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Why should the L.A. <em>Times</em>' editor get to speak on ethics?

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The Other Lame Times

Why should the L.A. Times‘ editor get to speak on ethics?

If liberals won’t move on from the prison abuse photos calculated to incite hatred toward the very troops liberals loudly claim to “support,” I’m not moving on from the fact that the editor of the Los Angeles Times, John Carroll, is instructing journalists on ethics.

The editor of the Los Angeles Times telling reporters how to behave ethically is a complete contradiction, like . . . oh, I don’t know. . . giving Yasser Arafat a Nobel Peace Prize or something. You know, just patently silly.

This is the same L.A. Times that engaged in desperate, 11th-hour attempts to sabotage Arnold Schwarzenegger during the California recall election with lurid sex stories from anonymous assistant crudite girls who worked the craft services tables on Arnold’s movies from the 1980s and were still trying to break into show biz 20 years later.

This is the same L.A. Times that in recent years instituted racial and gender quotas for sources on so-called news stories, which puts reporters in the position of having to round up a black expert on nuclear fusion, a Native-American expert on cubism, and a female expert on great moments in football.

This is the same L.A. Times that responded to the largest number of canceled subscriptions in the paper’s history from readers enraged by the paper’s liberal bias by putting Michael Kinsley, one of America’s leading leftists, in charge of the editorial page.

And this is the same L.A. Times that pays unrepentant Castro fan and former North Korea defender Robert Scheer for his hysterical anti-American rants every Tuesday.

The title of Carroll’s speech was “The Wolf in Reporter’s Clothing: The Rise of Pseudo-Journalism in America.” One has to admit: If you wanted an expert on the practice of partisan pseudo-journalism, you could do a lot worse than the editor of the Los Angeles Times.

Alas, Carroll’s speech wasn’t the “how-to” lecture dozens of would-be yellow journalists were expecting when they showed up for his presentation. Like the “ombudsman” at The New York Times, Carroll chastised his own newspaper for some small, irrelevant infraction no one would ever complain about while ignoring the paper’s consistent Soviet-style reporting that has led thousands of readers to cancel their subscriptions.

Instead, Carroll’s speech was an attack on Fox News Channel. If conservatives complained about CBS, ABC, NBC, CNN, MSNBC, PBS, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Time, Newsweek, Vanity Fair, Vogue, NPR, etc. etc. half as much as liberals scream about Fox News, even I would say conservatives were getting to be a bore on the subject.

Carroll’s case-in-chief of Fox News’ “pseudo-journalism” is “The O’Reilly Factor.” (Only liberals could force conservatives into defending Bill O’Reilly.) Carroll says of O’Reilly: “Where, he asked, was the L.A. Times on the so-called Troopergate story?”

In fact, O’Reilly never mentioned “Troopergate.” He didn’t mention the Arkansas State Troopers. And he certainly didn’t mention “so-called Troopergate.” He compared the L.A. Times coverage of Schwarzenegger’s alleged inappropriate behavior decades earlier with that paper’s coverage of the scandals of various Democrats–among them the stunning, contemporaneous sexual assaults by Bill Clinton on identifiable women.

I suppose it’s easy to confuse sex scandals involving Bill Clinton, but O’Reilly was referring not to the 1993 allegations from Arkansas State Troopers, but to the 1998 Clinton sex scandals involving allegations from specific women, such as Kathleen Willey. We know this because, while the word “trooper” never passed O’Reilly’s lips, he did expressly refer to “Kathleen Willey.”

When it came to these Clinton sex assaults, how did the L.A. Times do? Reporter Richard A. Serrano described Willey as “embittered” and said her accusations were “fraught with contradiction”–unlike the truth-tellers who waited 20 years to make anonymous accusations against Schwarzenegger. The Times angrily editorialized that Clinton’s impeachment was “grounded not in what is right for the country but what best helps House managers save face.” (How anyone can use the expression “save face” in defense of Bill Clinton is beyond my understanding.)

You don’t have to enter the “No Spin Zone”to see the “disconnect,” as liberals love to say, between the L.A. Times‘ frantic, wild-eyed search for a woman–any woman, even anonymously–to accuse Schwarzenegger of groping her at some point during the previous quarter century, and the Times‘ equally determined efforts to discount the many credible accounts of women, all named, who plausibly accused Bill Clinton of raping, groping or otherwise sexually assaulting them.

But Carroll dearly wishes O’Reilly had said “Troopergate” because apparently that’s the last time Carroll can remember the L.A. Times going after a Democrat the way the Times goes after Republicans as a matter of policy. The Times‘ Troopergate story came out in December 1993. But Carroll is still citing that one time over a decade ago when the L.A. Times engaged in nonpartisan reporting, bragging: “At one point, it had nine reporters in Little Rock.” OK, but there were 24 reporters on the Schwarzenegger story.

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