Wall of Silence? ‘L.A. Times’ Readers Ask, Whatever Happened to Phil Spector?

By: E&P Staff

Megastar record producer Phil Spector has been on trial for murder since October, but you’d hardly know it by reading the Los Angeles Times, some of its readers are complaining.

The Times hasn’t had a story on Spector’s second trial since Dec. 8, and had only a few before that. By contrast, the Times published more than 100 articles about the first trial that lasted from April 2007 to the following September. The jury deadlocked in that trial. Spector is accused of killing sometime-actress Lana Clarkson at his mansion in Alhambra, Calif. in 2003.

Enough Times readers complained about the sparse coverage this time around that the paper’s reader representatives addressed it in their blog.

The Times is still keeping an eye on the trial, California Editor David Lauter said.

The readers rep blog quotes his e-mail response to queries about the coverage:

“We’ve run eight stories on the Phil Spector retrial, including one which ran on Page 1on Dec. 1. So I wouldn’t say we’re no longer reporting on it. But it is true that we’re covering this second trial less intensively than the first, largely because there’s not much new to say. By and large, the same witnesses are recounting the same testimony. Our reporter, Harriet Ryan, has been watching the trial on many days, and we have been writing news stories when news occurs. She’s also been looking for opportunities to step back and write about what’s different this time around — that was the focus of the Page 1 story last month. We’ll continue to do that and write as the news warrants.”

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