OVERVIEW: About my firing by the LA Times as a favor to the LAPD

Almost two weeks ago, the LA Times fired me as their editorial cartoonist, where I’d been since 2009.

Editor Nick Goldberg told me it was because I’d lied in a blog post for the LA Times about how an LAPD cop treated me during a 2001 arrest for jaywalking. They based this on an LAPD audiotape of the arrest. You can read my account of the arrest here.

But when I had the tape analyzed – after Goldberg hastily fired me – it showed that it was the LAPD that is lying, not me. (Goldberg didn’t bother to analyze the tape.) Moreover, the LAPD tape was probably tampered with to try to put the cop in a better light than he’d behaved.

The Times knows they were wrong, yet they’re refusing to reverse their decision, apologize, or retract ” A Note to Readers” that calls me a liar and a fabulist, from latimes.com. The LAPD police union posted a gloaty sinister blog post threatening other journalists to toe the line lest they be next but perhaps they’re feeling the heat, so it’s down now.

Here’s an overview of the sordid affair.

  • Start with this Timeline of Events by ANewDomain.net, where most of the breaking news has been and will continue to be released as it comes out. It contains links to most aND’s coverage. (Skip down to the boldface article below if you’re in a hurry and just want to listen to the audiotape.)
  • LISTEN to the full, professionally produced audio enhancement. Click here if you’re in a hurry and to read a detailed transcript that reveals an angry crowd and proof that my blog for the LA Times was accurate. If you’re still having trouble hearing it, and/or have time to wait for a large download, here is the higher-quality WAV file.

Here is my initial response to my firing, before I had the LAPD tape enhanced.

The LA Times told me the LAPD told me the arresting officer never used cuffs, ever. But he did – in the pages of the LA Times: “A Discrepancy In The Cop’s Story”  by Ted Rall (aNewDomain commentary)

Listen to the Tapes:

Listen to a rough version of the audio enhancement where you can hear an angry woman shouting “Take off his handcuffs!”

Media Coverage (in reverse chronological order):

(* = good places to start)

Cartoonist fired by LA Times after LAPD arrest says evidence ‘spliced and edited’ (by Steven W. Thrasher, The Guardian)

Project Censored: “A remarkable case of censorship” (Project Censored/Pacifica Radio – 1 hour radio interview)

Los Angeles Times Defends Firing Ted Rall, Editorial Cartoonist And Fierce LAPD Critic (by Brendan James, International Business Times)

* Rall’s Deal: Controversial cartoonist Ted Rall fights for his professional life after being fired by the LA Times (by Kevin Ulrich, Pasadena Weekly)

Was Ted Rall Wrongfully Fired From LA Times? (Video) (Huffington Post Live)

* Fired Los Angeles Times cartoonist hits back at newspaper for siding with LAPD (by Sam Thielman, The Guardian)

Ted Rall’s Fight With The LAPD Happens To You (by Ken Womble, Mimesis Law)

Ted Rall Matters (Rob Rogers blog)

US Cartoonist Ted Rall Versus the LA Times (Cartoon Movement, Netherlands)

* Cartoonists call for review of tape used as evidence to cut ties with Ted Rall (Poynter.org)

American Association of Editorial Cartoonists Calls for Independent Investigation into LAPD Tape Used to Fire Rall (Daily Cartoonist)

The Strange Case of the LA Times Cartoonist Fired for Being Too-Critical of LA Police (Orange Beach Rag)

Did The LAPD Have A Political Cartoonist Fired? by Ryan Steadman and Guelda Voien (The New York Observer)

‘Cleaned-Up’ Audiotape of Political Cartoonist’s Clash With LAPD Bolsters His Story by Hunter Harris (news story, New York Observer)

In Defense of Ted Rall, A Hard Guy To Defend by Ken Kurson (editorial, New York Observer)

The LA Times fired a journalist after cops told them he lied—but did they investigate? by Rob Beschizza (Boing Boing)

Cops Gun Down Unarmed Journalist’s Career  by investigative reporter Greg Palast (Reader Supported News)

Why Won’t The L.A. Times Admit They Were Wrong About Cartoonist Ted Rall? by Susie Madrak (Crooks and Liars)

LA Times Fires, Publicly Shames Editorial Cartoonist Ted Rall (Mike Lynch Cartoons blog)

Reporting by me and others at aNewDomain.net:

LA Times Responds to Charges That It Fired Me as A Favor to LAPD by Ted Rall

Why The Ted Rall LA Times Scandal Matters So Much (legal analysis by Tom Ewing, aNewDomain.net)

Rall Vindicated, LAPD And LA Times under Fire by Tom Ewing and Gina Smith, aNewDomain.net

The LAPPL applauds L.A. Times firing of cartoonist Ted Rall (LA Police Union Blog gloating, and threatening other journalists)

14 Years Ago, A Woman Vindicated Me Now by Ted Rall (Common Dreams)

Editor: LA Times “Cannot Comment” On Ted Rall. Why? By Gina Smith (aNewDomain)

 

Finally, here’s how you can help.

 

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6 thoughts on “OVERVIEW: About my firing by the LA Times as a favor to the LAPD

  1. Ted,

    You really need to start keeping a list of which organizations you contacted, which particular people didn’t respond, and how many times you kept trying to get them to respond.

    When the book comes out, this will be invaluable for the Acknowledgements section.

    “I’d like to thank the following cowards, who never even responded. I hope you think of me when the flashing lights appear in your rearview mirror.”

  2. So what did we learn from this débâcle? Anyone?

    Not to trust the police? Did I hear that right? Is this a joke of some kind? Whoever said this, go wash out your mouth with soap.

    What was that? No, haha, we’re certainly reserving the right to fire anyone we don’t like.

    Well, good thinking, yes, if you don’t like someone or if someone important asks you to fire them you can do so without telling them why. This isn’t sufficiently punitive, though, we still need to tear and feather them in the court of public opinion.

    Any more suggestions? Anybody?

    Well, children, let me tell you. Nothing. We learn absolutely nothing. It’s all going to be business as usual. We’re gonna sit tight and let this wash over us. People will understand – he believed the police, like any upstanding citizen would. He distrusted that commie who rubbed people who count the wrong way – the guy really didn’t bring in remotely enough extra eye-balls to warrant putting up with that kind of destructive behavior. People like us are going to understand. Forgive and forget. You can always trust people like us to think like people like us. And this has been your lesson for today, don’t you forget it.

    ps
    since this is what we’re up against -> good luck with the long fight…

  3. So, I headed over to the pigs’ website & left a comment about how they had their facts wrong. Hit ‘submit’ and I get a little note back stating that ‘the comment will be posted when approved’

    Gosh, do you think they’ll approve? I’ll give you a hint – the only comments there read “Oh, thank you brave souls for defending us from evil”

    I’d like to invite every other honest citizen to go over there & give ’em a taste of reality. At least the pig reading it will see your comments, even if they never see the light of day.

    • I posted (paraphrasing) that I would like clarification regarding how this incident served to “protect the public” — and I got the exact same response. I doubt my query will be posted on that site

  4. “Journalist” have been so time squeezed by the corporate media, they just accept the words of the police or the corporations, fact checking and questioning take too much time…so they are mostly gone. Now it mostly reprinting things from the wire and filling advertizing space now. The one thing the press notices is when action group runs counter to police and corporate line…hope enough people question things to get you a new gig and or old gig back.

  5. “Je suis Ted Rall”
    “Je suis Edward Snowden”
    “Je suis Chelsea Manning”
    “Je suis Steven Salaita”

    The lickspittles to power fear the smallest dissent will rage into an uncontrollable contagion.

    The lickspittles to power think they can make the real disappear, but they are finding themselves disappearing into irrelevancy.

    The aide said that guys like me were “in what we call the reality-based community,” which he defined as people who “believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.” … “That’s not the way the world really works anymore,” he continued.

    “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors…and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”

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