With his continuing poor coverage of the Pellicano scandal, Chuck Philips of the Los Angeles Times just keeps embarrassing that Pulitzer he won years ago. His latest story again carries water for Pellicano’s defense attorneys: he reports how they’re trying to free the thug P.I. on technicalities and that the entire case is overblown. That’s a legitimate article, but only if he were looking at this from both sides — which he’s not. (Whereas The New York Times‘ reporting duo of David Halbfinger and Allison Hope Weiner have done a better job writing pro and con.) Remember that, in 2005, Philips came under fire from an exhaustive 14,000-word Rolling Stone magazine examination of the coverage of the Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls murders and trials. The article accused Philips of one-sided legal reporting, and cherry-picking information to discredit the authorities’ case, as well as being corrupted by access to music industry names. Interesting that, in the Pellicano scandal, no journalist has been discrediting the government’s case more than Philips, and no journalist has had more access to the thug P.I. Also, when Anthony and ex-wife Kat Pellicano, who divorced in 2002, recently re-married in magistrate’s court, I reported: “Philips who is the guy Pellicano calls every time he sneezes was not only there but the ONLY journalist there not taking notes. In fact, Philips and Pellicano saluted and smiled to each other.”
Believe me, I was skeptical in the beginning about the Pellicano case. But over time I’ve also heard many first-person accounts about the secret and sickening things Anthony did. But many of these alleged transgressions are well past the statute of limitations and so off-limits to the feds. I can’t comprehend how Philips can continue to downplay the scandal yet keep his journalistic eyes closed to all the facts to the contrary staring him in the face. Isn’t it time that the newspaper assign this story to someone else?