The US news media exists to report the news, not make and shape the news and hence, history. The editorial page is reserved as its only allotted and appropriately labelled exercise in subjectivity, and a medium's sole departure from its professional obligation and the public's expectation of objectivity.
The Los Angeles Times has been appallingly abusive in its misuse of the power of the press to control the outcome of today's California gubernatorial recall and replacement election. Front page headlines consistently referred to Mr. Schwarzenegger as "celebrity" or "actor" whereas Mr. Davis was referred to by name. Only three days prior to balloting, the Times published sensational allegations by four anonymous and two identified women charging sexual harrassment thirty years ago by Mr. Schwarzenegger. The Times published a rumor that a book proposal alleges that Arnold was once a Nazi-admirer.
Anyone at anytime can write a book proposal alleging anything....since the book has not been published, the author or publisher can't be sued for libel or defamation. The Times publishes books, and it well knows this.
The Los Angeles Times has not devoted front page or significant print space analyzing the candidates' differences on education challenges, methods planned to meet the state budget shortfall. both the needs of and burdens created by illegal aliens and undocumented workers, excessive taxation and red-tape for small businesses, and other subtantive, important issues.
In this election, the Los Angeles Times has acted more like the National Enquirer than the New York Times. The Times has lost a good measure of its credibility and community goodwill, and, I suspect, readers, too.
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