Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Is The New York Times Takover Of The LA Times Now Official?


No, I don't mean the New York Times is buying the LA Times (they are too bright to do that), but the latest pod person from the New York Times may be hatching as we speak over of Spring Street. Kevin Roderick's morning post:

Whispers in the wind say that Times editor Dean Baquet could name his managing editor(s) today. Istanbul correspondent and leader of the Friends of Dean club Doug Frantz happens to be in town. Not predicting, just saying...

So I guess all this foolish talk about more local coverage and more local reporting is... well... just foolish talk.

Frantz and Dean first met up in Chicago and then worked together again at the New York Times. However, Frantz did spend some years reporting at the LA Times, so he has at least visited our city in the past. But if this appointment does happen, then there will again not be one person with any ties or extensive first hand knowledge of this city (much less born and raised and educated in LA) at the top of the food chain at the LA Times.

However, looking at this from a strictly journalistic POV - Frantz is an excellent writer and a superb investigative reporter. His expose of Scientology, the US arming of Iraq and many other investigative pieces bode well for his tenure here, even though he has made it clear that his heart is really in... Istanbul.


His leaving the New York Times:


The pitchfork-and-torch mob from the Times newsroom got the right man but busted him for being a jerk when his real crime was tampering with the news. Douglas Frantz, the much-respected investigative reporter who left the Times after rumbling with the Raines administration, issues this indictment of his former boss in e-mail to Mnookin:

My sense was that Howell Raines was eager to have articles that supported the war-mongering out of Washington. ... He discouraged pieces that were at odds with the administration's position on Iraq's supposed weapons of mass destruction and alleged links of Al Qaeda. Because of that, Judy Miller's reporting was encouraged by other senior editors at the paper, sometimes over the objections of other editors.



His parting words/thoughts when he quit the LA Times:


Another viewpoint on why he first left LA Times.


Troopergate never really developed "legs" as a major media story because it first broke in the right-wing American Spectator. We learn from Stewart that the Los Angeles Times had the story before the Spectator, but the paper's editor, Shelby Coffey, held it up until after the monthly scooped the daily. Coffey's actions so angered veteran investigative reporter Douglas Frantz that he eventually quit the paper, and is now with The New York Times. Stewart says he found the troopers "scrupulously accurate."

His investigative pieces have managed to annoy Scientologists, Armenians, the pro-Israel lobby, several presidents, even more newspaper editors, the right, the left and too many other groups to mention, so he must be doing something right.

He has also written at least eight books (most of them with his wife, Catherine Collins), three of which I have read and enjoyed.

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