An exchange of increasingly hostile emails between Susan Estrich and Michael Kinsley was strangely cc'd to the Washington Examiner and shows up in the new Phil Anschutz-owned paper. In the course of it, Estrich vents about Kinsley not returning calls and emails then breaks with decorum and alludes to his Parkinson's disease (and his living-in-Seattleness):
People are beginning to think that your illness may have affected your brain, your judgment, and your ability to do this job. The fact that you were not in Los Angeles all week hardly helps matters, nor does the fact that you don't return phone calls. You are making things worse for yourself.
Kinsley had offered to let Estrich write an "Outside the Tent" piece, but after the crack about his illness, he declares her persona non grata at the L.A. Times and invokes the editor-in-chief's name as back up:
Your mischaracterizations of what I wrote to you are farcical, as anyone can plainly see from reading the whole string. But your references to "concern for [my] health" are disgusting. Consider my invitation to write for the Times when things calm down rescinded. John Carroll agrees.
Obscured by all this is that, Estrich's complaints about women writers aside, there does seem to be a lot of concern verging on anger in this town about dimunition of local voices on the Times' commentary pages. In that view, the Times under Kinsley has chosen to forego taking a lead role in the discussion of ideas and issues of special interest to the West, California and Los Angeles in order to run light features from Michael Lewis and Joel Stein and national columnists such as Margaret Carlson. Still, I'm told the reinvention of Sunday Opinion remains a work in progress, so who knows what it all will look like in a year.
And: Estrich's anti-Times website is still dead.