the dinosaur media circles the drain.Aaron Worthing (e7d72e) — 10/4/2010 @ 11:48 am
That’s reasonable. I can’t say they don’t need the money. And I can’t say the LA area doesn’t need journalism.
I just think they could be responsible about it. Lesser offense? Fair enough.Dustin (b54cdc) — 10/4/2010 @ 11:53 am
Aaron,Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (a18ddc) — 10/4/2010 @ 11:59 am
I don’t mind the reporters’ leftist ideology so much as their dismissive attitudes in the face of legitimate criticism. They have redefined their ideology as being apolitical. There are of course exceptions, but they don’t set policy.
It are just anoder proofe of the liberral media’s corruptioned ethoses! What we do are needing is a big wipout!The Anonymous Tea-Partier (0692b1) — 10/4/2010 @ 12:02 pm
That’s a great way to explain the problem. We aren’t more informed thanks to this pose, and the internet makes it hard to compete if you are willing to be less informative for the sake of fashion.
The LAT is particular bad in this specific way.Dustin (b54cdc) — 10/4/2010 @ 12:06 pm
The lefty journos also can’t stand being politically challenged by their readers, which is why they hate comments sections. Read this exchange for an example.Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (a18ddc) — 10/4/2010 @ 12:39 pm
not to quibble, but they may say they are apolitical, but they aren’t. and really i wish they would just admit they were biased, in the sense of truth in advertising.Aaron Worthing (e7d72e) — 10/4/2010 @ 12:41 pm
“Law and Order” bears as much resemblance to pullulating courtroom clowns as the LA Times does to a newspaper.John Blake (beb224) — 10/4/2010 @ 12:49 pm
The LAT has a long history of this sort of thing, though IIRC the last time it cost the publisher his job.AD-RtR/OS! (878407) — 10/4/2010 @ 12:50 pm
When growing up in SoCal, LA was (at least) a 4-newspaper town…now, it’s arguable if we have any at all.
Aaron,Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (a18ddc) — 10/4/2010 @ 1:00 pm
That was my meaning. They’ve redefined apolitical in an Orwellian sense, to mean the opposite of what they claim to be.
My brother, who was in town for the day, saw the headline and remarked “When did the Times start caring about crime?”
He was relieved to hear it was a fake article.Kevin M (73dcc9) — 10/4/2010 @ 1:09 pm
off topic, but piling concerns that Rahm is not qualified to be mayor of chicago.
and politico is reporting on a similar thread that a recent ad he made talking about how great it was to be “here” in chicago, was actually shot in D.C.Aaron Worthing (e7d72e) — 10/4/2010 @ 1:28 pm
JD – stop that ! It’s not Friday ! (grin)Alasdair (e7cb73) — 10/4/2010 @ 1:32 pm
I thought that such naked short sales were banned.htom (412a17) — 10/4/2010 @ 3:37 pm
In all fairness to the LAT, its stories on Bell and on teacher rankings were a good public service.
I agree. Jason Song began reporting on the sad state of LAUSD and immense difficulty of removing bad teachers with the series culminating in the teacher rankings last month. Excellent coverage.
Which shows me they can do great reporting when ideology or arrogance doesn’t cloud the vision of just reporting the facts.
As far as comment sections go, I have had good exchanges with Jon Healy, and although I don’t agree with him on much, he engages commenters, gives thoughtful (if wrong) answers, and seems to understand the value of readers who take the time to challenge.Dana (8ba2fb) — 10/4/2010 @ 5:21 pm
The hub has been in the industry for 30+ years and comments that in these lean times, a newspaper gets revenue where it can. Whether the LAT has no credibility re it’s journalism standards and reporting, it is still a business. And clearly, readers noticed.Dana (8ba2fb) — 10/4/2010 @ 6:02 pm
If they keep this up, they won’t be in business much longer.ConservativeWanderer (b8d454) — 10/4/2010 @ 6:56 pm
speaking of spent credibility ed shultz claims that the beck rally and his rally had about the same size.
of course if you have not seen the famous animated .gif file showing the difference (beck’s is easily twice as large), then look it up pretty quickly. And if you notice the weaselly way shultz makes his argument its obvious he knows it is crap. The man discounts the crowd estimation OF HIS OWN NETWORK. lol
btw, you have to give credit to charles johnson for the original animated .gif concept. its a great meme. even if its creator has since gone nuts.Aaron Worthing (f97997) — 10/4/2010 @ 7:19 pm
Truly off topic, cesar milan tells us that obama is not being sufficiently dominant with his dogs.
Bush wasn’t either, but i really think cesar should go down and teach the president. maybe if he could learn to dominate Bo, he could then stand up to the president of russia too.
http://www.politico.com/click/stories/1010/milan_potus_needs_to_train_bo.htmlAaron Worthing (f97997) — 10/4/2010 @ 7:24 pm
and that isn’t completely a joke. i used to was cesar alot when there was a dog in my house, and really in cesar’s mind the problem is always the owner, not the dog. the owners needs to get over their issues, not the dog. that is his secret, except its not much of a secret.Aaron Worthing (f97997) — 10/4/2010 @ 7:25 pm
That was not me, Alasdair. Some things defy parody.JD (65e1db) — 10/4/2010 @ 7:28 pm
Several years ago the newsroom was in an uproar about a Sunday magazine that was an “informercial” for the Staples Center. Comment by Mike Myers — 10/4/2010 @ 9:20 am
I wonder how many of the paper’s staffers and editors who were so nit-picky about that are the same types (generally all of leftist persuasion) who favor politicians and policies that further the dumbing down of the ethics and standards of society in general?
LA Times reporter/editor: “Oh, how horrible that the special Staples Center magazine was affiliated with ad revenues from the same source that the supplement was highlighting!! Dreadful! Awful! Despicable!
A few days later…
LA Times reporter/editor: “I admire Bill Clinton and sympathize with people like Barney Frank, Al Sharpton and Michael Moore! I think Hillary would make a wonderful president in the future!! xoxoxo”
In light of the all nonsensical leftist bias that pervades an organization like the LA Times, its ongoing decline in both economic health* and integrity is somehow quite fitting.
The saying of the day: You reap what you sow.
* The paper’s editorial board has come out in support of Barbara Boxer and Jerry Brown. So it really is appropriate that the newspaper’s economic health be as dumbed down and moribund as its tattered cheesy-fake-front-page dignity and credibility. After all, most of the paper’s employees apparently love the idea of California becoming another Greece/Mexico/Spain.
__________________________________Mark (3e3a7c) — 10/4/2010 @ 7:36 pm
I’m fairly confident that the news side of the LA Times didn’t like this obscenity at all. It really offends their notion of credibility.
I also suspect, they are really, really looking forward to the day that their notion of credibility ceases to matter.
That will happen when the government starts to bail out the failing media companies and they can write as they like and receive a paycheck without the meddlesome problem of the readers.
It’s so much easier when everyone agrees.Ag80 (93f9d9) — 10/4/2010 @ 8:15 pm
If they keep this up, they won’t be in business much longer.
….only if less papers were sold because of it. Looks it’s a business decision.
Advertising has a job to do, newsies have a job to do, and while both departments have little regard or respect for the other, they are both integral to the success of a newspaper.Dana (8ba2fb) — 10/4/2010 @ 8:21 pm
The NYT has shown that you can cling to a small set of faithful readers if you decide to become a hard left boutique. Some folks will pay for a bubble to live in.
It works better for NYT because these folks want to be elite.
The LA Times could try to be an effective, balanced newspaper, but that’s an awful lot more work, and why would the audience they are going for switch back to a paper in 2010? Better to be a hard left rag and occasionally do a real story or two.
The only problem is the pose as objective, in cases they aren’t. They should have three levels of objectivity. Editorials, left=correct assuming news aggregation, and objective news.Dustin (b54cdc) — 10/4/2010 @ 8:34 pm
A non-ideological problem with the LA Times has been its futile rivalry with the New York Times. They imported people from the NYT, including editors, who had little feel for Southern California. They grew obsessed with reporting from exotic foreign locales while neglecting the communities next to them.
Hugh Hewitt wrote a great article a few years ago dissecting the LAT’s problems, and suggesting what it could do to fix them.
His excellent advice has largely been ignored.Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (fb9e90) — 10/4/2010 @ 9:19 pm
Don’t forget thoseAD-RtR/OS! (878407) — 10/4/2010 @ 9:32 pm
Rocket ScientistsEditors they imported from the WaPo.
“I’m fairly confident that the news side of the LA Times didn’t like this obscenity at all. It really offends their notion of credibility.”
Ow. Please, I have a sinus infection. It hurts to laugh.grs (b5a684) — 10/4/2010 @ 9:40 pm
It works better for NYT because these folks want to be elite.
Not really – the NYT is in incredibly poor financial shape. If not for the immediate intervention of Carlos Slim’s hundreds of millions last year, it would have descended into a deep financial hole.
http://www.newsmeat.com/news/meat.php?articleId=84725923&channelId=2951&buyerId=newsmeatcom&buid=3281Dmac (84da91) — 10/5/2010 @ 8:09 am