The erosion of print media as a place were meaningful political dialog takes place is the main message of the March 2009 meaningful elections. Some of the city's old political voices have been pushed to the side, and now sit marginalized as gadflies might.
At the beginning of the election, the word "gadfly" was applied to an underfunded candidate. With the inability of journalists to move the needle nearly anyway they tried, we may now more safely apply the word to local print journalists and editorial boards.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa went before the Daily News' editorial board, boasted that he would be concerned if he received less than 80% of the vote, and the board simply nodded along as it agreed to help him get there. He did not. He won no majority among English speaking voters. Yesterday he was Mayor of 4,000,000; today he is Mayor of 127,000.
Nor did the Los Angeles Times editorial board do the City any kind of service by omitting the names of challenger candidates from its opinion pages in an election in which those names won higher percentages of vote than the McCain Palin ticket did in the city.
And the way the two papers jumped on the No on B bandwagon late, rather than permitting it more visibility earlier, demonstrated desperation in a final bid for relevancy in the city's political process.
The City learned in this election cycle that caucus-styled politics are an effective in an urban environment. It also learned that newspapers have little relevance to the political process, and are probably better ignored.