Bill Boyarsky played a prominent role in cleaning up the L.A. Times' ethical mess after the Staples Center scandal in 1999, serving as the conduit for ex-publisher Otis Chandler to publicly, and crucially, get involved. At the time, media reporter David Shaw was given the independence to report in detail on the paper's own screw up. Boyarsky, a former Times city editor and columnist, writes in reaction to Grazergate that the paper needs to deputize a team of investigative reporters to look into what he calls "the Times’ worst ethical failure since the Staples affair."
A beefed up team of top reporters should join media reporter Jim Rainey in examining past Current sections and editorials to see whether they have been influenced by publicist Allen Mayer and his associate, Kelly Mullens, who has been dating [Andrés] Martinez.
Mayer was the go between who steered producer Brian Grazer into a guest editorship of Current. Mayer actually worked with the Times publicity department in announcing the weird arrangement and his and Mullens’ names were listed as contacts on the press release.
How deep and how wide was the corruption? Did Martinez share the contents of editorials or article with either Mayer or Mullins before publication? Did Mayer or Mullins suggest editorials or Current articles?
The staff findings should be published in the paper, prominently displayed.
In addition, the paper’s media columnist, Tim Rutten, should comment on the mess caused by Martinez. The story cries out for comment but not from anyone supervised by Martinez.
Whole thing is at Boyarsky's LA Observed blog.
Meanwhile: LA Biz Observed blogger Mark Lacter posts that "while the kids in L.A. bicker over who actually concocted the dumb idea to have Brian Grazer edit the Sunday opinion section, the grown-ups in Chicago are still trying to figure out what to do with the whole bloody company."