Fourth Estate’s Failure: Who Really Loses When The Los
Angeles Times Distorts The News
by Charles McVey 5/21/03
In our civilization
the press is so powerful that in the late Eighteenth Century it
was first called the Fourth Estate; more powerful than the Church,
the State, and the People. By any objective measure, the press
is now so imprinted with a Leftist orientation, a Leftist agenda,
that they feel fully justified in not only slanting articles but
in changing the news.
While the recent Jayson Blair affair at the New York Times
may simply have been the disclosed factual fabrications of an
unscrupulous reporter it is – however - emblematic of the
ideological dishonesty of the majority of the Fourth Estate.
I need not look any further than the slab of newsprint sitting
in my own driveway to see this dishonesty on the pages of the
West Coast’s newspaper of record, the Los Angeles Times.
Here is just a top-of-mind sample:
- On Thursday,
January 11, 2001, the Times censored a column by George
Will. They felt justified in this action because they did not
agree, as Will did, that Juanita Broaddrick was believable.
To refresh your memory, Juanita Broaddrick accused President
Clinton of raping her some fifteen years before he came to the
presidency. At that time, the Times refused to even print her
name anywhere in the paper. Whether that is still true I cannot
- On any
given day, look at the Times’ front page and
Commentary page. Count the number of articles supporting Leftist
positions and Rightist positions. Note the tenor of these columns.
While I normally abstain from absolutist statements, you will
find the Los Angeles Times heavily weighted to the,
not Left, but far Left. I wrote to Janet Clayton, editor of
the Los Angeles Times’ Editorial pages, regarding
just that and used the editions from March 26 and 27 of this
year. Out of ten columns, all ten were of the far Left.
in March, a Times photographer manipulated a front-page photo
to make it appear a British soldier was menacing civilians,
including a baby. Actually, the soldier was actually trying
to get them to take shelter. While the Times did fire
the photographer, they justified his actions by saying that
it was only “an aesthetic thing.” [It must also
be noted others, not to their credit, feel such alterations
are quite valid. See Zone
- In the
May 12 issue of The Weekly Standard, Jonathan Foreman
related how the Los Angeles Times reporter, David Zucchino,
distorted the comments of an Iraqi doctor. When the doctor openly
commented the fact that he had always employed bodyguards, Zucchino
changed that statement to “he has hired two armed guards”,
implying the unrest caused by the Americans had caused him to
now hire guards. Why would Zucchino feel empowered to make such
a distortion? He obviously, and correctly, understands what
the Los Angeles Times wants.
we come to Robert Scheer. I challenge anyone to find a more
radical-left columnist writing for a major paper in America.
Now that’s saying something! This challenge leaves me
open to columnists from New York, Minneapolis, Boston, and San
Francisco, which is quite a pantheon of the Left. Again, obviously,
this is what the Los Angeles Times values.
morning while eating breakfast, I opened up to the Los Angeles
Times’ Commentary page and found one of the more disgusting
and failing attempts at journalism from Robert Scheer. This relic
from the old, far Left calls our American military liars.
He states we made up “phony footage (to) engender public
sympathy for a manufactured war.” He asserts we used blank
bullets, special effects, that it was all an act. For this amazing
series of accusations, that fail to stand up to casual inspection,
this relic cites the BBC. So what does the BBC say? Even the BBC,
an organization so biased that its news broadcasts were banned
from British war ships, says there are multiple stories floating
around and they are attempting to crosscheck the facts like a
reputable organization does. You can see an interview of the BBC
reporter at CNN.
The point to be made is that after all theses issues of reporting
integrity, issues that directly call into question the professionalism
of the Los Angeles Times itself, the Times’
editor allowed this unchecked, extraordinarily vicious, despicable
article to be published. Why? Because she agreed with its intent.
Janet Clayton knows what the policy is at the Los Angeles
Like the New York Times, the Scheer column is a failure
of the organization, not just the individual. These news organizations
have established predefined positions to which employees must
adhere. Subsequent failures of editors, columnists, or photographers
to accomplish their jobs with professionalism occur because they
know that organizational position. They know what is required.
They know achieving that goal is more important than truth.
Who loses here? We, the people.