Saturday, November 11, 2006

Why The Los Angeles Times Is A Failure No Matter Who Owns It

As a conservative Republican in Southern California, one thing that I notice is how many no longer read and or subscribe to the Los Angeles Times, the largest newspaper in the region and the west, or left, coast. It is many judging by the consistent plunge in subscribers and readers. It begs the question, why?
It has, for most of my 42 years on God's green earth been left of center. It has been not exactly a supporter of Ronald Reagan's two runs for governor or president. It rarely supports any Republican candidates for office, but did endorse Governor Arnold this year.
But it goes beyond that. It is the culture of the newsroom and the editors and the lack of understanding the diversity of the area that they cover.
If the Washington press corps is hovering around 90% in favor of Democrats and their policies, do you not think it is the same at the Times? Do you not think it permeates in the way that a story is covered, and what kind of story is pursued? Of course it does and conservatives have come to realize that the Times does not care about having a conservative readership.
I am not suggesting that they become a shill for conservative Republicans, but for all the left wing criticism of Fox News Channel, it does make a concerted effort to present both sides to a story. It does cover stories that the DBDMSM won't. That is why it is so popular.
Look at the way that the recent election was covered. It was tilted worse than an old pinball machine in favor to the Democrats. It never refers to current house minority leader Nancy Pelosi as a left winger. In the prism of the DBDMSM, there are no left wingers. But, any casual observer would have to see that Mrs. Pelosi is a left winger. So are many of the incoming chairs to the house and senate committees.
While the Republicans deserved in a sense the beating we took, where is the story about what the Republican party will do now?
The most glaring problem, not just with the Times, but in general, how religion is covered. Only when there is scandal does the DBDMSM seem to care. Does any one over at the Times ever do positive or in depth articles about evangelical Christians, observant Jews and mainstream Islamics without and slant or bias? No. But, you will see how they are mocked or treated with such disrespect. I mean, we all know that Pastor Ted Haggard had a seedy life with drugs and a gay prostitute. But, had there been any articles about the good and positive things that the New Life church had accomplished? We are treated to how terrible it is that the IRS is going after very left wing All Saints Episcopal Church, or as I refer to it as All Socialists. Where were they when the IRS during the Clinton administration went after a church in upstate New York and took away their tax-exempt status?
It is, simply put, the world view of the average journalist today that vanity and celebrity is good. Modesty and piety are a thing of the past and should not be taken seriously. Social justice is ok. Personal behavior does not matter unless one is being exposed for seemingly hypocritical behavior. Big government is good. Small government bad. Feeling is better than thinking.
That is why the Times will not change. Any owner will face the same problem unless they set down serious guidelines. Such as having a balanced op-ed page where multiple points of view are on display. Occasionally, have a pro conservative point of view in an actual editorial.
Have people that can write a coherent story about religion with some basic knowledge, not an agenda.
Don't look at conservatives as an expendable potential readership.
And maybe, don't be shy about how journalism is presented. In other words, make clear that "analysis" is really a point of view and don't hide behind that word.
The irony is that recently, the top 25 newspapers in the United States went down or flat in circulation. Except one. Do you know what that is? The New York Post. Some call it a tabloid rag, but it is the ONLY newspaper in the United States that has had consistent growth. Maybe it is because when you read the Post, they do not hide what they are.
Maybe that is what the DBDMSM should look at.
The culture of the newsroom has to change. Until then, conservatives will stop buying the Los Angeles Times and the other DBDMSM newspapers until they are treated with respect. Afterall, most American cities are now down to one newspaper. That alone one would think would make them MORE, not less, to reach out to a wider audinence.
Now, I will read the New York Post as I am watching FNC!

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