"Weather" — or Not? 

Wednesday, Sep 23 2009

Under the Weather
Re “Weathermen’s Ticking Time Bomb,” by Peter Jamison (Sept. 17):

Your “Time Bomb” cover is a wonderful hook for an article that is embarrassingly insignificant. After several pages summarizing what has already been established about the Weather Underground’s unverifiable involvement in the Park station bombing of 1970, Jamison concludes with the rousing revelation that “as time passes, a conviction seems more improbable.” This is cheap journalism that substitutes catchy tag lines for thoughtful political discussions. At a time during which America is fighting two imperial wars of aggression in the Middle East and has assumed an extrajudicial power of global sovereignty (e.g., incursion into Somalia last week and continued bombings of Pakistan), you have chosen to devote your resources to tabloid-worthy speculations. If the Weekly would like to interrogate the merits of revolutionary politics, then perhaps it should spend some time investigating how we can stop a government run by two parties intent on perpetuating a system whose brutality needs no more evidence to warrant a conviction.

—Comment by Spencer Jackson, L.A.

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You have got to be kidding me. THIS is the best L.A. Weekly can come up with? This tepid rehash of the whole Bill Ayers business from last year’s election, reprinted from the S.F. Weekly, and on the COVER, yet? I was a newspaperman for almost 30 years (now, thank God, I write books and plays), and it’s this type of mindless sludge that makes me glad I left the business. You’ve disgraced anyone who carries a press card with this “non-news” tripe, and contributed to the dumbing down of this culture (I wasn’t sure it could go much lower). Do your jobs, people. “The only reason for journalism to exist is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.” That’s a quote from H.L. Mencken (look him up, if you need to be reminded what a real journalist is). This story did neither. Just plain awful.

—Comment by Chris Dickerson, L.A.


This is the most sensationalistic article I’ve seen in a long time — from the absurd headline connecting Obama, who was, as we all know by now, a child at the time of these events, to the suggestion that rumors, even in the complete absence of any new or significant evidence, should add up to a case simply because they persist. Here’s a story in which you have two different parties giving unconvincing confessions to the same crime — one because she wants something in exchange and the other because he was going to jail anyway — and no physical evidence worth prosecuting, and so ... what exactly is the point? I’m really not sure it can be anything other than to try to use the names “Ayers” and “Obama” in the same sentence because they’ve been proven to whip up a frenzy. That’s not journalism.

—Comment by Ruby, L.A.


L.A. City Hall
Re “Eight Candidates Scare L.A. City Hall,” by Paul Teetor (Sept. 15):

My blog started as a source to address the financial issues facing the state and local governments. I felt I had to fill a void; finance was not receiving enough attention. After the CD 2 election, I will refocus my efforts on covering the dire financial crisis facing us. I will not pull any punches when it comes to criticizing politicians who are selling us out to the unions and developers at a terrible price. Quality of life will go down the drain if we do not manage our budget. We have several rough years ahead under the best of circumstances. We need to start electing true citizen advocates now. The longer we wait, the worse it will get.

—Comment by Paul Hatfield, Valley Village


While it’s great that these blogs are covering the CD2 race, it is also important to note that they are getting so many readers not really due to their spectacular quality, but more because of the absence of other legitimate sources covering this race daily. Most of these blogs are not written by any kind of credible experts or journalists (except for Ron Kaye’s blog). Some posts appear researched, but most appear to have facts pulled out of thin air. Biases are blatant. Maybe the reason we have to get crappy, half-baked “news” from blogs is because the real political journalists in L.A. are either total stooges of the establishment or have gotten so angry and cynical that all they put out is completely biased, yellow journalism that is better fit for the National Enquirer.

—Comment by Concerned Reader, L.A.


C’mon, Cops!
Re “LAUSD’s Finest: Los Angeles School Police,” by Max Taves (Sept. 2):

Like many police agencies, LASPD is not immune from mismanagement and cronyism. After 11 years, I left LASPD. I couldn’t get a promotion because I wasn’t a “yes man.” I left, and within five years I was promoted to sergeant. Boy. (What a headache that can be, thanks to the consent decree!) I’m still a sergeant. Ian King should never have been hired. When King became an L.A. School cop I met him in the field a few times. It was through one of these encounters that I took a personnel complaint against him for misconduct. At the time of his crimes in the downtown area, King was working alone because no one on the department trusted him or would work with him. This article was unfair to the hard-working officers, past and present, of LASPD who put their lives on the line to protect the public!

The L.A. School Police are a vital link between the kids and safe schools. It is unfortunate that what happened with King happened at all. Let’s hope the LASPD can get leadership that has the vision to be the best that it can be! You guys deserve the respect! I miss my comrades in blue.

—Comment by Walt, Reseda


Last week’s theater review of Peace credited the adaptation of Aristophanes’ play to the trio of Culture Clash. John Glore was also on that writing team.

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