The L.A. Times Flap

What kind of crazy fucked up world do we live in where a vile sycophantic punk like Brian Grazer, based on success in the entertainment business, mostly appealing to a lowbrow audience, is given reign over the L.A. "Times" editorial section?

Last time I checked, newspapers were supposed to be a cut above the "Mike Douglas Show".  Yup, let’s get a co-host so we can gain eyeballs/readers, fuck the news, fuck the truth, whatever it takes to move the product.

Grazer is a tireless self-promoter who was not only the beneficiary of a "New Yorker" profile, but his position high on the entertainment totem pole delivered his wife a book deal.  This nepotism/elitism is what the Internet is AGAINST!  Yet the L.A. "Times" sinks ever lower into oblivion.

In case you missed the memo, the L.A. "Times" has been in turmoil ever since the wall between advertising and editorial was torn down in the name of profits.  Yes, way back in ’99 the paper shared the revenue of a special section on the Staples Center WITH the Staples Center.  That’s what Philip Anschutz needs, breaks, like he doesn’t have enough money.

And if it’s not bad enough that the paper was sold to interests in Chicago, the editorial page was turned over to Michael Kinsley, who lived in SEATTLE!  And his great breakthrough?  Participatory editorials on the Web, where the public could weigh in.  Which they did, in pornographic fashion.

God, the more we learn about the power elite, the more we find out that they’re clueless powermongers oblivious to the interests of the proletariat.  And the proletariat is now watching.

You want to know one of the richest men in California?  That’s Jerry Perenchio.  Ever drive past that wall in Malibu, with all the greenery on the other side?  That’s Jerry’s private golf course.  Jerry’s policy? NO PRESS!

Yes, he did break his rule once, when he was selling Univision, agreeing to participate in a story in the aforementioned L.A. "Times".  But in that same story, he told how he fired an employee for breaking his rule about talking to the press.  Didn’t matter that the ultimate story was positive, he broke the RULE!  And why does Jerry have this rule?  Because once you raise your head above the fray, you’re gonna LOOK BAD!

It’s one thing for the inane Hiltons and Lohans of this world to party and puke all over the media, but you’d think those in power would be a bit wiser.  But they’re not.  Even though they’re on the other side of the camera, all they can say is LOOK AT ME!

Brian Grazer is no Orson Welles.  He’s not even in the league of Sam Goldwyn.  But his network of friends complicit in profit cut him breaks.  Because they want to be included, because they want to get rich too.

Should this game be ported over to the NEWSPAPER??  Are you kidding me?  Where truth is supposed to be divined from facts?  Shit, if you talk to these entertainment honchos you’ll find out they believe they MAKE the facts!  They’re not rich and powerful enough?

Used to be education was revered.  As was making an honest living.  To be a newspaper reporter was an honest job.  Before Judith Miller metaphorically slept with the Bush Administration, and Brian Grazer got control of the voice of one of America’s largest dailies.

This is a big deal.  What you’re seeing here is old media imploding.  Making mistake after mistake.  All of which are now visible to the public.  And so many made in an effort to keep up with technological change.

One thing is for sure.  The old bosses are not going to rule in the new world.  Because they don’t get the new game.  Truth, honesty, transparency, they’re key.  If Andres Martinez is too stupid to see that his relationship with Kelly Mullens compromised the choice of Mr. Grazer for this position, then he should be blown out.

Thank god he walked the plank.

Give credit to the publisher, David Hiller, for refusing to print the special section.  That’s the role of a boss.  To keep everybody playing by the rules.  No man is bigger than the institution, the institution lives on.  This has been true with colleges and universities.  Will the L.A. "Times" live on?  Not with blunders like this.

Los Angeles Times Editorial Page Chief Quits

This is a read-only blog. E-mail comments directly to Bob.