A Sign of the Times

Carol Platt Liebau
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Posted: Jul 02, 2008 10:39 PM
The Los Angeles Times is resorting to drastic cutbacks in order to survive.  At the same time, radio genius Rush Limbaugh signs an unprecedented $400 million contract.

Interestingly, representatives of the Times are explaining the people canceling subscriptions are saying "that they don't have enough time to read the paper that we give them every day."  Hm.  Really?  Because the same people seem to find time to listen to the radio and get on the computer . . .

The Times is engaging in the same kind of myopic denial that's gotten it into this mess in the first place.  Consider this.  Rush Limbaugh doesn't pretend to be objective, and you get a lot of opinion when you tune into his show.  But when he offers a fact, it's airtight.  You can take it to the bank.  What's more, he's interesting.

In contrast, the Times isn't often interesting, and it is often predictable.   It offers (consistently left-wing) opinions -- sometimes even irrelevantly inserted into otherwise unrelated Calendar section stories -- yet it insists it's objective.  Its polls can't be trusted, as they consistently overweight Democrats in the samples (remember this, the poll that had Cruz Bustamante beating Schwarzenegger by 13 points during the recall?) 

Most damning, its news accounts can't always be trusted . . . in fact, a very successful blog, Patterico's Pontifications, has come to prominence by documenting egregious lapses that smack of left-wing bias. 

It's hard to shed tears for a paper that so often fails in what should be its primary mission -- to offer absolutely trustworthy reporting, to keep news and opinion separate, and to offer a variety of interesting, compelling and un-stuffy voices to its readers.

And it's impossible not to congratulate Rush -- perhaps the most influential voice of conservatism today -- on his well-deserved deal.