Breitbart's John Nolte reported on Tuesday that the LA Times discontinued its relationship with far-left cartoonist/writer Ted Rall, after he claimed in an May 2015 item that 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." The LAPD subsequently released records about the 2001 police encounter (where Rall was stopped for jaywalking), which included an audiotape that "does not back up Rall's assertions."
The liberal newspaper's editorial page editor, Nicholas Goldberg, wrote a note to readers on Tuesday about Rall's firing. Goldberg first summarized the cartoonist's claims against the police officer, where he also contended that "dozens of onlookers shouted in protest at the officer's conduct." The editor continued that the newly-released audiotape "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."
Goldberg also pointed out that Rall filed a complaint with the LAPD which made no mention of the allegation of excessive force:
In Rall's initial complaint to the LAPD, he describes the incident without mentioning any physical violence or handcuffing but says that the police officer was "belligerent and hostile" and that he threw Rall's license into the "gutter." The tape depicts a polite interaction.
In addition, Rall wrote in his blog post that the LAPD dismissed his complaint without ever contacting him. Department records show that internal affairs investigators made repeated attempts to contact Rall, without success.
When he was asked to "explain these inconsistencies," the cartoonist (who is so far to the left that he is anti-Obama, and actually got in trouble at Daily Kos in 2013 for an "ape-like" depiction of the President) stood by his claims, and did his best to brush them aside:
As to why he didn't mention any physical abuse in his letter to the LAPD in 2001, Rall said he didn't want to make an enemy of the department, in part because he hosted a local radio talk show at the time. After listening to the tape, Rall noted that it was of poor quality and contained inaudible segments.
The editor concluded that "the recording and other evidence provided by the LAPD raise serious questions about the accuracy of Rall's blog post. Based on this, the piece should not have been published. Rall's future work will not appear in The Times." Goldberg added that the "Los Angeles Times is a trusted source of news because of the quality and integrity of the work its journalists do. This is a reminder of the need to remain vigilant about what we publish."