Eat The Press

grazergate.JPGimage courtesy of LA Observed

Yesterday came and went and with it, a brand-new installment of the LATimes' Current section — hot off the presses and featuring absolutely none of the content curated by abortive guest-editor Brian Grazer, whose section was unceremoniously yanked last week when it was revealed that Opinion editor Andrés Martinez had had a romantic relationship with Kelly Mullens, an employee of PR firm 42 West, a firm which just so happened to represent Brian Grazer. This was apparently not news to the publisher, David Hiller, who initially backed the project when word of the relationship leaked last Wednesday.

The whole backstory is chronicled by David Carr in today's NYT, spun juicily ("The Los Angeles Times last week brings to mind a scene in which you come upon a sinking vessel and see people scrambling everywhere. And then you realize they are not looking for buckets, but guns"). This was in reference to Andrés Martinez's belligerent and defensive post on LA Observed as well as the rather tart response from Baquet-replacing editor James O'Shea ("It is true that we have journalists in the newsroom who don't agree with Andres' views on the ethical problems that led to his resignation. I count myself among them"); meanwhile, business had to go on as usual, which left the op-ed editor Nicholas Goldberg and deputy Current editor Gary Spieckerop and their staffers with the task of putting out a brand-new Current from scratch (per Gawker Weekend's Leon Neyfakh: "With a Friday night press deadline, the Current staff had two days to do something that usually takes over a week"). They did it though! Hooray for unsolicited articles!*

The upshot? Guest editors are a bad idea unless they're Bono.

Oh and another fun LAT bombshell, per Nikki Finke: The next Current guest editor was supposed to have been — wait for it — Donald Rumsfeld. Oy.

*Kidding. Luckily they had some good stuff on hand. But it would have been sorta hilarious if the whole slush pile had floated to the top. LA's got some crazy cats, man.

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