The LA Times has run a notice to readers that they will not run any more work by editorial cartoonist and columnist Ted Rall after the LA Police Department releases an audio recording rebutting claims of an interaction between Ted and a police officer over a jay walking ticket in which Ted claims he was handcuffed and thrown against the wall.
Here’s the snippet from the LA Times:
In a May 11 post on The Times’ OpinionLA blog, Ted Rall ? a freelance cartoonist whose work appears regularly in The Times ? described an incident in which he was stopped for jaywalking on Melrose Avenue in 2001. Rall said he was thrown up against a wall, handcuffed and roughed up by an LAPD motorcycle policeman who also threw his driver’s license into the sewer. Rall also wrote that dozens of onlookers shouted in protest at the officer’s conduct.
Since then, the Los Angeles Police Department has provided records about the incident, including a complaint Rall filed at the time. An audiotape of the encounter recorded by the police officer does not back up Rall’s assertions; it gives no indication that there was physical violence of any sort by the policeman or that Rall’s license was thrown into the sewer or that he was handcuffed. Nor is there any evidence on the recording of a crowd of shouting onlookers.
Ted is standing by his side of the story on the incident and provides a near blow by blow rebuttal over at A New Domain:
Was it possible that I had conflated two incidents? Fourteen years is a long time. Is it possible that I?d misremembered the incident? Was I suffering some sort of memory loss?
In short: No. I hadn?t. I wasn?t.
This so-called ?evidence? against me is audio-only, and crappy quality at that.
Here’s the audio:
Did Ted go Brian Williams and embellish a story? Unless more evidence is forthcoming to back Ted up, I think the LA Times is on solid ground to question Ted’s account. I just don’t buy Ted’s “classic Stockholm Syndrome” as an explanation of the differences in the account.