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The Lost Angeles Times: Mutiny On The Not-So-Bountiful

Tuesday, September 19, 2006  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt
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Because very few people outside of Los Angeles (and, increasingly, anyone in southern California) cares about the Los Angeles Times, the ongoing collapse of the worst major newspaper in America gets little ink.  With rumors that daily circulation has slipped below 800,000 and with advertisers fleeing the daily package of hard-left agenda journalism that goes unread even in the homes where it is delivered, Chicago based parent The Tribune Company has declared the need for more belt-tightening, and the paper’s editor Dean Baquet has said no.  “High Noon” it isn’t, because people cared how that movie ended.  But now a new twist, both amusing, and deeply embarassing to journalists everywhere.

A handful of uber-liberals and usual suspects have sent a pitiful letter to the Tribune Company begging it to leave the paper alone.  (They brand themselves “civic leaders,” which is a term of accordian-like expandability, though not one of humility.) They like their pet, you see, and they like it just as it is, no matter how low circulation dips or how much better served the shareholders of the Tribune Company would be served by new editorial management and direction.

The Tribune Company’s CEO wrote back  –a polite but firm brush-off that didn’t even mention the obvious fact that if the paper was so beloved by civic leaders, why didn’t the people they led buy the paper?

The disaster that is the paper is the result of new media’s rise, the relentless contempt the editorial room feels for the average southern Californian, a ridiculous work ethic that would make a trade union man blush, and finally the ingrown insularity of the old media world caving in on itself.  There isn’t a new breath of new thinking anywhere in the paper.  Of course it is going to suffocate. 

Unless it dies of embrassment first at having to rely on the protestations of value of those it is supposed to cover.

 

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