LAT hires its #2 Republican blogger for bigger role *

Jimmy_Twitter_bigger.jpgWell, you can't say the Los Angeles Times isn't fully embracing its odd and increasingly controversial strategy of going partisan Republican — and only Republican — in its national politics blogging. In addition to Andrew Malcolm, who has carved out a new identity as a Republican pundit and Sarah Palin promoter since becoming the LAT's only fulltime staff blogger, his backup at Top of the Ticket has now been hired as deputy online editor of the paper. Jimmy Orr has also been online editor of the Christian Science Monitor, and before that was chief Internet strategist for President George W. Bush and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. At the LAT Orr will "coordinate online news and features efforts." It's his work since March as Malcolm's stand-in at Top of the Ticket, though, that has raised eyebrows around the web. Fair question: what is the Los Angeles Times' strategy of employing a Republican attack blogger or two and no bloggers from the Democratic side — or anyone gearing their appeal to independents and other non-Republican readers, for that matter?

* 5:45 p.m. note: The Times demanded that I take down the earlier photo of Orr. Done, replaced with the photo from Orr's Twitter account. The demand came from blogs editor Tony Pierce, who took the picture. His emails to me are after the jump.

Subject: Please take down my picture of Jimmy Orr, 4:37 p.m.:

Not yours.

You do not have permission.

Thank you,

Tony Pierce

4:53 p.m.:

By please take down, I mean now, not later.

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