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Posts Tagged ‘Tim Rutten’s’

LAT in 90 Navel-Gazing Seconds

zelli.jpgTim Rutten is an Angry, Angry Man: We’re going long-form today, to print the best part of Tim Rutten’s column in its entirety:

Over the last five years, this paper’s readers have received less and less in the way of news and features provided by fewer and fewer journalists.

Tribune has installed one publisher after another who has said that it is impossible for The Times — or any other newspaper — to cut its way to success. This has become truer, as it has become more apparent that the simultaneous provision of high quality journalism in print and online is the way forward for newspaper journalism.

And yet the cuts have continued. When the cuts stop and readers are no longer asked to expect and to accept less from their newspaper they’ll know the tide has turned.

If and when Zell’s purchase of Tribune is consummated it will accomplish one thing for certain: After more than 120 years, the Chandler family will be out of the newspaper business.

Good riddance.

Southern California and this newspaper’s role in its development made the Chandlers rich beyond any normal human being’s wildest dreams. All the heavy lifting, of course, was done by their rapacious forbearers and, later, by Otis Chandler, who broke with the rest of his venal clan to make The Times a great newspaper.

The current beneficiaries of all that brutal avarice and ingenuity are wealthy through no effort of their own. They’re like a bunch of Saudi princelings, whose grandfather’s wretched tent just happened to be pitched atop an oil field. Their blood is a kind of genetic lottery ticket.

weirdgeffen.jpgChandlers Are Saddened, Geffen Is Still Interested: Local react story includes a hint that David Geffen might still make a play for the LAT.

money4nothing.jpgMoney For Nothing: Sam Zell is contributing pocket change for a company that could earn him (another) fortune.

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Buzzing Like Flies: A Roundup of the Anna Nicole Smith Coverage

annasmile.jpgAnna Nicole Smith coverage has gone from the ridiculous to the just plain gross, with TMZ.com showing photos of the dead woman’s refrigerator.

While Entertainment Tonight pays Howard K. Stern a reported $1 million for his “story,” E! Online and others have their head in the sands of the Bahamas, following Stern’s battle over 5-month-old ATM, er, girl Dannielynn.

Thank goodness for the steady, staid voice of establishment print media, which would never stoop to put this scoop on A1.

Oops.

Caryn James in the NYT takes the media to task for gawking at Anna Nicole Smith — both in life and in death. Then she goes on to basically blame Anna Nicole for being too tantalizing not to watch: “Her sense of how to court attention was simply to show up, pose and practically say, ‘Come get me, use me.’”

Tim Rutten’s mea culpa in the LAT is a little better. In it, he explains how newspaper editors use the number of “hits” a story gets on their Web sites when determining story placement for the next day’s paper.

But he loses us at the end when he suggests journalists should use this case to reconsider this popularity contest approach, saying, “It’s a good moment for American newspapers to take a reflective breath to consider just how they want to play this numbers game — or, more important, whether they want to play it at all. If that were to occur, then Anna Nicole Smith would not have died in vain.”

Good point, Rutten. We’re sure Anna Nicole would have gone whistling to her grave, had she known her demise would restore journalistic integrity.