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Posts Tagged ‘Steve Lopez’

Columnist: Koch Brothers Can Start by Getting Rid of LAT ‘Liberal Quitters’

You may not be familiar with the name Cal Thomas (pictured), but the reach of this political columnist is astounding. He is syndicated in more than 500 newspapers across the U.S., including the Chicago Tribune, where – comically? ironically? fittingly? – his op ed for Koch brothers LA Times ownership appears.

Thomas picks up on the Huffington Post article everyone did recently, which reported that when columnist Steve Lopez asked for a show of hands at an awards banquet from paper employees who would quit under the Koch’s, roughly half those in attendance indicated they would. Or, as this columnist sees it, a perfect new beginning:

That should make things easier for the Kochs. They can start by replacing liberal quitters and others whose ideology has turned off conservative readers. They could hire reporters and editors who will try to win back readers and advertisers by providing the type of ideologically balanced coverage they seek.

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An Ominous Show of LAT Staffer Hands

Remember those folks, like Robert Altman, who swore they would move away from the U.S. if George W. Bush was elected President in 2000? Well, thanks to a recent LA Times awards dinner, there’s now a local newspaper equivalent to that defiant promise.

According to a fun little report by Huffington Post LA associate editor Kathleen Miles, who just this past weekend was part of a panel discussing the future of the LAT, there’s a new “I love my *cough* job…” short-form at the paper. It’s spelled *Koch*:

Facing the elephant trunk-on, columnist Steve Lopez from the podium said, “Raise your hand if you would quit if the paper was bought by the Koch brothers.” About half the staff raised their hands.

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Steve Lopez Still Wants Your Vote for the [Other] Perfect LA Song

As LA Times columnist Steve Lopez acknowledges, Randy Newman‘s “I Love LA” is going to be impossible really to equal. Still, both at the Oscars and on the geo-hit parade, there is some honor to being a runner up.

Lopez has blogged an update to his column earlier in the week asking for people’s favorite “odes to LA,” informing that reader response has been overwhelming. He lists a baker’s dozen of Vox Populi second-place frontrunners. For FishbowlLA’s cover-charge money, this is the one that might have to win:

Guns N’ Roses – “Welcome to the Jungle”

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Herald-Examiner Custodian Finally Following His Defunct Newspaper Into the Sunset

There is absolutely no trace of today’s newspaper tweet, Facebook and “Like Us” madness in the daily routine of Chuck Lutz, the 68-year-old custodian of the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner‘s former downtown headquarters. A fact that LA Times columnist Steve Lopez suggests should make for a smooth transition to retirement January 9:

Think about it. Lutz’s boss [Hearst Corporation] is 400 miles away in San Francisco. The checks never bounce. He gets to work before traffic is a problem, and his most arduous task on many days is to watch the minutes tick away until he punches out at 2 p.m. and goes home to Mission Hills to walk the dogs.

Good for him. The last edition of the Herald-Examiner (pictured) was published November 2, 1989. But Lutz remained at the 11th & Broadway building to let in film crews and make sure nothing (too) out of the ordinary occurred.

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California Watch, LAT, Neon Tommy Score ONA Nominations

They’re high-fiving today in the halls of USC’s Annenberg journalism school. Alongside five nominations for California Watch, four for the LA Times and one for Bill Simmons’ Grantland, digital campus hub neontommy.com has landed a 2012 Online News Association (ONA) Online Journalism Awards nomination for their April 21 report about the fatal shooting of two Chinese graduate students.

The byline for the article lists (former) executive editor Ryan Faughnder, (former) deputy editor Tracy Bloom and NeonTommy staff. The group-effort breaking news track was of the now-familiar Internet kind that featured multiple, subsequent top-of-page updates:

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KPCC Gives LA Times LAUSD Coverage an F

Tony Pierce at KPCC posted the blog equivalent last night of a screeching high school hallway alarm bell. Let’s hope the LA Times soon takes notice.

Pierce notes that reporter Howard Blume completely bungled a story about the Los Angeles Unified School District. Although Blume wrote that the district was planning to change the student passing grade from a “C” to “D,” the truth is that D is the current benchmark. What the LAUSD in fact wants to do is bump that up – by 2017 – to the C level.  Per Pierce:

Not only did the Blume article allow Matt Drudge of the powerful Drudge Report to write an eyebrow-raising headline and tweet (“LA Schools May Lower Graduation Standards To Curb Dropouts”), but it inspired the LA Times’ beloved columnist Steve Lopez to blast an angry blog mini-column on LA Now.

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LA Times a Runner-Up in Three Pulitzer Categories

It’s a remarkable achievement for any journalist or newspaper organization to be named a Pulitzer Prize finalist. So congratulations are in order to the LA Times, despite the fact that the newspaper has just come up short in three separate 2011-year categories.

In Breaking News Photography, Carolyn Cole and Brian van der Brug lost out to the AFP’s Massoud Hassaini. His coverage of a suicide bombing in Kabul topped their chronicling of Japanese natural disasters. Meanwhile, in the realm of Feature Photography, Francine Orr’s look at autism lost out to Craig F. Walker’s look for the Denver Post at a discharged Iraq War veteran struggling with PST.

In the Commentary bracket, city columnist Steve Lopez’s touching reports about his dad’s dwindling health were a runner-up to Mary Schmich, who covers the Windy City in a similar capacity for sister newspaper the Chicago Tribune.

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LA Times a Runner-Up at Scripps Howard Awards

At the annual Scripps Howard Foundation awards, just like the Oscars, it is indeed an honor just to be nominated. So kudos are in order to the LA Times, which scored a pair of 2011 finalist mentions.

In the category of “Commentary,” LAT city columnist Steve Lopez and the Detroit NewsBrian J. O’Connor placed behind winner Brian McGrory of the Boston Globe. McGrory will receive $10,000 and a trophy for “helping a priest clear his name, cutting to the core of Mitt Romney, and an array of other thought-provoking columns about big events and small moments.”

Meanwhile, in the “Washington Reporting” bracket, Damian Paletta of the Wall Street Journal edged out LAT reporters David Cloud and W.J. Hennigan as well as New York Times staffer Eric Lipton. Paletta gets the Raymond Clapper Award for “Disabled System,” a five-part series about mismanagement within the Social Security Disability Insurance ranks.

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‘Stand-Up Librarian’ Loses Job Over LA Times Story

If the tale of West Hollywood library temp Meredith Myers (pictured) were a short story, it could easily be called “Fine Print.”

As LA Times columnist Steve Lopez explains, everything was in motion late last month for a piece in the paper by his colleague Nita Lelyveld about Myers’ dual role as a library employee and stand-up comedienne. The only restrictions were that the article could not list Myers’ job title or feature photos of the WeHo LA County Public Library location where she was working as a page. However, because Myers and-or a colleague apparently failed to follow proper LAPL County of Los Angeles Public Library media relations procedure, things quickly took an unexpected turn:

Lelyveld called Kramer to see if he’d reconsider the limits he’d placed on the story. Not only did he refuse to budge, but within an hour of the phone call, Myers was notified by her supervisors that she’d been removed from the work schedule and would receive a letter in the mail the next day. “This is a notice that you are being released from your temporary position of library page,” the letter read.

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City Columnist Camps Out at Occupy LA

A month in, critics of the Occupy Wall Street movement and its many nationwide offshoots continue to complain about the lack of a clear, consensus message.  So, as the sun set on Columbus Day, LA Times city columnist Steve Lopez decided to sound out the nearby downtown LA nucleus for himself by pitching an overnight tent.

Most of what Lopez discovered confirms the idea of a spontaneous grassroots movement still scrambling to organize itself. The night’s “General Assembly” open-mike discussion for example was a rambling affair, prompting 57-year-old Occupy LA organizer Kwazi Nkrumah to finally step in:

Nkrumah took the microphone to announce that in the future, official positions on certain topics would be hammered out by a supercommittee rather than being endlessly discussed. But he’s pleased overall with how things are going…

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