I've lost track how many times the name Burt Prelutsky has appeared on brief quips and digs published in the various letters pages of the L.A. Times. In the past several months, he has shown up at least a half-dozen times; on his own website, he shows 37 submissions for the first eight months of last year, many of them to the Saturday sports page. Last January 8, he even published a Commentary piece urging (tongue in cheek) that more things in the Valley be named for dead movie stars.
All this doesn't mean he likes the paper where he used to be a humor columnist. On the website Mens News Daily, he published a piece Monday called "My Newspaper is Funnier Than Yours." Excerpt:
It is once again time to check in on my hometown paper, the Los Angeles Times. Because it regards itself as one of the nationís great newspapers, a few years ago it changed its look to more closely resemble the New York Times. Nobody was fooled. Itís like Hillary Clintonís getting that face lift in hopes of looking young and vibrant, and simply winding up with those protruding eyes that she canít quite blink.
Some time ago, my paper initiated a policy of correcting its mistakes every day on page 2 in a black-bordered section it calls For the Record. I commend the Times for its honesty while simultaneously marveling at the chutzpah of a paper that never seems to learn from its mistakes.
The Times has ongoing problems with names, places and numbers. In recent weeks, it placed the Adirondacks of northeastern New York in the western part of the state. It claimed that California makes up 8% of the nationís population; itís really 12%. It stated that Vince Carter had just become the 41 st player in NBA history to score 10,000 points. He was actually the 264th.
He goes on to cite a bunch of other corrected miscues. A recent mistake involved Prelutsky's own book, Conservatives Are From Mars, Liberals Are From San Francisco. In the credit line of his Jan. 8 Commentary piece, the title was bungled as Conservatives Are From Mars, Liberals Are From Heaven. Prelutsky, incidentally, has been a movie critic for Los Angeles Magazine, penned pieces for the N.Y. Times, TV Guide and Sports Illustrated, and written episodes of "Dragnet," "MASH," "Mary Tyler Moore" and other TV shows.