I want to preface this post by saying that I am so glad I don’t live in New York. I love to visit but it’s not the city for me. LA is my city for at least a few more years and it’s been pretty good living in the Beast. But why does the LA Times suck so much balls?? I don’t usually make such crass statements, but the LA Times deserves it. The New York Times always has an interesting story on its front page. Their photo galleries and personal interest stories are always fascinating, and they break ground with in-depth investigative pieces on the big topics and trends, like the drug trade in Mexico, or this off-beat piece back when Second Life really took off. I can read their paper and feel like I learned something, maybe even had a moment of reflection and got a little smarter. I feel the same way about the Wall Street Journal (but not lately since my digital subscription expired).
On the other hand, what does the LA Times do? They are lazy. Their reporting is weak. Their headlines are lame. They have a reporter named Tom Hamburger. And this latest article about a community of single parents in Santa Ana, just straight up confused me.
There was no point to this article. Instead of going in-depth with one person’s story, investigating the causes of poverty for this particular community beyond one sentence (there is one basic mention of education levels and high school dropout rates), or doing anything interesting with this story, the reporter decides to quote a bunch of different people repeating the same idea: that the area has cheap apartments, lots of children and a higher crime rate than other parts of Orange County. So what? There was no depth to the reporting, which is pretty much always the case with the LA Times. For example, look at this awful snippet:
She knows she is far from being the only single parent here but believes the issue is deeper than culture.
“It’s probably because of the poverty,” she said, sitting on a bed in the den of the two-bedroom apartment she has lived in for 30 years.
With gems like that, it’s hard to know why the LA Times doesn’t get more Pulitzers. Poverty, the working poor, run-down neighborhoods, all of these are topics that I am interested in and passionate about, and even I couldn’t begin to care about this article. The LA Times does a disservice to these disenfranchised communities with crappy reporting like this.