Editor’s Note: LA Times columnist James Rainey, following the lead of several former Times and LA Weekly writers, today slammed the aggressive coverage of city politics in the LA Weekly and the person responsible for its prize-winning stories, News Editor Jill Stewart. Stewart, whose body of work over many years is as good and as important as anybody’s, fired back in an email blast (jillstewartresponse.doc). It’s all too much for Bruno, the lover of dog trainers.
You may assume I make of habit of peeing on the The Dog Trainer – AKA the Los Angeles Times – both literally and metaphorically (how do you like that for a dog?), but sometimes those guys downtown just make it too damn easy.
Case in point: Jim Rainey’s “On the Media” column this morning that damn near calls for news editor Jill Stewart to be dragged out of the LAWeekly and shot for her alleged sins against journalism.
As my dear old dad used to say: “People who live in stone houses shouldn’t throw glass.” (Hey, he was just a dog.)
Rainey — whose own paper recently wrapped an entire edition in an ad for a TV show – under the masthead! — bemoans the fact the Weekly isn’t the same old lefty publication it was in the old days before his pals got fired, then attacks Stewart for being, well, just too hard on the elected officials his colleagues pal around with.
“… Stewart’s more important, and insidious, influence has been not as an ideologue but as a pedagogue — pushing for what one writer who has worked with her called “gotcha, pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey journalism.”
(Like most of those who spoke to me, this scribe declined to be named because he feared Stewart could hurt his chances of writing for the Weekly, a risk he didn’t want to take in a contracting market.)
Whoa Jimbo! Is that an anonymous source you’re quoting? Isn’t that what you always do? And are you allowing “this scribe” to dump on someone who might have been his or her boss?
I’m just a dog, but I thought that was forbidden under the guidelines established by The Dog Trainer after it was embarrassed by one of its writers a few years ago. Regardless, isn’t it only fair that your readers know the name of “this scribe?”
Rainey devotes a lot of his column criticizing a LAWeekly piece that eviscerated our mayor for not working hard enough. He doesn’t like the analysis of his schedule. He feels the same way about the Weekly’s look a crime stats.
I guess his subscription to Los Angeles magazine expired. He probably really hates its recent cover declaring Antonio a “failure.”
Rainey wraps up his piece by saying:
“I don’t see the Weekly regaining its equilibrium as long as Stewart remains in charge of the news section.”
Bruno has a suggestion for Rainey’s next “On the Media” column: Try to find your boss Russ Stanton and ask him why The Dog Trainer has euthanized his staff, pretty much killed local political coverage and sold its soul to advertisers.
I’ll read that one – before I relieve myself.