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Running a newspaper isn’t easy. Every day, you’ve got to fill all that space with stories (though at least the economic downturn means there’s less space to fill—fewer ads, fewer stories). So it’s easy to sympathize with the impulse that led The Washington Post‘s editors to run a Los Angeles Times feature on pop-up restaurants in L.A. in yesterday’s Style section. After all, why assign and edit original copy when you can just grab it off the wire and slap a new headline on?
But there were a couple of problems with the piece, originally by the Times‘ Jessica Gelt, in its Washington incarnation—beyond the basic fact that it’s about temporary restaurants in a city 2,600 miles from D.C., making its utility for most Post readers a little unclear. Turns out the story first ran in Los Angeles a month ago. We know the new Style section has a long lead time and all, but we didn’t realize it was that long. Some of the places profiled have probably already closed by now!
Perhaps recognizing that a month-old feature about L.A. wasn’t so fresh, the Post decided to fold a few paragraphs of local content into the story (which isn’t available online here). “In Washington, the closest example of a pop-up may be the latest venture from Brightest Young Things,” the paper declared, as if the L.A. phenomenon was completely unknown here. Which, of course, it isn’t.
As anyone reading the Post regularly should know.