My latest column, Dangerous Liaisions, describes how there’s been more massaging of connections in the Los Angeles Times‘ opinion section than a whorehouse after Grazergate, Rumsfeldgate and even Gatesgate. It calls Publisher/CEO David Hiller a moron and a dirtbag and the archetype of a bad newspaper publisher since he bears responsibility for the “Current” mess. “And Hiller’s most recent lame moves are to deep-six the quarterly guest-editor program and then send the paper’s so-called ‘readers’ representative’ on a hypersensitive probe into whether personal or professional connections improperly influenced previous content in the editorial pages. Duh, of course everyone there massaged every connection, because the section was being run like the journalistic equivalent of a whorehouse… I say throw the bum out.” Crissakes but I’m sick and tired of covering and writing about the LA Times. Who’s coming, who’s going, who’s buying, who’s crying — enough already! If I’m this desperate, then you readers must be doubly so. I wish I could promise this column will be my last on that subject for a while, but Spring Street and the Chicago bosses keep making news. Meanwhile, my pal Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen writes a very funny piece entitled: “No Exit: One man’s desperate attempt to quit the LA Times” which starts out “In the first place, every time I announce I’m leaving, a more senior editor ups and quits and grabs all the attention, and, in the second place, I do not know anymore who my editor is, who the editor is, who the publisher is, and who owns the company.” Variety‘s Brian Lowry has a piece looking at the guest editor scandal from a Hollywood POV that’s too late and too superficial to be interesting. And, finally, do not under any circumstances bother with the New York Observer interview with Andres Martinez. Not only does he whine on and on ad nauseum, but the articles’s facts are mostly wrong. And the writer didn’t even explore one giant inconsistency: if Martinez was upset over the newsroom’s interference with the independence of the editorial/Op-Ed/opinion sections, why would he give a damn if editor Dean Baquet, who was never his boss, left the paper? Finally, I’m not bothered by The Delusional Donald’s disciples on NBC’s The Apprentice: Los Angeles creating an advertising supplement for the LA Times promoting a new brand of mouthwash. Just as long as they keep their mitts off the actual newspaper. On the other hand, the way Hiller is going, he may hand over the real estate news section to Trump any day now.
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