Our Thoughts on David Shaw (First of 1-Part Series)

Forgive us a moment of non-smartass, non-Manhattanite comment, but we wanted to stop and tip our Romenesko bookmarks to David Shaw, the Los Angeles Times's magisterial media critic.

Nikki Finke reported in L.A. Weekly yesterday that Shaw has inoperable brain cancer. His friends told Finke that he suffered a brain seizure on July 5, and he has been hospitalized in a coma at Cedars-Sinai since.

Yes, Shaw hates blogs. And, yes, he can be long-winded (both in print, where his trademark investigations typically ran over several days and several full broadsheet pages, and also on the phone, where a simple, tell-me-about-your-life Q&A with half of us a few years ago ran to nearly two hours of monologue). But he is also a giant among media writers — the only one to win a Pulitzer for criticism on the beat — and there was important and significant work in some of his (admittedly often-tedious) series, notably in his special-section-worthy reconstruction of the LAT/Staples Center fiasco.

Most simply, though, he's a good guy, willing and even eager to get a cup of coffee with a young media writer on a visit to Los Angeles. (He also writes about food and wine in California, and he once made a phone call to secure half of us a prime reservation at the French Laundry.) And he's only 62 years old.

We send our (unironic, unsarcastic) best wishes to him, and to his family.

Baquet Begins [LA Weekly]
David Shaw [LAT]