NEW ORLEANS--Yes, it does come as a surprise that they're still putting out the LA Times, especially when it publishes a story like this one, a report on the riot that swept the neighborhood of the Staples Center following Thursday night's Laker victory in the NBA Finals.
Some basic journalism does happen in the story. Local businesspeople are quoted complaining about the police department's favoritism towards protecting the mega-pricey new urban mall, LA Live!, while letting local small businesses fend for themselves. There's a statement of regret by the Lakers' P.R. guy. And, most intriguingly, a psychologist is quoted about the "seemingly inevitable" nature of post-victory crowd nastiness.
Only one salient fact is left out. In a recent previous instance of final victory in one of the Big Four American sports, the "seemingly inevitable" just didn't happen. There was no rioting in New Orleans following the Saints' Super Bowl win this past February. None, zero, zip, nada. You'd think that fact would have made it to the sports desk of the LA Times (do they still have desks?), but information from other cities may have been cut out of the Times' budget.
BTW, there was also no rioting in N.O. when the Saints won the NFC Championship. I know; I was here. The Times can call me next time. If they still have phones.