When the LA Weekly wrote a lengthy story last September about how little Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa attended to his official duties, it wasn't plowing fresh soil.Rainey pins most of the blame on the editorial judgment of news editor Jill Stewart.
The media, rightly, should do whatever it can to determine if a politician is already measuring the drapes for his next office while sitting in his current one.
But as it has with several stories in recent times, the Weekly didn't let the facts speak for themselves in its Villaraigosa takedown.
Instead, it employed more semantic spin than Kobe Bryant puts on a jump shot, along with a prosecutorial methodology that proved much more about the declining quality of our city's dominant alternative newspaper than it did about our attention-grasping mayor.
I'm reminded that the LA Weekly just took home a slew of awards from the LA Press Club, including one for political writing.
*UPDATE: Jill Stewart responds to the Rainey column in an email to fishbowlLA and asserts the awards defense:
I wanted to tell my colleagues and friends in journalism and blogging that James Rainey of the Los Angeles Times did not contact me for his take-down attempt column about me today, published during the very same week in which news-side stories I assigned and edited blew the Times out of the water at the Los Angeles Press Club awards. These awards, announced five days ago, were judged entirely by journalists in other major cities around the nation to avoid local favoritism. And then yesterday, a young reporter who won a major award for a piece that I assigned and edited beat The New York Times and was in Washington, D.C. collecting his award...
It goes on from there here. The best part might be the graphic atop the fisbowlLA post.