Ed Driscoll

The L.A. Times: Slow And Lohan Down...To Page B3

Mickey Kaus explains why–amongst many, many, many other reasons–“the L.A. Times is doomed”:

The following teaser appears, not on the front page, but at the bottom of the first page of the B section in today’s Los Angeles Times.

Lindsay Lohan arrested The actress, 20, is arrested on suspicion of drunk driving after hitting a curb and shrubbery in Beverly Hills. B3

P.S.: By the time LA residents got up to get the Sunday paper, the Lohan story had already led Drudge and been replaced by a fresher bit of news. Meanwhile, the New York Post featured an inch-and-a-half headline, plus picture, on its tabloid front page:

LINDSAY DRUG SHOCK Stash found after DUI bust

That’s the New York Post of the same day as the LAT, even though the story happened in L.A. and the Post is produced in New York. … The Post account is also juicier. …

Being, you know, actually in L.A., the L.A. Times should be chock-a-block full of sexy, newspaper-selling, browser-clicking front page–and Front Page–worthy scandals. But this is far from the first time it’s had a hot story pop up in its own backyard, only to be scooped by a hustling New York paper (in other words, not the almost equally lethargic NYT), buried, or ignored totally.

Or as Mark Steyn told John Hawkins a couple of years ago:

In London, the most competitive newspaper market in the world, papers thrive by encouraging distinctive controversial voices. In America, the average Gannett or other monodaily prefers a tone of self-regarding dullness. As my friend John O’Sullivan put it, “They neither offend nor delight” – as a matter of policy. Yes, they’re broadly “liberal,” but not in a lively virtuoso engaging way, only in a dreary J-school way. I think they’re missing the point here. They don’t realize that they do have competitors now, in new media. In 1978, having driven your print competitors out of business, you could afford to be a dull city newspaper. I don’t believe you can now.

And there’s absolutely no reason (other than the numbing effects of political correctness and the entrenched institutional belief that the news is a “calling” and not a business) to be a dull paper in a city loaded with as many juicy stories as L.A.