Ted Rall is the editorial cartoonist whose long-term freelance gig with the Los Angeles Times opinion pages ended last year over a blog post he wrote about a jaywalking encounter with the LAPD many years before. You'll remember, the Times looked into a complaint from the officer involved that Rall got his facts a lot wrong, the editors concluded that Rall was more than a little off and publicly cut ties, and Rall went public with a campaign alleging the Times and LAPD were conspiring to do him in because his cartoons were critical of the police.
Now he is suing for defamation, breach of contract and wrongful termination and alleging that he has been blacklisted. His Santa Monica lawyers, Shegerian and Associates, put out a press release with his side.
In the New York Observer, Rall says "The Times made a mistake. Newspapers make mistakes every day. They issue retractions. In my case, they not only made a huge mistake, they refused to admit it, and doubled down. I don’t understand why they’re violating so many basic journalistic principles.”
The Times, through spokeswoman Hillary Manning, says “the allegations that Mr. Rall has made against the Los Angeles Times are unfounded…The Times will vigorously defend itself against Mr. Rall’s claims.”
A coordinated campaign by Rall and his friends last year got a some media to bite on the idea that an old barely audible audio tape proves he was right, and that the Times was buckling to pressure to muzzle a journalist. I didn't hear what he claims was there and neither did most of the other people I heard from.
Forgot to mention: Rall's lawyer, Carney Shegerian, was also the attorney for T.J. Simers when he sued and temporarily won a $7.1 million jury award for not being fired by the Times. That award was overturned by the trial judge, citing insufficient evidence for the jury to give those damages.