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Hugh Hewitt Book Club

The Los Angeles Times’ James Rainey

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Yesterday I devoted most of the program to the issues raised by the launch of iBizReporting .com. That site is discussed in this post, and the audio of the show is posted there as well as it provoked so much response.

As part of that discussion I invited James Rainey of the Los Angeles Times on to the program as Rainey had written a column critical of iBizReporting.com. I had prepared a list of questions for Rainey –who did you vote for, do you own a gun, are you pro-life etc– to center him in the audience’s mind. The list could have taken about a two minutes to complete, except Rainey simply refused for the most part to answer, substituting instead filibuster after filibuster, a practice that continued as we got deeper into the conversation.

The transcript of the conversation is here.

This conversation is another exhibit in the museum of dead or dying newspapers. Offered a chance to connect with an audience that almost certainly doesn’t read his paper much –not even in the Los Angeles market– Rainey instead telegraphs contempt for the program’s listeners while refusing to display any of the sort of transparency and objectivity that might have listeners seek him out via the web. Mark Steyn, who will lead off today’s show, has often remarked that American newspapers are horribly dull, and this sort of refusal to engage in a conversation about bias with anything approaching candor or transparency is just another example of the disease killing off newspapers –the deadly combination of insufferable arrogance and impenetrable dullness, wrapped up in lengthy, impossible-to-follow answers which are themselves long sidesteps of simple questions.

Or this could just be the spread of Obama disorder: the inability to answer any question in under five minutes and the accompanying delusion that people are interested in the specifics of the evasion.

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