This faceoff is a battle of institutions.
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 …
So 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?
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?