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96th Street

Before Heikes/Stewart &c.

The inky version of the LA Weekly remains stuck at 96 pp sopping wet this week.

The way the Weekly is covering local civic races this election cycle is consistent with the decline. You can find far more even-handed treatments of, say, the Jose Huizar v. Rudy Martinez race at AOL Patch Highland Park, where the scribe there has found that Huizar's friendster lists have evoked "more bemusement than outrage" in his community. Or even at mediabistro, where they don't do local politics too much. And most non-Republicans in the highly Democratic district think so as well. The right-tilting mukluks at the Weekly, however, are zeroing in on Huizar-Martinez while missing a host of other intriguing races, like Englander-Smith and Galtazan-Pugliese, about which citizens are even more passionate, and which also could produce shocking upsets.

Even ordinarily unflappable local political consultants are tuning out the Weekly as a serious news source. One expressed to me last week that he's simply "given up" on the Weekly. "I don't pick it up because I don't have time even to correct it anymore," he said.

Why give up on the Weekly? For an example, watch this all-too-common slant from David Futch in the Huizar-Martinez race:

...before Martinez, star of cable TV's remodeling show Flip This House...

Consider that shining happy word, "star," basking in unqualified isolation. (Weekly scribe Simone Wilson has used it to describe Rudy too--even in a headline). It's hard to believe that these people at the Weekly have ever even sat down with this "star" (as we and at least a dozen other scribes have); Rudy himself would quickly set them straight on his "star" status on the show.

Martinez was, actually, one of the hosts of one of the teams in the show's fourth season. The show's cancellation season. Only. The show had over twenty such "stars," and almost all of them had far more screen time than Martinez.

&c. By the time you reach "don't count Huizar out" (Who was counting him out? He's won two races on the first ballot, though the Weekly only talks about one of those races--the one with the lower vote totals) you have likely counted the Weekly out instead.

And by the way. The raison d'etre for the lists in the first place--which the Huizar camp is not eager to state, because it draws attention to another office problem--owed to the fabled high turnover in Huizar's office. The ranking system was simply a way for new staffers to prioritize tasks in an office in perpetual flux.

EARLIER: 96th Street, 92nd Street.