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LA Times Digs Deep to Keep Current

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Stopping just short of demanding abstinence from its Opinion column contributors, the LA Times most likely paid a pretty price to scrounge together today's "Current" section.

Case in point: The lead column is by the venerable Daniel Hernandez, the 26-year-old LA Weekly staff writer who left the Times last year. Why? Because, as he told us last August, the culture of the Times was exhausting and unfulfilling. He felt he was "challenging the institutional and cultural barriers of an ultimately very conservative place." And this was before Herrs Hiller and O'Shea showed up. Hernandez seemed to kiss off the Times once and for all in a December Weekly column, which only reinforces how desperate Times publisher David Hiller must be.

Ah, but we digress. Hiller deemed it necessary to scrap this week's all-but printed "Current" because the section editor (Andrés Martinez) makes out with an LA girl involved in media (in this case a publicist for Brian Grazer, who guest-edited the unprinted section). But without even pausing to laugh at himself, Hiller ass-kissingly announced his "hope [that] there will be an avenue to bring these creative, thoughtful and insightful pieces to our readers in the near future."

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This is hardly Clark Kent and Lois Lane. We hope you paid your former staffers, like D. Hernandez (who could have written his column in his sleep) big bucks. He deserves it and so do we. Because LA needs to hear from its many voices, be it Grazer or Hernandez. Some respect, please, Mr. IMAGE man "(Showing off what L.A. does best"). Quit messing with what LA really does best.