Category: Times and Misdemeanors

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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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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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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The LA Times Entertainment Section: Rockin’ in the Free World While Rome Burns

On the right in the orange shirt is LA Times Entertainment Editor John Corrigan, the man who in one week has overseen the departure of the Calendar section’s two remaining name brands,  Patrick Goldstein and tonight apparently, Hero Complex blogger Geoff Boucher.

We don’t know what led to Boucher’s apparent departure,  rumors are conflicting.  Some rumor threads hold that Rockin’ in the Free World lead singer Corrigan, newly moved down to Calendar from editing the Business Section (did you know the LA Times has one of those?) , didn’t “get” Hero Complex.

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Where Have All The Fancy Columnists Gone? On Patrick Goldstein’s Exit from the LA Times

Today marks the end of an era for the ever-dwindling number of readers of the Los Angeles Times‘s once-mighty Calendar section: Patrick Goldstein has written his last “Big Picture” column. Goldstein, a longtime LAT veteran entertainment reporter before being granted columnist stripes and the attendant high-profile soapbox that comes with them in 2000, had a long twelve-year run, but it was a run that coincidentally paralleled the Calendar section’s long, slow decline into irrelevance, not that the two are necessarily related.

By most accounts a nice guy and devoted family man and clearly well-meaning and well-connected, Goldstein played the role of the LAT‘s main “industry critic.” Rather than breaking scoops, along the lines of ex-Variety/current Deadline reporter Michael Fleming, Goldstein’s specialty was the weekly “think piece,” sometimes assuming the role of chief finger-wag to his company town’s studio execs, sometimes playing all-knowing Monday morning quarterback when postulating why certain films succeeded or failed, and, more often than not, attempting with highly varying degrees of prowess to navigate the often bewildering prevailing industry trends du jour and put them in some sort of context. He also liked to write name-droppy recaps of power lunches he had and devoted many column inches to his kid’s schoolmates’ takes on trailers for upcoming Hollywood releases.

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