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Progressive politics, media have failed Los Angeles


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They're incapable of owning it: old media, largely progressive, are incapable of admitting that the progressive era of Los Angeles has been an enormous letdown.

The Times sad editorial. The Daily News damnation with faint praise. The smug editors on smug radio shows. The tepid re-election response.

All these old media voices wanted a new era at City Hall four years ago. They wanted it badly. In their pursuit of it, they trumped up a two-bit story about erratic billing at the DWP as though it were Watergate.

And all are now having a very hard time admitting that despite near perfect accord between Mayor and Council over the past four years, progressive politics is not working in Los Angeles, and indeed may never work.

The reason it's not working is very plain to see: under progressive politicians, who despite long resumes are largely inexperienced when it comes to dealing with businesspeople and lobbyists, LA has been taken to the cleaners, and become even more of an absentee owner town than it ever was. And old media are unwilling to criticize this.

Just look at the skyscrapers downtown, with all the names of corporations headquartered elsewhere atop them.

Just look at old media, all owned by elsewhere now, all fearful for their own jobs.

Just look at the way rental units have climbed to 60 percent of the City's residential units.

Just look at the way the alleged pro-labor Mayor was too frightened of scaring our most entrenched business to throw his weight behind the Screenwriter's Union.

Just look at the way the alleged Catholic Mayor rushed to marry a token handful of gay couples---because Gavin Newsom was doing it---and, whoops, forgot about the fact that doing so likely meant he was no longer welcome to take communion in a city of two million Catholics.

Just look at the way the Mayor behaves as though he's ashamed not of his own behavior, but of his own religion, and is almost never spotted at a Sunday mass.

Just look at the way old media feel they can't cover this kind of story anymore, nor ask any more hard questions about religion at all, even though a decade ago they would cover the Cardinal denying Riordan communion for marrying outside the faith.

Just look at the way the Mayor and Garcetti talk about bicycle lanes and transit hubs, when anyone who can afford a new unit at these actually wants to drive to work.

Just look at the way the City is proud to stick its hand out, with every elected official touting his or her grand relationship to Washington; an admission that after four years of near-unanimous political accord, our City doesn't work, that we can't do it on our own.

Just look at the way mortgage bankers now refer to California as a "sand state," along with Florida and Arizona, places where few have enough assets to realize that thirty year notes very often do not work in a buyer's favor.

Just look at your LAUSD property tax if you're a homeowner, $555 through 2044, for ever diminishing results.

Just look at the way you're not a homeowner by now, because these progressives were too gutless even to go for condo conversion.

Just look at the way media didn't cover the Mayor's race and denounced those brave enough to dare run against him as "fakers" and "pretenders"---who amassed a higher percentage of the vote in town than McCain/Palin did.

This was always the danger of progressive politics ascendant: with progressives also working media, there were no adults in the room to check the bad ideas that emerged with the good.

Alas, in a City more and more citizens find more intolerable, old media has almost nothing real to say about why everyone feels so let down this week.
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