Departing editor O’Shea’s platitudes don’t withstand scrutiny

Who needs day-time soap operas when you have journalism in California to follow.

Between Crazy Wendy and tribulations at the Times, there is plenty of entertainment in the Sunshine State.

This week’s big news is the “force out” of LAT executive editor Jim O’Shea.

O’Shea reportedly told Tribune Co. employees,

One thing I want put on the record, though, is that I disagree completely with the way that this company allocates resources to its newsrooms, not just here but at Tribune newspapers all around the country. That system is at the core of my disagreements with David. I think the current system relies too heavily on voodoo economics and not enough on the creativity and resourcefulness of journalists….


I mean, what the hell does that mean?

Look up “voodoo economics.” Does that really describe the supposed strangling of the Times through staff reductions?

And if you believe journalists are creative and resourceful, don’t you trust that if cuts are made, they will figure out a way to make it work?

I’m not passing judgment on anything related to Mr. O’Shea’s situation, just saying — WTF does he mean? His statement on its face is utter non-sense.

I don’t think these quotes should be skimmed over or passed on without a little examination. They resonate with a nice journalistic militarism, but they sound more like self-justifying rhetoric than anything helpful.

UPDATE: Howard Weaver addresses O’Shea’s one-percent solution. My additional comment would be: It seems like O’Shea forgot he was running a local newspaper.

UPDATE II:  What he said — Jack Lail.  Newsrooms today need leadership. Jim O’Shea didn’t provide it.