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Los Angeles Times Writer ‘Screws’ Up Reporting Job for a Source

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We understand. Before the fall, you just get crapped on.

Meet Jason Felch. 

He was a star investigative reporter for the Los Angeles Times. A guy whose credits stood on their own. That is, before he was “dismissed” after editors discovered he had an inappropriate relationship with someone who was a source for a front-page story that the newspaper says contained an error.

A double screw job, me thinks… *golf clap*

It’s no secret newspapers literally can’t afford bad PR, so when something like this happens, there’s only one thing to do: damage control. Felch has made his share of enemies in this world, much like any good investigative reporter has done. However, ego usually trumps common sense when you believe your own press.

jason felch bookFelch (pictured here shilling for his book) was reporting on a sexual assault investigation at Occidental College (a school that prides itself being known as “OXY” … in Los Angeles where drugs are a skosh available, you may want to reconsider that).

His Dec. 7 article said “Occidental College didn’t disclose 27 alleged sex assaults in 2012, as it must under a federal law requiring campuses to publish serious crime reports on or near campus.”

The Times says a review found that the incidents did not fit the law’s definition of campus crimes. While that is not typically grounds for more than a slap on the wrist and a printed retraction, Felch went above and beyond the call of duty. Evidently, Felch was schtupping his confidential informant for this rich news. Whoops.

Times Editor Davan Maharaj said Jason Felch’s relationship with a source and his failure to disclose the relationship constituted “a professional lapse of the kind that no news organization can tolerate.” He said much more in a public statement written in the Times. 

To wit, Felch said in a statement that the story was published weeks before the relationship began, and that he stopped relying upon the person as a source during the relationship. He believed he was fired for creating the appearance of a conflict of interest.

“I accept full responsibility for what I did and regret the damage it has done to my family and my colleagues at one of the nation’s great newspapers,” Felch said.

Family?! Stay classy, Felch. Maybe you’ll find a gig at a Terra Haute Holiday Inn Express. Bonne Chance.

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