After UC Irvine historian and controversial Los Angeles chronicler Mike Davis was called a "Marxist apocalypticist" by Gregory Rodriguez in the LAT's Current section on Sunday, he fired off an angry email to Current editor Nick Goldberg. The missive and Goldberg's polite if terse response (OK, let's call it a blow-off) landed at LA Observed and are posted after the jump. Sample:
I have heard that you're a good guy, but I have yet to see any evidence of that in the paper...
Click below to read the whole, sort-of nasty thing. The wife mentioned is author Amy Wilentz, who is married to Goldberg. Sounds unlikely that Davis will be getting many op-eds in the Times while Goldberg remains. (Update: Goldberg replies.)
Meanwhile, Rodriguez's column about the left in Los Angeles also prompted a lengthy retort from former LA Weekly news editor Alan Mittelstaedt. That one, defending the non-ideological chops of the Weekly's recent journalism, can be found in its entirety at We Get Email. Mittelstaedt, by the way, will continue to write the L.A. Sniper column for his former employer. Sample:
Had Rodriguez bothered to read the paper, he would find some of the most complex investigative work defies labeling as either pro- or anti-liberal....
I wouldn’t underestimate the future changes in store for the L.A. Weekly. But first-rate journalism – which punctures hypocritical and ineffective leaders of all political stripes – has been practiced at the paper for years.
OK, click for the Mike Davis-Nick Goldberg exchange:
To: [Nicholas Goldberg]
Sent: Sun Nov 19 16:14:39 2006
Subject: tokenism is the deeper issue
I don't really give a shit what lies and innuendo you guys print about me, but you might give some consideration to the Times' unchanging paternalist policy of allowing only one token (and since the death of Frank del Olmo - conservative) Latino voice to regularly appear on its Op-Ed and Opinion pages. I heard your wife the other day speak with truly eloquent passion about the struggle of immigrant working people in Los Angeles. If you possess an iota of her obvious conscience and gumption you would invite someone like Ruben Martinez to provide a progressive Latino perspective alongside of the daily rants from National Review types and clones of Ruyard Kipling [sic].
I have heard that you're a good guy, but I have yet to see any evidence of that in the paper. Even my miserable Copley local, the Union-Tribune, has a more diverse and usually more interesting op-ed section than yours.
Goldberg's reply a couple of hours later:
Date: Sun, November 19, 2006 4:18 pm
To: [Mike Davis]
Always nice to hear from you.