Category: Media

LA Times to Pedestrians: You Will Drop Dead

Yesterday in Le Times:

Los Angeles isn’t known as a city for walking. Maybe there is a good reason — it’s too dangerous.

That’s a pretty good lead! I’ll bet it’s backed up with some pretty interesting study too.

Drivers in Los Angeles kill pedestrians and bicyclists at a significantly higher rate than drivers nationally, according to a study by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute.

There you have it. Drivers in LA = bloodthirsty monsters. Except…

In Los Angeles, pedestrians accounted for about a third of all traffic fatalities, or nearly triple the national average of 11.4%. About 3% of the fatalities were bicyclists. That compares with 1.7% nationally.

Wait a minute… who the hell cares about that? Instead of citing a useful statistic, like total pedestrian fatalities per capita or per driver, the study is about percentage of traffic fatalities. As if to drive home the inanity of the article (and study), it cites sites the obviously much higher New York percentage – 49.6%.

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NikkiLeaks: Nikki’s Hardest Hitting Snarkiest Moments in Her “Live Snarking of the Emmy’s”

Fearless journalism!  In real time! 

1. I know why Les is TV’s smartest mogul.

2. He has made his well-written stereotypical character into a real breath of fresh air on primetime.

3. As Brad Grey (who used to manage Levitan) once said to me, “Steve is the only funny Jew I know who’s a perfect 40 Regular …” No wonder this guy loves the spotlight.

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A Departing LAT’er Denies the Rumors

Part of the ritual of departing the LA Times these days is coping with the flood of rumors surrounding one’s departure.  Did they storm out in protest?  Unjustly chased out?  Fled for shelter from the LAT curse?

The email below sent to her soon to be former colleagues by departing reporter tech Alex Pham gives a sense of what one has to deal with.  Whatever may have happened last week, this reporter declares she leaves with nothing but good feelings.  And on those rare moments when good feelings break out in this dying industry, even our coal-like hearts melt, after the jump:

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Hollywood’s Fearless Journalists Dare to Take on Fallen Studio Chief

Every reporter likes to think of him or herself a tough guy, one step short of a mob capo, in service of truth and justice; a fearless crusader who will rip the carotid out of foreign dictators or captains of industry at the first hint of hypocrisy or cover-up.  And if you flip through the cable chat shows, you can see, indeed they are a fearsome lot.

And no class of journalists thinks of themselves as more qualified to go toe to toe with the Gestapo than entertainment journalists.  Talk to a reporter who has just come back from a junket interviewing the stars of a romantic comedy and you’ll get the sense they just took on a tank division singlehanded.  Entertainment reporters spit nails when they talk about the powers that be.  Behind the backs of the industry giants, in private conversation with their friends, they are absolutely without fear.

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Women in the LAT Ranks: Not a Boys’ Club You Say?

Earlier today, the LA Times took time out of its busy schedule of ignoring their state’s imminent doom to pat themselves on the back for the fact that 75 percent of their political coverage is written by women.

That may very well be so.  But the Times headline proclaiming that political reporting is not a boys’ club at the LA Times seemed a strangely limited proclamation; begging almost the question, if political reporting is not a boys’ club at the LA Times, what is?
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LA Times Congratulates Self For Using Women To Churn Out Irrelevant Horse Race Coverage

The Times reports that 75% of election coverage is being written by men, but not at the LA Times, nuh-uh, whose election coverage is, according to the Times, 60% written by ladies Maeve Reston, pictured to the left, whom I met once. At least I think it was her.

Good work, LA Times, and good work, fairer sex. Females at the Times have proven, time and again, that they are just as good at writing irrelevant horse race stories about national elections while ignoring a myriad of problems in our own state as it slides into a pit of bankruptcy and despair as men are.


In Defense of Patrick Goldstein, LAT Man of the Future

Since the departure of chief entertainment columnist Patrick Goldstein from the LA Times a few weeks back, some blogs have been kinder than others in reviewing his tenure, including for my own fine colleague on this site Mr. Jim Gibson.  Others elsewhere have had difficult personal histories with Patrick, and on that I can not comment.   But as the conventional wisdom has settled in on how his passing from the LAT means the end of an era of remote, distant journalism from on high, I was finding myself becoming uneasy with this storyline, feeling like it did not quite match the Patrick I knew from my five years working as Entertainment Editor of LATimes.com. Before the page is turned, I wanted to get my own thoughts on record.

I’ll start out by saying, whatever others’ experiences may have been, my relationship was Patrick was never anything but friendly and warm, which in fact, was in glaring distinction to the feelings I  received from many of his colleagues in the upper ranks of  the paper, many of whom remained hostile to the paper’s web growth throughout my tenure.

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