Mickey Kaus skewers the Los Angeles Times (not that that’s all that difficult these days):
Dear Tribune Company: Can we have the massive layoffs now? Please? Can it be that an improvised explosive device was found and detonated by police on Friday near the University of California at Los Angeles and the story still has not made the Los Angeles Times? It looks that way. … Note to LAT editor Dean Baquet: Whatever you do, don’t run this bomb story. People might be interested! That’s always dangerous. But if readers never find out about it then they won’t be unnecessarily worried. The responsible course!
One possibility: eventually, the L.A. Times will run op-eds on the topic, which assume that their readers got the underlying news story from the Internet.
Which, when you think about it, is a weird reversal of the original role of the Blogosphere–but it wouldn’t be the first time that it’s happened. As Bill Quick said in his Pajamas Media profile, “To me, the only function the media serves is to give us [bloggers] the raw material” to opine on.
Is the reverse starting to happen on news that the media thinks could be too controversial or too “politically correct”? I could see an editor thinking, “Let’s let the bloggers sort it out, then we’ll jump on it if anything develops. Our audience is too sclerotic to figure out how to get onto the Internet; why bother having a scoop?”
Update: Meanwhile, regarding the other coast, Ed Morrissey pushes a galvanized roofing nail into the balloon that is the New York Times’ pretensions:
The torturous process of actually saying something meaningful about the Iraqi agreement on a new constitution in the days ahead of the vote grinds on through eight paragraphs written in this stultifying prose, as like a bad pop song with an unrelenting, unchanging bass line. It takes that long for the Times to admit that the developments this week give greater hope for unity after the plebescite and for greater Sunni participation in democracy thereafter. The editorial approaches masterpiece status for sour grapes and for burying the lede. Even its title, “A Flicker Of Hope In Iraq”, makes this major step forward seem little more than a mere footnote in an encyclopedia of misery.
Cheer up! We liberated 25 million people from a genocidal dictator, helped them create a National Assembly, watched as over 8 million of them voted freely lasy January, and now see them peacefully negotiating the laws under which they will govern themselves. Perhaps the Gray Lady finds democracy too distasteful for her scrubbed hands, but the rest of us find these developments very pleasing and reason for hope of eventual unity and peace.
Or if you can’t cheer up, at least hire someone who knows how to write an honest editorial.
But if an editorial falls behind a pay-to-read firewall, will anyone hear it?