Rip Rense recollects suggesting to the last publisher of the old Valley News (known to generations of Valleyites as "The Green Sheet") that he change the paper's name to the Daily News. Good idea, he replied, and a few years later the change was made. Today, Rense rues his involvement.
Of course, J. Scott might have been humoring me, and planning the change all along. I'll never know, because this fine, principled publisher and honorable man passed away a few months ago at 66. But if I did name the joint, I'm really, really sorry.
The Daily News of Los Angeles has as much in common with the original Los Angeles Daily News as Rhode Island has with the Colossus of Rhodes, as ice cream has with Ice T., as New Mexico has with the old one.
The modern DN is an ugly, perpetual disappointment, year after year---the L.A. Clippers of L.A. journalism. Here was a chance to give the city a punchy, gutsy second paper, and instead we get a garish, unimaginatively edited, demographically calculated, dull shopper. An eyesore.
The modern Daily News of Los Angeles is really no more "of Los Angeles" than efficient light-rail transit. Better to call it the "Daily News of Los Angeles Newswracks," many of which still appear full at day's end. The name change of long ago has proven the least effective since Prince switched to a mutant asterisk. L.A.? This is We Cover the Valleyfront---padded with wire copy.
Rense is something of an expert on the original Los Angeles Daily News, the peach-colored Manchester Boddy-owned paper that is remembered on his website.