Wednesday, April 25, 2007

LA TIMES email defends token coverage of Cheney impeachment

What's missing from today's front page?

Articles of impeachment were filed on Dick Cheney, probably for the first time for a vice president in American history, and the Los Angeles Times could only muster two paragraphs buried on A15, while legalizing abortion in Mexico City merited front page coverage.

Kucinich's impeachment effort is important not just for Cheney's past sins, but for what he and Bush still want to do: bomb Iran. At best, this would lead to Iran unleashing terrorists on us and Israel. At worst, it could spark a nuclear war with China and Russia since they have told us to butt the hell out.

I haven't written these guys in a while, but I had an interesting exchange last time (I even got Greg Palast involved), so I thought it was worth a shot.

My past exchanges:

Arnold & Enron
Response on Arnold & Enron
The editor's mistakes on his own paper's coverage
Editor's mistake on pending Enron lawsuit
Greg Palast weighs in on LA Times, Enron, & Arnold
Same editor on electronic voting
Exchange with head editor on generally vapid content

Here's how it's gone so far this time:


FROM: Professor Smartass
(the managing editors and one layer below them)

SUBJECT: Why only token coverage of Cheney Impeachment?

Why did articles of impeachment filed against Dick Cheney by Dennis Kucinich only warrant two briefs paragraphs?

Your headlines above the fold today are on legalized abortion in Mexico City, another story on Virginia Tech that is more personal interest than news, and a power struggle in the Baath Party, who aren't a major player in Iraq anymore. Are those more important than articles of impeachment against Cheney? How many front page stories did you do on impeaching Clinton?

When was the last time a vice president was impeached?

When were such serious charges raised against a vice president or president?

Don't you think this warrants a little more coverage given the tax dollars and lives the actions of the Bush administration has cost us?


FROM: Leo Wolinsky (managing editor)
TO: Professor Smartass

SUBJECT: RE: Why only token coverage of Cheney Impeachment?

At this point there is no indication that this effort has substantial support. If it does gain momentum we will certainly write a great deal about it. But our job is to determine which stories have the most impact at the time they happen. I do appreciate your views on this and we'll watch the effort closely.

Leo Wolinsky


FROM: Professor Smartass
TO: Leo Wolinsky

SUBJECT: Whose support for impeachment of Cheney are you waiting for?

Whose support are you waiting for?

Public support for impeaching Bush is already nearly double what it was for impeaching and removing Clinton at the height of all that hype according to the Wall Street Journal.

Don't regular people like your readers count or do we have to be advertisers or major investors in the Tribune Group?



FROM: Leo Wolinsky
TO: Professor Smartass

RE: Whose support for impeachment of Cheney are you waiting for?

If the support of the public is there, this will become evident quickly and I can assure you we will cover the story.


Rather than berate the mainstream media, we should take this as a challenge to get this on their radar. So go to the post office, buy a pack of five postcards, and send one to your congressman with these three words on it:


You can find your congressman's address here:

Remember to put a return address on it, so they know you are a constituent.

Send the other four postcards to the managing editor of your local paper and any TV news you want with these three words:




ImpeccableLiberalCredentials said...

Every indicator of online popularity, from and technorati to google trends shows this is a major story, and shrinking newsroom staffs who lean too heavy on bloggers to do their legwork realize this.

Yet too many bloggers and journalists think that Kucinich is automatically outside of the scope of polite conversation (like porn perhaps).

Yet Kucinich and impeachment, like porn are really popular.

The guys with access to all the webserver and network stats will tell you this.

Rich Miles said...

There will be a lot more said about this in days to come, probably more of it in the blogosphere than the MSM. I won't waste too much bandwidth here.

But I wanted to offer the following observation: in the Deja Vu block, is it intentional, do we think, that the drawing of Shrub looks just a leetle bit like Alfred E Newman?

I'm just sayin'...

Roger Drowne EC said...

L.A. TIMES, OK Professor or Any-Body

2 Use 16 + Impeach Bush, Cheney, Neo Cons - TREASON - FREE-DOM ( 30 X 60 ) Paintings / Images at...

Any Way U Want, Hope They Help

OK 2 Copy, Download, Pass em On

Mikael Rudolph said...

Hey Smartass,

This is Mikael Rudolph, co-founder of

I just "Dugg" your story after one of my cohorts posted it on our site.

Nice work.

The Corporate Media is the biggest obstacle to positive change in this country. Keep after 'em, they need to be "smartassed".

L.A. Times just got bought out (sold out?) and Robert Scheer was almost immediately shoved out the door:

L.A. Times is Now a Sucky NeoCon Mouthpiece (not the real title)

The Star Tribune here in Minneapolis didn't even mention the Kucinich move, to my knowledge.

Eventually they will either come around and get real, or they will be overwhelmed by the truth that can only be found from independent sources and bloggers such as yourself.

Keep it up....

Professor Smartass said...

On Bush & Alfred E. Neuman, I think that's a more complimentary drawing than a more realistic one that looks like a chimp or gargoyle.