They drive, they ride, etc. *

The experiment called the L.A. Times editorial page veered off in a new direction today. In place of editorials and letters to the editor, they blew out the whole page for light vignettes about each editorial writer's commute to work. Nothing remarkable or especially interesting happens to any of them, and the effort doesn't attempt any profound thoughts. But at least readers now know where the members of the editorial board live: Burbank, Pasadena, Atwater Village, Laguna Beach, Woodland Hills, Marina del Rey, Rancho Palos Verdes, Hancock Park, Laurel Canyon and of course, Seattle.

My commute is up two flights of stairs in my house and then about 30 feet horizontally. Traffic is light, due to no children or houseguests and my wife having left early for work.

But my commute is not always this easy. In Los Angeles, I live in Bunker Hill Towers. Getting to The Times requires descending 15 floors in an elevator and then walking for about 10 minutes, or driving for between two and three minutes, depending on the traffic. And, of course, although I couldn't imagine that I would ever drive this pathetic distance, longtime Angelenos insisted that I would, most of the time, and they were right.

Michael Kinsley

At other papers, this would have been done, if at all, in the features section — and probably would have come in for criticism about devoting a page to the mundane lives of staffers who commute instead of the mundane lives of readers who commute. We do learn, however, that Michael Newman, another ex-New York Times editor who Andrs Martinez brought in as his deputy, has started on the job — and is living in Burbank.

* Updates: Jay Rosen at NYU takes notice, and Cathy Seipp fills in the National Review audience on what's up at the LAT.


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