The question on everyone's mind downtown today - why did Tom Slater, a virtually unknown writer in LA with no known connections to or any special knowledge of Los Angeles, end up writing the lead article on gentrification in Downtown Los Angeles two Sundays ago?
Did he submit the article in an effort to push his upcoming book?
Or... did the Times ask him - and make a point of not asking anyone with any first hand information on the subject?
Was there a reason behind the timing of the piece? Does it have anything to do with the negotiations that are going on between the City Attorney's Office and the Mayor's Office about allowing the police to break up the dens of drug dealers posing as homeless encampments that are going on at this moment?
Inquiring cowboys want to know!
But suppose... just suppose... that someone who wants to keep those encampments in place because it is good for their business... has been talking to someone at the Times and asked them for some support in keeping the encampments on Skid Row?
And... just suppose... that person at the Times then contacted a writer half-way around the world and fed him the "facts" to write that article? And just suppose he found a writer innocent enough to rely on the LA Times for his facts without doing ANY independent investigation?
And could this also explain why this article has seemingly... vanished... from the LA Times website?
Is that what happened?
Well, only time will tell.
But a certain very, very informed source - and picture a picture of a horse and his mouth right here - is claiming that is indeed the case.
It's going to be a bumpy week!