Washington Babylon — June 30, 2009, 9:41 am

The Evil of Sam Zell

I used to work at the Los Angeles Times and still read it online regularly, although I rarely see a hard copy. I was just in Los Angeles for a week and was surprised to see that — despite Sam Zell’s best efforts to destroy it — it’s still an exceedingly good newspaper.

There were strong stories every day I checked, especially this piece by Mike Anton about agricultural workers in the Coachella Valley, and this story by Greg Miller about soon-to-retire CIA lawyer John Rizzo (“John was kind of the legal enabler of the agency,” said a senior CIA official who worked with Rizzo and requested anonymity when discussing the agency. “His approach was always to find a way legally for the agency to do what it wanted to do.”), and this story about a six-year-old girl suffering with schizophrenia.

Hopefully the Times can rid itself of Zell soon, and leave him on the dustbin of newspaper history.

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Mrs. B’s Baby Village Day Care was on a frontage road between a mattress wholesaler and a knife outlet. There were six or so babies as regulars and another one or two on weekends when their parents were passing through looking for work. They wouldn’t find work, of course, all the security positions were full, the timber and ore had all been taken under the active-stewardship program, and the closest new start-up industry was the geothermal field hundreds of miles away. Mrs. B didn’t even bother to write those babies’ names down in her book. It was fifteen dollars a day and they had to be in reasonable health. Even so the occasional mischievous illness would arise and empty the place out.

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