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Jacobs v. Ulin

Here's a web cache of the video updating Rodger Jacobs' and Lela Michael's path deux doigts away from the street.

One irony I can't help but coming away with from the video: even through their time of trouble, Rodger and Lela have read, together, about sixty books in the past three months, and even managed to review three or four new titles. Meanwhile, at our own former fishwrap of record, David Ulin, who purports to be a book review guy, has written a book celebrating David Ulin's own reading habits even while dismissing the habits of others, even while it turns out his own habits aren't so mighty after all. You really have to wince. While Ulin's own book has largely been dismissed as being thin as piss on a rock, the LA Times former book review editor wouldn't even think of giving someone like Rodger Jacobs a book to review in his time of ordeal, even though Ulin and his in-house publicist Carolyn Kellogg were cherry-picking Jacobs' blog all through the runup to Jacobs' hard times.

I do recall receiving once, in response to a pitch I made hopeful to review one of John Shannon's books, correspondence from Ulin protesting that I was a friend of Shannon's. Now how the hell would Ulin come to conclude that? I mean, absent monitoring Rodger's sites for clues on what to read?

[Never mind the red herring regarding "knowing" someone--I don't think I've seen Shannon more than ten times in my life--as disqualification for writing about them. Carolyn Kellogg has seen David Ulin quite a bit, and she ceaselessly promotes her boss anyway. I suppose Ulin's fine about that.]

All this is partly why I think the LA Times these days is mostly for precious, bourgeois-leaning, publicity-churning whores: because those who actually do need the money and are qualified to write for it are too big of a threat to the status quo publicity mill there to draw even a one-off honorarium from it.