“WHO DO YOU HAVE TO DECAPITATE TO MAKE PAGE 1 AROUND HERE?”….Michael Kinsley, fired from his job as editorial page editor at the LA Times a year ago, reminisces today about the paper’s famous stodginess:
My very first day on the job, I attended the Page 1 meeting in the newsroom. There was a story about a transient who allegedly had broken into the home of a 91-year-old Hollywood screenwriter ? author of “Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein” and later a blacklisted victim of the Red Scare ? cut off his head, climbed over the back fence (head in hand), stabbed a neighbor to death, and was ultimately arrested at Paramount Studios, where guards recognized him from police photos shown on a TV they weren’t supposed to be watching on the job.
What a story! But it didn’t make the front page. It ran in the Metro section. I asked [editor John] Carroll, “Gosh, who do you have to decapitate to make Page 1 around here?” Now we know.
If you haven’t been following the recent LA Times soap opera and don’t understand Kinsley’s final sentence, click the link and read the whole piece.