A feature story about the Chinese student body at San Marino High School has promoted an outcry by students and threats of violence against Pasadena Star-News reporter Cindy Chang. Editor Larry Wilson writes in a column today:
The newsroom is concerned. I'm saddened and astonished. The administration is upset. And the police are interested in the crime that is called "making terrorist threats.'
You can read the stories for yourself and decide. I'd be happy to come to the school and talk to the students one on one or en masse; the insightful series would be a joy to discuss and defend. Quite likely it will all blow over and I will chalk the threats up to too many video games and the macho fantasy life they encourage. I'll rationalize it as what semioticians call "negotiated reading' resisting and modifying what is actually on the page to reflect one's own position, hearing what one wants to hear.
But that doesn't mean that what is being said isn't deeply disappointing nonsense.
Blogger Brady Westwater points out, accurately, that the redesign of LATimes.com has made the Corrections page harder than ever to find — and eliminated access to corrections from previous days. Now you just get the current day. Instead of being highlighted for the sake of transparency, the Corrections link is placed at the bottom of the main page, in seemingly random unalphabetic order.
On page 27 of today's Times Calendar, HBO runs a large ad for Saturday night's children's special "Classical Baby." But oops, just above and touching the ad is an AP story headlined "HBO show for infants is criticized." In the story, a consultant and psychologist say, essentially, don't let your kid watch it. Somebody at HBO can't be happy about the placement.
A rush book by L.A. Times columnist Michael Hiltzik, The Plot Against Social Security: How the Bush Plan is
Endangering Our Financial Future, is starting to arrive. Official publication date is May 31, with a print run of 60,000. The project was launched after a column he wrote in November caught the eye of agent Sandy Dijkstra, says Publishers Weekly.
Jonathan Lansner, business columnist for The Orange County Register, is the new president of the Society of American Business Editors and Writers.
Rip Rense deconstructs Laura Bush's visit to Homeboy Industries and the Times coverage of her stop.
The third issue of Bello magazine hits mailboxes, or arrives tucked in the L.A. Times wrapper in certain Zip codes, next month.
Comedy Ointment is another news parody site, this one out of L.A. by comedian/writer Steve Tatham.