While I was out, Jill Stewart defended her work at the LA Weekly that was panned this morning by Times media writer James Rainey. Stewart's email response was posted by Tina Dupuy, the Fishbowl LA editor who freelances for the Weekly. Excerpts:
I wanted to tell my colleagues and friends in journalism and blogging that James Rainey of the Los Angeles Times did not contact me for his take-down attempt column about me today, published during the very same week in which news-side stories I assigned and edited blew the Times out of the water at the Los Angeles Press Club awards....
It's hard to imagine that James wrote this attack without being bothered by a piece we at the Weekly wrote about James and his frequent use of blind sources while covering his bosses. I am the editor who assigned and edited the piece about James Rainey by Luke Y. Thompson. Luke's report on Jim was a classic Weekly story, assigned and edited by me, tough but factual, and filled with excellent sourcing.
More after the jump, plus Ron Kaye's counter-attack.
I am very sad to see Jim launch a wrong-headed attack on me without disclosing that I assigned and edited a story critical of him in 2007. Our story about Jim was, in fact, far more extensively reported and much better sourced than his about me. You can see for yourself, in the link at the end of my note. In today's tricky journalism world, it was basic Journo 101 to disclose.
Ron Kaye, who has praised the Weekly recently for stories taking his side on city issues, takes off after Rainey. Oddly, he criticizes Rainey for citing a blind source, a practice Stewart's detractors perennially ding her for. Kaye blogs in his "Bruno" persona:
Bruno has a suggestion for Rainey's next "On the Media" column: Try to find your boss Russ Stanton and ask him why The Dog Trainer has euthanized his staff, pretty much killed local political coverage and sold its soul to advertisers.