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SAM SHOOTS BACK: Tribune chairman and chief executive officer Sam Zell has responded to the lawsuit against him brought by current and former Los Angeles Times employees, calling it “a mere distraction,” and vowing to see it dismissed. “I hope every partner in this company is as outraged as I am at having to spend the time and money required to defend ourselves against it. The media industry is in crisis, the advertising environment is extremely difficult and the economy is in turmoil.” The unusual lawsuit, filed Tuesday, is seeking class action status and charges Zell and Tribune with “threaten[ing] to destroy the Tribune company and its assets” with their business decisions.