Newsweek on Wednesday’s Court Decision

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.

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About Ted Rall

Ted Rall is the political cartoonist at, editor-in-chief of, a graphic novelist and author of many books of art and prose, and an occasional war correspondent. He is the author of the biography "Trump," to be published in July 2016.

6 thoughts on “Newsweek on Wednesday’s Court Decision

  1. It’s good by MSM standards, and it still quotes Breitbart News (without an explanation of what Breitbart News is and represents) as calling you noxious and racist (Wow!). I’m so happy I got out of that rotten business.

  2. The LAT said this, Ted said that – and now the system will adjudicate to settle this to everyone’s satisfaction. Indeed, some court for some reason already decided something somewhat for the LAT and against Ted. But Ted as a persevering kook/idealist will fight on as is his right as an American citizen (cue patriotic music). See you at the next installment.

    [Except of course that it is this very right the insidiously misappropriated Anti-SLAPP injunction is making a mockery of].

    Clearly a solid story/gossip column: Did not take long to compose, no obvious misrepresentations or overly clear taking of sides, and hit the mediocre style we’re striving for. Does not overly tax the reader’s braincells. Did not step on the toes of any colleagues, or anyone important in the business including advertisers.

    Ted may mutter that one or two key points are missing – but so I’m sure would the LAT -> so this only serves to prove how objective the piece is 😉

    It’s like sports journalists reviewing a game of football between a horde of professionals against a few amateurs played on a field that’s literally tilted and monitored by referees who grew up in families who support the professional team. Clearly it wouldn’t do for a sports journalists to point out any of that – it might besmirch the image of the franchise they themselves depend on…

    However, the “professionals” already did fumble grotesquely to even open themselves up to this lawsuit – after all hundreds of journalists have been laid off wisely without being given any official reason apart from “the (new) economy is killing print”. Us fans of the amateur side are rooting for an upset – and so will the mass of people once this becomes an actual possibility. Americans like underdogs, if they’re contenders. Even this article is flexible/craven enough to allow for being read as a foreshadowing of this possibility, being as I said, a solid piece of “journalism”.

  3. I did enjoy that Newsweek article, which allows LA Times editor Nicholas Goldberg to claim that the audio tape didn’t confirm Ted’s version of the incident, but doesn’t allow Ted to mention the audio enhancement which, to the contrary, corroborates his story….

    Is it any wonder that journalists and the media they serve are widely held in contempt and that the term «Fake News» (itself exploited by the most enthusiastic purveyors of such) has become a meme ?…


  4. The problem I see with the “Newsweek” article is that they are trying the case without addressing the anti-SLAPP issue — which is “cart-before-the-horse.”

  5. Some might wonder why I think Ted’s case is so important.

    For me it’s because Ted is like the proverbial canary in the coal mine.

    This Newsweek article presents nothing that relates to corporate media’s efforts to snuff out dissent, and that is what it is engaged in its actions against Ted.

    Corporate media will not proffer a critique of itself; it is up to dissenters to present their dissent in whatever venues still remain.

    I understand why some Democratic and Republican Party loyalists may not be sympathetic to Ted, but the right of Ted to speak publicly is about more than HIS constitutional right; it is about the CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT of the PEOPLE to hear what Ted—and anyone else who adds to the discussion of issues of consequence to the public—has to say.

  6. Sorry, Ted, about the unhelpful “help” you received from Newsweek, this organ of the privileged few.

    Freedom of the press belongs only to those who own a press, say plutocrats in all sincerity.

    The implication is: “Don’t have a few hundred million dollars to buy a press? Then shut up!

    Worthless Democrats will not stand up to vicious Republicans, thereby making a joke of the constitutional right to free speech.

    Senator Dick Durbin, big shot from Illinois, called for journalists to be licensed by the state. Do you think political cartoonists who displease the “Democracy of the Few” will get a state license? Wait until Net Neutrality is finally pronounced dead.

    The Democrats could call out masses to the streets to call for reinstatement of the Fairness Doctrine, the same way Republicans did with the Tea Party, then but they would have to stand for something and get off the tit of Big Money.

    The only thing the Democrats will call out to the streets is the militarized police force, the one propagandized by the press as patriotic, the same one that was enhanced by Obama for his great battle against the Wall Street protesters, and who, in the same spirit is now focusing its wrath on Ted through its financial entanglements with the press.

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