In today's CityBeat, Dennis Romero interviews New York Times taxes reporter David Cay Johnston about his new book, Perfectly Legal: The Covert Campaign To Rig Our Tax System To Benefit the Super Rich – And Cheat Everybody Else. Johnston also talks a little about his stint as a national and metro reporter at the L.A. Times.
CityBeat: How was your time at the Los Angeles Times?
David Cay Johnston: I was there from ’76 to ’88. I was the first reporter to seriously examine the LAPD and its spying unit and its inefficiency and brutality. I uncovered United Way’s secret loans to executives. I hunted down a murderer the police had failed to catch and got freedom for a wrongly accused young man.
Also in CityBeat, Erik Himmelsbach writes in his "Valley Boy" column about the creepy revelation that he bought his house in Valley Glen from an accused child molester, and the deeds allegedly occured in the bedroom where Erik's young son sleeps. Film critic Andy Klein prints the emails he and critic Mick Farren exchanged while they watch the Oscars, and they both found it tediously boring. Nikki Finke in the LA Weekly has the same reaction, and thinks Billy Crystal was awful as emcee. (I, on the other hand, think Crystal should be the only host ever.) Finke also offers a rich anecdote about her old nemesis Michael Eisner.