The LAPD Told the LA Times to Fire Me (Part 3 of 3)

On July 27, 2015, the Los Angeles Times fired me as its long-time editorial cartoonist. The reason given was their belief, based on a secret LAPD audiotape of my 2001 arrest for jaywalking, that I lied about my treatment by the police officer in a May 11, 2015 blog for the Times. However, when I had the tape enhanced and cleaned up, it proved I’d told the truth. So why won’t the Times comment or admit they were wrong?

15 thoughts on “The LAPD Told the LA Times to Fire Me (Part 3 of 3)

  1. Has anyone looked at Paul Pringle’s twitter feed?

    Here’s a few of the most recent (I’ve trimmed for space). The question is at the end:
    1. Officers’ bullets killed hostage: 600 police gunshots during Stockton bank robbery were ‘excessive:’
    2. Mentally ill woman in LAPD assault a case study in system’s lapses
    3. Jury finds deputy U.S. marshal guilty of obstruction in 2008 shooting http://fw.to/SvD4czL
    4. County regulator calls for sweeping overhaul at Compton Fire Department
    5. Deputy U.S. marshal ‘made a choice’ to kill man in Fairfax-area alley, prosecutor tells jury
    6. Homeless woman could face life term for picking up LAPD nightstick http
    7. Cars and people disappear, reappear: Arrest video in jailhouse death of Sandra Bland has continuity problems

    Okay, the seventh one is particularly hilarious when the Rall Incident is considered: “Continuity problems” are tweetworthy. Running a guy out of town in a way that will render him unemployable on the basis of a tape of poor quality and unknown provenance? Hey, no comment. So here’s the question: How can ANYONE believe Paul Pringle from this point on? He participated in a star chamber trial, won’t speak about it publicly, and still tries to carry off the whole “I’m a journalist, I speak truth to power” shtick.

    Why would anyone believe Pringle anymore? Even if Ted turns out to be a full-blown liar, the problem now for Pringle is that Pringle DID NOT HAVE THE TAPE CLEANED UP. That’s an absolute minimum for fairness. And Pringle, Goldberg and the LATimes did not do it. So why is Pringle still tweeting? Does he really think anyone believes a word he types anymore?

    • A fair point about Paul Pringle.
      Don’t forget: he also didn’t have the tape authenticated/checked for tampering.
      Audio forensics is expensive, as I’m finding out now, so maybe it came down to cheapness on the part of the LAT.
      Even if I hadn’t been able to have that tape enhanced, however, there was no cause to fire me. It was a simple he said/he said situation, with the other side being the LAPD. Which lies often.

  2. Everyone,

    In all “fairness,” the LAPD’s goal (or someone strongly affiliated with them) was one thing. Ted was incidental to that goal.

    The goal was to send a message to all the journalists: “If you fuck with us, we will end you.”

    Ted recounted a minor incident from 14 years earlier. The sort of thing the LAPD could have simply brushed off with one of those, “It’s he said, she said. We get that a lot. You’d be surprised how many people swear, swear, swear, they aren’t drunk when we pull them over and then blow a .12.”

    Ted’s firing? Even if it’s reversed. Even if Pringle and Goldberg are fired in disgrace and never work again in journalism, the LAPD (or their strong supporter) got exactly what he or she wanted: Everyone knows who top dog is, everyone knows not to try anything smart.

    After this? If some reporter sees 10 LAPD police officers pistolwhipping a nun, that reporter will simply turn around and walk the other way.

    Mission Accomplished.

    • I think you’ve hit the nail on the head.

      The only option for Ted at this point is to bring them all into court as defendants in a lawsuit asking for (whatever amount of) punitive damages.

      • Put it this way: the LATimes better be wearing out their collective knees hoping Ted drags Goldberg and Pringle into court and successfully sues them penniless.

        Why? Here’s a small example. In some families, the daughter gets pregnant. The mother then also gets “pregnant.” The daughter gives birth while off with mom at a weekend spa, and mom comes home with “her” new baby. Mom knows the truth. Dad does too. So does the daughter. The child? Nope. And as long as the kid doesn’t find his birth certificate or overhear a conversation, the whole thing can just lie as it is.

        But the LA Times fucked up badly. They didn’t test the tape, they didn’t go slowly, they didn’t even put up an appearance of being fair. And if Ted’s tests of the tape had revealed nothing, Ted would now be an embarrassing delusional, pestering various friends.

        Every journalist out there knows now exactly how the LA Times plays.

        The LA Times has one play left. They have to pretend that this, regrettably, was a one-time incident, and one that only involved a few bad apples.

        If they fire ALL the people who tried to screw Ted over, and then run something like a 12 part expose of LAPD corruption, they JUST might be able to deny all this was institutional.

        Might.

  3. Please start an indiegogo/kickstarter/patreon/etc. fundraising campaign around this. I think many people would like to express their support of you that way. (I know you accept paypal donations, but that doesn’t enable people to make the same sort of public statement.)

    • I suggest gofundme.com — theirs is an international appeal, and they seem to have a lot of success. Framed with the goal of curtailing the abuses of LAPD and LAT, there is a great chance of financing a lawsuit.
      Ted?

      • I can get it started, but without Ted’s approval I won’t. (I started one of my own back in February to finance eye surgery, but withdrew it after only a few weeks.)
        There’s no way of telling how successful such an effort might be, but with the current exposure of police abuse, it might strike a chord with people.

    • The firing could have been accomplished without the slander that will hinder opportunities for Ted to work as a published cartoonist.

      The mendacious action taken by the LA Times was much more malicious than a firing, which could have been done without any damning editorial comment.

      Cartoonists in the mainstream media are becoming a rare breed, but firings have been accomplished without efforts at career assassination.

      Something more evil is lurking here in this action by the LA Times than a mere firing.

      • “Something more evil is lurking here in this action by the LA Times than a mere firing.”
        *
        I agree.

      • TPTB finally view him as dangerous enough that they dug up something, anything, to drown his voice for good. So they thought.

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