Simon Owens over at Blogasm managed to grab an interview  with LA Times blog editor Tony Pierce. Yes, that’s the guy who sent the letter that put the kibosh on stories about John Edwards at that Hollywood hotel that’s been the topic of many a blog post outside the LA Times Blogs.
Perice seems to pass the whole thing off as innocent editorial choices. Says Owens:
When I brought up the argument made by many that they were trying to bury the story, Pierce pointed out that one of the blogs had already written about it. The editors simply wanted to give the metro reporters a chance to dig into it and see if they could find any new information, he said, rather than just having the Times website create a bunch of noise.
It gets better.
I asked Pierce if the metro desk had the chance to follow up on the story, and if so, would he send out another post allowing his bloggers to write about it. He said that to his knowledge the LA Times reporters hadn’t found any additional information and expressed some skepticism of the National Enquirer story’s authenticity.
It strikes me as more than a little odd that the LA Times can’t come up with much more than this one source, given the whole thing has gone to court, with the security people being named in a lawsuit. If they can’t find anything, where exactly are they looking? If they’re having that much a problem tracking the story, Tony, perhaps it’d be wise to turn the bloggers loose on the thing again? And let’s put this into some perspective; If the National Enquirer getting this stuff, trust me, it’s low hanging fruit. If the LA Times can’t do better than the lame excuses we see here, the charges of a political cover-up are true.
Face it, with a court case going on now, if we were dealing with a conservative, the LA Times would have had it page one above the fold for weeks.
No sale, Tony. You’re going to have to do a lot better than this.
BBCT: Simon for the tip