More People Should Read the Los Angeles Times

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Here are four headlines in four newspapers today:

LA Times: Trump-Kim Jong Un summit fails to produce disarmament plan

New York Times: Trump Sees Shared Path After Meeting Kim

Washington Post: Trump says U.S., North Korea are ‘ready to write a new chapter’

Wall Street Journal: Trump and Kim Begin New Phase of Diplomacy

This reminds me: more people should be reading the LA Times. After years of management depredations it’s not what it used to be, and I feel a little sad when I pick it up from my driveway every morning. It looks a bit like a cancer patient who’s lost a hundred pounds and is barely hanging on.

But—their day-to-day news judgment is the best in the business, something I first noticed during the 2016 presidential campaign. Time after time, they gave stories appropriate play, while the Post and the Journal and the NYT would ignore important stuff and sensationalize trivia. Today we see the same dynamic at work. The LAT straightforwardly describes the most important outcome of the Singapore summit while the other three insist on stenography, repeating nonsensical Trump blather even though he plainly accomplished nothing.

That might change. Maybe yesterday’s summit really will begin a new phase of diplomacy. But it hasn’t yet. So far it’s produced nothing that we haven’t seen half a dozen times before from North Korea. Why act as cheerleaders for Donald Trump’s hype machine instead of soberly telling readers what actually happened and how important it’s actually likely to be? Are they really that afraid of an angry tweet?

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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