The Los Angeles Times is in the middle of a bankruptcy proceeding that is opaque, to say the least, from the outside; it's shed literally hundreds of reporters and editors over the last few years, its circulation has plummeted…but despite all that, it's been on fire this summer.
Its series on the public pensions in Bell provoked public demonstrations and resulted in the passage of legislation in the state capitol. Its series on the value-added teacher rankings has also made national news (and was disapproved of by NPR, but got a flat-out rave from Slate's Jack Shafer, who pointed out the information it used was freely available to one and all…by California law).
And now it's backing cartoonist Ted Rall, who has returned to Afghanistan in search of the pipeline that some (notably Michael Moore) think is the real stakes in the war. What other major media outlet would be so bold as to run a wacky series by a lefty cartoonist from freaking Afghanistan?
Now news comes that the paper may soon be in the hands of Michael Eisner, famous for remaking Disney…and driving away his former friend and best mind, Jeff Katzenberg.
No idea if long-time readers should celebrate, or mourn. I only hope the paper doesn't back down from its new-found feistiness.