♦ A senior Times editor says the paper checked out Mickey Kaus' second-hand report of a big Halloween gang rumble in Brentwood—just a few blocks from Editor Dean Baquet's residence—and was told by the cops that it didn't happen. Still no media reports anywhere. Back to Mickey...
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♦ Channel 4 anchor Paul Moyer confirmed to RonFineman.com that he placed a prank call to Channel 7 's assignment desk to razz his old station for over-hyping a terrorism story. Just a little joke, he says.
♦ Yesterday's New York Times had a piece by Randal Archibold from Bishop (that's in the Owens Valley) about the DWP's pique over a mural that invokes the region's strained history with Los Angeles.
♦ Lighting tech Peggy Archer was filming on location downtown when she left her post to make a sandwich. When she got back, a rat was sipping her coffee.
♦ A split federal appeals court refused to hear more arguments from journalists, including the LAT's Bob Drogin, who have been found in contempt for not disclosing their sources for stories on Wen Ho Lee.
♦ Pajamas Media has added lightning-rod blogger and ex-Daily News staffer Michelle Malkin to its mix.
♦ The Israeli consulate general in Los Angeles has a new deputy consul (Yaron Gamburg) and a new consul for communications and public affairs (Gilad Millo), the Jewish Journal reports.
♦ Tribune Company honchos were at the Times for meetings this week, making staffers nervous that the layoff wave is about to begin. Meanwhile, the shrunken San Fernando Valley bureau is moving from rented offices in Encino back to the big Times plant in Chatsworth.
♦ Salsa dancers in Los Angeles break on the first beat, New Yorkers on the second. I did not know that.