Ed Driscoll.com Ed Driscoll.com
Manhattan Beach Project
By Ed Driscoll · October 27, 2006 09:53 AM · Oh, That Liberal Media!

Cathy Seipp has some ideas on how to resuscitate the moribund L.A. Times, none of which will be listened to, of course, guaranteeing its fish-wrapping status for years to come:

A TV writer and former magazine editor I know, for instance, once told me he cancelled his L.A. Times subscription to get USA Today instead, which really seems pretty crazy. He added that he just wants the following three questions answered when he reads his morning paper: 1) How are the Dodgers doing? 2) Rain today? 3) What’s on TV?

“Those are the only three answers I want from American journalism,” he noted. “USA Today is perfect.”

Another complaint I’ve heard about my favorite paper is that it’s a mere tabloid compared to the Gray Lady. A few days after the 2003 recall election, for instance, even some insiders complained (off-record, of course) that with its investigation into the Arnold Schwarzenegger groping stories, the paper had become a dirt-digging tabloid.

But actually, I’d say L.A. could use a real tabloid, like the honestly biased New York Post, especially during free-for-all media events like the recall. Stories would run sooner, and with snappier headlines. During the recall, for instance, Times headlines often managed to be both typically dull and remarkably condescending, what with their habit of regularly referring to Schwarzenegger as “Actor” — “Actor Names Economic Team,” “Actor’s Team Sprints…,” and (my favorite) “Davis, Actor Go Head to Head.” That the stories themselves dug up dirt wasn’t the problem.

Then there’s the constant hand-wringing about mainstream media objectivity, which always strikes me as beside the point as well as impossible. A few years ago, for a story on blogging, I interviewed Washington Post associate editor and senior correspondent Robert Kaiser, co-author of a ponderous book about the media called The News About the News.

“I read things I think I should know, not other people’s opinions about what I should know,” Kaiser harrumphed, explaining why he doesn’t read blogs. But every single thing we read in the paper, including hard news, is the product of other people’s opinions about what we should know. Problems happen when those in charge believe in their own objectivity so much that they no longer know even that one simple fact.

If you're an editor who can't grasp that fact, it's time to come out of the cocoon.

Update: Related thoughts, here.

Since 2002, News, Technology and Pop Culture, 24 Hours a Day, Live and in Stereo!

(And every Saturday on Sirius XM Satellite Radio.)

What They're Saying

"Apparently, today is going to be Ed Driscoll day here at VC. The man is en fuego."--Villainous Company, June 7th, 2007

Twitter Feed
About Me


Support the Site


February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003
May 2003
April 2003
March 2003
February 2003
January 2003
December 2002
November 2002
October 2002
September 2002
August 2002
July 2002
June 2002
May 2002
April 2002
March 2002


Bookmark Me!

Blogroll Me!

Steal This Button!

Syndicate this site (XML)
Podcasts Feed

AddThis Feed Button

AddThis Social Bookmark Button


Our Podcasts' Apple iTunes Page

Powered by
Movable Type 3.35

Site design by

tumblr site counter
Copyright © 2002-2008 Edward B. Driscoll, Jr. All Rights Reserved