Eli Broad: Bully in search of a pulpit.

Media criticism.
Nov. 9 2006 6:02 PM

Bully in Search of a Pulpit

Making sense of Eli Broad's ambition to own the Los Angeles Times.

(Continued from Page 1)

Broad wouldn't let the matter rest, and gave another interview on the eve of the convention. "I'll tell you what happened," Broad said of his dustup with Geffen. "I got all the press, that's what happened. And why did I get all the press? I was there."

Geffen's response: "Eli Broad seems to need attention. I prefer to avoid it."

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I worry less about Eli Broad getting his hands on the Los Angeles Times and acting like a later-day William Randolph Hearst, shoving his political pieties down readers' throats and declaring a dictatorship over Southern California, than I do about his expressed ambitions. In June, the New York Timesasked him for his vision of the Los Angeles Times. Laura M. Holson writes:

If the real estate billionaire Eli Broad had his way, the Los Angeles Times would run more photographs of donors at charity events. There would be fewer stories on movies and more about the city's museums and classical arts. And it would champion civic projects, becoming, in his view, the glue to unite a diverse and fractured city.

That, ladies and gentlemen, describes a newspaper without a basement.

*******

My ideal newspaper owner: He'd have gone to the finest schools but served in Vietnam. After working as a cop, he'd learn everything about the newspaper business by working everywhere from the pressroom to the newsroom. He'd have bad taste in clothes and be proud of it. Your ideal publisher? Send your spec sheet to slate.pressbox@gmail.com. (E-mail may be quoted by name unless the writer stipulates otherwise. Permanent disclosure: Slate is owned by the Washington Post Co.)

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Jack Shafer was Slate's editor at large. You can follow him on Twitter or email him at Shafer.Reuters@gmail.com.

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