The Times whiffs on the World Series

Can a newspaper be bipolar?

Wait, better question: Is there a treatment for a bipolar newspaper?

The Los Angeles Times gave readers astonishingly good journalism in the last two weeks with stories about allegedly fake political contributions from a real estate developer currying political favor, and about Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans being dunned by the feds for bonus pay they were promised was legitimate.

At the same time, the paper not only failed to send a sports columnist to cover the most exciting, history-rich World Series in recent memory, but allowed its lead columnist to opine about those games on competitive media. Count me among readers who believe that Bill Plaschke's absence from the sports section during the series (or ever) was no loss, but wasn't this story one for the ages? And didn't Plaschke find time during the seven-game drama to discuss it on ESPN? News judgment and loyalty used to count for something at the paper, but apparently The Times' ethics manual no longer prohibits employees from working for the competition.

Today's manic episode is brought to you by your Lost Angeles Times.

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