I was an assistant metropolitan editor at the Los Angeles Times when the Rodney King riots erupted in April, 1992 and the Northridge earthquake struck on Jan. 17, 1994. Huge stories, of course, and everyone in Metro was thrown into round-the-clock riot and quake duty. Excellent coverage resulted and the Pulitzer Prize for spot news was awarded "to the staff of the Los Angeles Times" in 1993 and 1995. The prizes went up on a wall somewhere at the Times and the cash was donated, as I recall. Those of us who worked on the stories got a little 5×7 acrylic rectangle with embedded front pages from the Pulitzer-winning days. Most of us tossed the plaques in boxes, made a note for our resumes and moved on.
In 1997 I became the paper’s Senior Projects Editor, working with investigative stories and series (and more Pulitzer winners.) In 1999 or so I got a call from a freelance TV producer named Eric Longabardi asking to collaborate with the Times on some investigative project. I don’t recall the details, but something about him didn’t feel right and I passed. The next time I heard of him, Longabardi was trying to peddle an investigation that TV outlets had rejected about the 9-11 hijackers in Arizona. In 2005 he got hold of me via email — "I am a faithful reader of LA-O — you do a superb job with the site" — to ask for advice on an investigative book.
"Luke Ford reports all of the 'juicy' quotes, and has been doing it for years." (Marc B. Shapiro)
"This guy knows all the gossip, the ins and outs, the lashon hara of the Orthodox world. He’s an [expert] in... all the inner workings of the Orthodox world." (Rabbi Aaron Rakeffet-Rothkoff)
"This generation's Hillel." (Nathan Cofnas)
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