Friday, May 13, 2005

A Brief Tour of the Los Angeles Times Front Page for Today

Every now and then, when I'm in the right mood, I get a kick out of scanning the front page of the L.A. Times just to see the obvious slant. Here's today's sampling:

The top right headline:

  • Committee withholds its recommendation after a Republican member rebukes Bush's choice for U.N. envoy. But confirmation is likely.

  • WASHINGTON — After weeks of bruising discord, a divided Senate Foreign Relations Committee sent President Bush's choice of John R. Bolton as U.N. ambassador to the full Senate on Thursday without endorsing him. A Republican majority in the Senate is expected to confirm him as early as next week.

    Read the entire article; you'll see where the writer stands in this "news" piece. Oh, you'll see a brief quote by one of Bolton's supporters, but you'll have to read to the 16th paragraph. Most of the story is dedicated to breathless reporting on Republican Senator Voinivich's decision to vote to send the nomination to the floor without a recommendation. You will search the article in vain for any reference to this fact: Senator Voinovich never bothered to attend any session of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee at which Bolton testified.

    The next one is right next to the Bolton article, and is by the ever-predictable Ronald Brownstein, who still misses Bill Clinton:

    One Slim Win After Another for Bush

    By Ronald Brownstein
    Times Staff Writer

    May 13, 2005

    WASHINGTON — All the polarizing political dynamics of George W. Bush's presidency condensed into a single illuminating episode Thursday, as the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted to advance the nomination of John R. Bolton.

    Like so many of Bush's initiatives, the nomination of the blustery Bolton as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations energized conservatives, outraged Democrats and squeezed moderates in both parties.

    And, as he has many times before, Bush won the legislative fight by the narrowest of margins — maintaining just enough support from Ohio Sen. George V. Voinovich and other committee Republicans critical of Bolton to overcome uniform Democratic opposition and move the nomination to the Senate floor on a party-line vote.

    The vote demonstrated again Bush's willingness to live on the political edge — to accept achingly narrow margins in Congress and at the ballot box to pursue ambitious changes that sharply divide the country.
    You get the drift. Bush has little popular support and is simply winning time after time by narrow margins. How does he do it?

    The big photo on the front page, above the fold, is about the funeral of Miguel Contreras. I've never heard of Mr. Contreras, and I'll wager that 95% of the Times' readers had not either; but apparently he was considered an important Hispanic labor leader in L.A., and his untimely death at age 52 got him on the front page.

    The standing room-only crowd, estimated at 4,500, included many of the most prominent politicians and labor leaders in the state and nation. From Congress came U.S. Reps. Diane Watson (D-Los Angeles) and Loretta Sanchez (D-Anaheim). From Sacramento, State Democratic Party Chairman Art Torres and Assemblyman Mark Ridley-Thomas (D-Los Angeles).

    From Los Angeles, Mayor James K. Hahn, former Los Angeles Councilman Richard Alatorre and filmmaker-activist Rob Reiner mixed with all 15 members of the City Council and three of five county supervisors.

    John Sweeney, president of the AFL-CIO, came with his two top lieutenants, Richard Trumka and Linda Chavez-Thompson. Four national union presidents joined them: Andrew Stern of the 1.8-million-member Service Employees International Union, Bruce Raynor and John Wilhelm of the recently merged union Unite Here and Arturo Rodriguez of the United Farm Workers, who was a pallbearer.
    Reads like a veritable pantheon of lefty pols and activists in Los Angeles, doesn't it? This is only the latest of several stories about Mr. Contreras' passing. One wonders whether a conservative behind-the-scenes political figure in L.A. would get the same coverage.

    Looking below the fold, here's what we find:

    A brazen conspiracy among U.S. law enforcement officers and soldiers to smuggle cocaine from Mexico was disclosed Thursday by the Justice Department, adding to concerns that public corruption north of the border was growing.

    Really? Whose "concerns?" I had not heard anything about this prior to Mr. Vartabedian's story. The rest of his piece actually seems pretty straightforward, but it looks to me like a story about the justice system working well-- cracking down on corruption, prosecuting the offenders. It does not seem fair to me that the culmination of this successful three-year operation is "adding to concerns" about "public corruption north of the border." Looks to me like the bad guys got caught in this one.

    Oh, well. Just another day with the L.A. Times, whose management seems to think its falling circulation is related to competition from the Internet, not to its lefty tabloid-style content.


    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean people aren't out to get you.  

    Posted by Anonymous

    Friday, May 13, 2005 10:32:00 AM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Anonymous: Huh? 

    Posted by The Hedgehog

    Friday, May 13, 2005 11:33:00 AM  

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