As Kevin Roderick at LA Obsvered noted earlier this week, the Los Angeles Times has hired “Top of the Ticket” contributor Jimmy Orr as deputy editor for online, which involves coordinating “online news and features efforts.”
Orr has solid experience in this realm, having worked as online editor at the Christian Science Monitor. He also has a history as a strict Republican partisan, serving as an internet strategist for both Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and President George W. Bush (Orr is to blame for those “Barney Cam” videos, apparently).
Orr’s conservative past does not disqualify him for the job of deputy online editor. However, it is odd that the Times asked him to write partisan opinion in/on its own pages before promoting him to an ostensibly impartial editing job - it seems a disservice to him and to the reporters under him. Is this the kind of thing the Times has done before?