The LAT's non-endorsement *

Howard Blume at the LA Weekly asked Kerry voter Michael Kinsley why his L.A. Times editorial page didn't take a stand on the presidential race.

Kinsley is up-front about his own plans to vote for Kerry, but said the editorial leadership couldnít muster sufficient enthusiasm for either candidate to break precedent. The tradition would surely be shelved, he said, when ďThere will be an election, some century, where one of the candidates truly excites so many people that we want to endorse him or her. In this case, it would have been like everybody else: "On balance, we prefer X or Y.'"

But donít voters have to make that very distinction?

"It was a tradition," Kinsley said. "And they decided before I got there to keep it.... I donít really defend the logic of this non-endorsement policy."

As we noted on Sunday, the Times is alone among big California papers and in the Tribune chain in not endorsing. [* Well, almost alone: The Orange County Register also does not endorse.] Of course the Times, more than any Tribune paper, is called on to defend itself against charges of Democratic bias. Have to wonder if that swayed the decision.

Also in the Weekly: Nikki Finke writes that on the stand in the Disney trial in Delaware, Michael Ovitz "told a whiny tale of woe verging perilously close to acute paranoia and utter mendacity. They were all out to get him, every last one of them. Working his way up from a stuttering start to 15-minute, breath-defying soliloquies, complete with perspiring upper lip but just short of a rant-induced lather, Ovitz blamed everyone at the company but himself for his abject failure."

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