Sometimes what journalists don’t publish is as interesting as what they do. Yesterday I was asked to comment for a piece about my partial loss on anti-SLAPP in my case against the LA Times.
Compare what they wrote to what I sent them:
After working as their cartoonist and blogger for six years and only receiving positive reviews, the Los Angeles Times fired me in 2015 as a favor to LAPD Police Chief Charlie Beck, a political ally of then-publisher, the billionaire Austin Beutner. At the time, the LAPD police union pension fund was the #1 shareholder of Tribune Publishing, the Times’ parent company. They published a piece accusing me of lying in a May 2015 blog piece in which I said I’d been handcuffed in front of about two dozen passersby by a cop who arrested me for jaywalking in 2001, stating that a secret police audio of my arrest proved those things hadn’t happened. Next I hired a Hollywood company to professionally enhance the audio, revealing people arguing with the police officer about mistreating me and a woman demanding “take off his handcuffs!”
I sent the enhanced audio to the Times. They ignored me.
Three weeks later, after the controversy spread across the news and social media, the Times doubled down, printing yet a second piece reaffirming their decision. This second article contained a number of falsehoods as well, all intended to portray me as a liar. Among other things, they misrepresented what their audio experts found.
I am suing the LA Times to set the record straight: I told the truth in that blog piece.
The Times has abused California anti-SLAPP statute, which is intended to protect individuals exercising free speech from frivolous lawsuits filed by big companies, by portraying them — part of a $420 million media conglomerate — as a victim of censorship by me, a $300/week cartoonist. In fact, they censored and defamed me on behalf of the LAPD, sending a chilling effect on reporters throughout southern California who have to worry they might be treated similarly should they publish articles critical of the police.
Yesterday’s ruling was disappointing, but I plan to continue my fight to clear my name and hold the Times accountable for its corrupt relationship with the Los Angeles Police Department.
Arguably, the gist is there.
But the audio enhancement is not. Nor is the stuff about the economic conflict of interest.
The result is, I come off like something of a kook.
And by MSM standards, this one was relatively good.