64 Worst: L.A. Times v. LAPD

This faceoff is a battle of institutions.

Personally, I would not have picked the Los Angeles Times and the Los Angeles Police Department as two of the “worst things about Los Angeles.”

I think the LAPD is – for all its high-profile abuse cases and street-level bad-ass reputation – generally doing the best job it can with horribly outnumbered ranks and still managing to keep the bulk of the city safe at night. Nearly all LAPD officers do their jobs well.

I also think the Times is – for all its high-profile gaffes, blowhard op-ed columnists and tragically slow-on-the-uptake history of web strategizing – doing the best job it can with a horribly shrinking budget and still managing to show us news of some worth about the other institutions governing our lives. Nearly all L.A. Times journalists do their jobs well.

But the Metblogs audience insisted they face your vote because, perhaps, the Times and the LAPD are so damned important and should be so much better …

times.jpgSo which is worse – the hometown newspaper that:

  • Forgot long ago how to cover its home town intimately
  • Keeps publishing the work of inconsequential gasbags like Joel Stein and Jonah Goldberg
  • Can’t do any better breaking hard news in a crawling- with- prize- bait- scandals- and- epic- scumbags- who- should- be- taken- down culture like Hollywood than an endless tide of sycophantic star profiles and gee-whiz features
  • Still hasn’t fully (nearly a decade after it should have) quit treating its Web audience like lucky recipients of editorial wisdom rather than fellow community members and co-developers of valuable news?

lapd_badge.jpg Or the hometown police department that:

  • Can’t seem to manage an edgy protest without busting all the wrong heads
  • Has allowed abuses of power such as the Rampart scandal to reach huge and, well, scandalous proportions
  • Has a longstanding reputation for heavyhandedness against innocent people of color
  • Maintains a near-fetish for secrecy when it comes to getting to the bottom of such abuses?
Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.

14 thoughts on “64 Worst: L.A. Times v. LAPD”

  1. Actually, Jonah Golberg’s “liberal facscim” is a very interesting read. Overall I quit the LA times as a source for news. I get better local news from the NY Times.

    And as far as LAPD goes I’ve had mixed, some deserved some I initiated like neighborhood watch. My shout out for appreciation to the NoHo division who were a big help when I lived in Valley Village for many years.

  2. My shout out for appreciation to the NoHo division who were a big help when I lived in Valley Village for many years.

    Here, here.

    I live in Valley Village and couldn’t agree with you more.

    Their response time is pretty impressive.

  3. The LAPD is the bad dog of the city, always in trouble and it doesn’t pay its own legal bills. Ask your councilperson why community projects are stalled – they’re still paying off Rampart.

  4. This was an easy call. I don’t hate the LAPD at all. I simply feel they have a number of officers who should be behind bars, and a number more who should be fired for protecting the officers who should be arrested.

    The LA Times, on the other hand, is a blight upon the city. Sam Zell needs to go back to his gentlemen’s clubs in Chicago and STFU.

  5. As much as we complain, the LAPD works pretty well. It could work a helluva lot better, without a doubt, by spending it budget better and being more transparent.

    But the LA Times is becoming less and less relevent as a local news source in a city that needs a watchdog, like the Times has been in the past.

  6. IMHO, the LA Times has gotten better lately. It went through a rough spell the past couple years, and I was one of its biggest naysayers, but, to me anyway, it’s turned the corner. I actually went back to daily delivery– and that’s saying a lot because I’m a big cheapskate, what with it being free on the Internets. Their site still could be a lot better; I’m just talking about the print edition.

    (Also, I’m kind of loving the Birds of Paradise serial novel that Steve Lopez got going in the Cali section.)

  7. The Times rocketed into orbit and launched over the shark when they gave Jonah Goldberg a place to spout off his worthless tripe (the latest attack on people who have the audacity to put Darwin fishes on their car was particularly laughable.) He’s like a cross between a slightly-less hateful Ann Coulter and a slightly-less bullying Michelle Malkin.

    The LAPD, on the other hand, is a massive organization that has to deal with a complex, fluid, enormous city. The LAPD could certainly be better, but I think you can say that for just about every organization of its size and complexity.

    Put another way: if you could launch one of these into the heart of the Sun, which one would you pick? I’m already throwing the switch on Los Angeles Times.

  8. This is a hard one as I’ve said many times I hate cops, but you know that’s a heart thing in my head I don’t actually hate cops. I know that cops are simply following orders from a higher power.

    Business, gov’t, politicians stupid agendas…you can replace the chief of police all day long, you’re never going to get a change, because the chief of police is following orders from a way bigger guy (or gal.)

    Owing to that truth that the police actually have no power, but to smack you around, because really they can’t destroy your life, because they don’t make the laws. They don’t sentence people, they don’t build the jails, they don’t pay for the jails, they don’t decide which neighborhood gets policed and which doesn’t….

    But you know what the press has LOTS of power and the LA TIMES is a shameful piece of hack media. It’s bloody embarrassing that’s the only “national” paper that we have. They are really beginning to look a bit like TMZ, I mean what is the LA Times trying to do, become the NY Post, but more BORING.

    Are they trying to appeal to generation Y? The LA Times is becoming the newspaper version of the film Idiocracy, hopefully it never gets to that point. Lets pray it doesn’t, but it doesn’t look good.

    I shouldn’t even compare it to the NY Post, the NY Post even with it’s sensationalized bs checks it’s sources. That’s pretty basic. What was Chuck Philips thinking? Maybe I’m being a bit harsh, but that along with the horrible national coverage, pick up the NY Times and pick up the LA Times lay them side by side and be confused that LA is supposed to be a major city. What is wrong with our national paper?

    I’m waiting for a reporter at the LA Times to answer a f*ck up with, “In Wikipedia it said that this was correct.” I’m waiting for that.

    But the horrible thing about the LA Times is that it is our paper, so it does have power. The LA Times has more power than the police. It has the power to shape what the rest of the country thinks of us, it has the power to shape what we think of our neighbors, and that pisses me off, because there are a lot of morons over there and they seem to be firing all of the smart people and replacing them with idiots and everyone seems completely ok with that.

    I hate the LA Times, but it’s like hating your mom though. I mean its the only paper we have and I love reading the newspaper, so it makes me hate it even more.


  9. I have this thing I do with Lucianne’s son Jonah Goldberg’s column. You should try it some time. It’s kinda cool. It’s called “not reading it.”

  10. This one seemed like a no-brainer to me. And then I read the above comments and see that it was the case for just about everyone.

  11. This one seemed like a no-brainer to me. And then I read the above comments and see that it was the case for just about everyone.

    Me too, but the other way around. I think a lot of people are mistakenly comparing the people that work for the LAPD with the organization that is the LA Times, rather than comparing the two as entities. If you could pick one of the two organizations to revamp from the ground up, which one would improve the day-to-day life of the citizens of LA more measurably? Seems pretty obvious to me that it’s the LAPD. Whether the LA Times is relevant to the people of Los Angeles seems like a far, far, far less critical question than whether the LAPD is successfully keeping it’s citizens safe.

  12. “. I think a lot of people are mistakenly comparing the people that work for the LAPD with the organization that is the LA Times, rather than comparing the two as entities.” Cross

    Well for me I’m comparing the two entities. The LAPD even at the top doesn’t create policy, it simply implements someone else’s agenda. I wish it did, then I could write long pieces on my hate for them, but if you look behind the curtain the LAPD is just a gun, a big gigantic gun with no legs to stand on if the gov’t and policy doesn’t back what it does. It’s not the finger that pulls the trigger, its just the gun. A very powerful gun, but still just a gun.

    LAPD will work just as well or as poorly as the gov’t and our very rich business community wants it to work. Look at downtown LA they were able to clean that up pretty nicely within it seems like minutes. Is it because LAPD are really competent or forward thinking nope. It’s because people with money told them to do a job and they did it. Actually the LAPD does a great job at implementing the policies that the people with money in LA want.

    Some people want poor people or the people who people think are poor beaten into staying in “their” neighborhood. This isn’t an LAPD thing this is a City of LA thing. Look at how the people vote, Prop 13, Prop 187, that’s not the police department, that’s the citizens and business community of Los Angeles. The ugly part of the LAPD is the ugly truth of LA.

    You want to change the LAPD, change who runs the city. LAPD Chief of Police is simply a figure head who goes on the chopping block every time the people get mad. They do this stupid dance where they fire the chief of police and burn his effigy, so then the people think they have power, but actually cutting off the head of a puppet does nothing in the larger scheme of things.

    It makes everyone feel very good, but it doesn’t do anything.

    When I think of LAPD I think of that movie A Few Good Men, remember that scene with Jack Nicholson playing Jessep

    Jessep:…You don’t want the truth. Because deep down, in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me on that wall. You need me on that wall.

    That’s pretty much the LAPD, they are just doing what they are told. That’s where most liberals mess up in regards to fighting the LAPD, they fight the LAPD, which in the longterm does absolutely nothing.

    During the Civil Rights Movement, they didn’t fight the Montgomery, Alabama Police Department they fought the laws that made it ok for the Montgomery Police Department to turn fire hoses on little kids.

    It should be obvious the LAPD has no power, it’s so simple for the commom people to get mad at the head and get him fired. That right there points to something fishy going on.

    When crime goes up, because the economy is going down the toilet they’ll be some riot, they’ll fire Bratton because for some reason it was all his fault. Then they’ll bring in another guy and they’ll fire him, and that cycle will just keep going to the economy balances out and then that guy will have a job for as long as the economy is good, unless there is some city scandal that needs a scapegoat and they they’ll fire him…it’s stupid…


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