Falls for Ridiculous '9/11 Mastermind' Story With Screaming Front Page Headline, Buries U.S. Attorney Purge Scandal...
By Brad Friedman on 3/15/2007, 10:30pm PT  

We can't imagine why anybody would want to continue giving money to the Los Angeles Times.

After the better part of the last year or two, since being purchased by the Rightwing Chicago Tribune, the paper has been gutted. It's become little more than the Fox "News" Channel on newsprint. While that may be an exaggeration, it's not much of one. We were reminded again of that tonight when we finally took a few minutes' break from sifting through the avalanche of actual news as available on the Internets, to get a quick look at today's carbon-based LA Times front page.

Yesterday, as the U.S. Attorney Purge scandal was hitting its most fevered pitch to date, with Gonzales, Rove, et al. being thoroughally sucked into the vortex with all manners of leaked e-mail, documents, statements, calls for resignation, and more flying out...Josh Marshall at TPM filed this hysterical squib:

BREAKING! 9/11 Mastermind who confessed to being mastermind after being captured like five years ago confesses again at Gitmo hearing and now the transcript is released by the Pentagon to get Gonzales off the front pages!

BREAKING!

And then what do you suppose we find on the front page of today's LA Times...

Yup. They fell for it. Hook, line, sinker. Happily, no doubt. Mission accomplished.

To make matters worse, not only was there no front page coverage of the scandal --- which is sure to claim at least the country's Attorney General, perhaps a sitting U.S. Senator and Congresswoman, and likely far more and far higher --- there was no coverage whatsoever until page 14!

These are the stories you had to sift through before finally finding anything out about the U.S. Attorney Purge scandal in the Chicago Tribune's LA Times today...

Page 1:

  • 9/11 PLANNER CONFESSES TO MANY PLOTS
  • DOWNTOWN DRUG GANG IS TOPPLED
  • Drifters sure get around
  • As a child, Obama crossed a cultural divide in Indonesia
  • THEIR ANTIWAR CRIES ARE NO LONGER IN THE WILDERNESS
  • Is sumo more act than action?

Page 2:

  • THURSDAY BRIEFING (News summaries, no briefing on U.S. Attorney scandal)

Page 3:

  • Chiquita to pay fine for deals with militants
  • Deal reached on Palestinian government

Page 4:

  • A thundering suspicion about sumo (cont'd from front page)

Page 5:

  • Blair wins vote on subs
  • World in Brief (short world news summaries)

Page 6:

  • Iraqi forces backslide on lead role (another interesting buried story)
  • Hussein's sons, grandson reburied
  • Canadian philosopher wins $1.5-million Templeton Prize

Page 7:

  • Censure dismays priest's supporters

Page 8:

  • Bush promises immigration compromise
  • U.S. backs release of N. Korea funds

Page 9:

  • Trust of U.S. Arabs is sought
  • TMZ gossip hounds want the D.C. dish
  • PETA calls for monks' repentance
  • Legislator yanks execution artwork in Texas Capitol

Page 10:

  • Liberal lawmakers get place at the table (cont'd from front page)
  • Partisan battle in Senate again stalls debate on war
  • Man shot dead by NYC police after killing 2 officers, bartender

Page 11:

  • Full page ad for HBO documentary

Page 12:

  • Friends recall Obama's life in Indonesia (cont'd from front page)

Page 13:

  • Clinton shoots for top of firefighters' ladder
  • Florida girl's killer receives death penalty

Page 14: >>> DING! DING! DING! DING! DING! <<<

  • Gonzales gets rare rebuke from Bush
  • Aide called prosecutor 'real problem'

There ya go! Page 14! And even there, the headlines show Bush taking charge by rebuking Gonzales and a repeat of the Administration horseshit that fired U.S. Attorney Carol Lam, she of the successful Duke Cunningham bribery prosecution, was a 'real problem.'

Look, we know as well as anyone how difficult it is to find space "at the front of the book" for important stories, but couldn't either of the two stories on Sumo wrestling have been back-benched for a day or two?

What a disgrace.